The hard working life of a chef is well-documented and discussed: the long hours, the heat, the knives, the crap pay. What isn't as discussed is how hard it is to get noticed, even when you do put in all that time and effort.
Obviously, it's part of our job to point out the great chefs in town, and we try to do that every day. But in a city as big as Los Angeles, it's inevitable that some great talent has slipped through the cracks. Perhaps we somehow missed a restaurant when it opened and have never found reason to follow up. Perhaps a chef took over when another left, and has been toiling in obscurity ever since.
We'd like to set that right. And we're looking for your help.
We're calling for nominations for the Most Underrated Chef in Los Angeles. This person needs to be running a restaurant kitchen in L.A. (no Orange County chefs, sorry) and out of those you submit, the ones we'll consider will not have been formally reviewed by us or any other major publication in the last year. They won't have appeared on our 99 Essentials list, or any other similar list from Los Angeles Magazine, the L.A. Times, Eater, or any other well-read outlet. If you're not sure, we'll do the double-checking, but all of this is to say that we're looking for someone who hasn't gotten their due, from us or anyone else - at least not recently.
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Once we get a week's worth of nominations, we'll start combing though them, looking for contenders. We'll visit a bunch of places that look promising, and then crown someone the Most Underrated Chef in Los Angeles. As well as the awesome title, that chef will get a full starred review in these pages.
We'll accept nominations until Monday, June 16. You can leave your nominations in the comments, or send them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org (I'm out of the country for much of this week - don't worry if you get an out of office auto-reply; I'm paying attention, I promise!)