So it looks like this year's crop of Food and Wine best new chefs doesn't include anyone from Seattle—or the Northwest in general. Thank goodness for Brendan McGill, the chef-owner of Hitchcock and nationwide winner of the magazine's online people's choice spinoff of its prestigious annual chef honor.
Never fear, culinary awards junkies—this week Food and Wine is also running its People's Best New Pastry Chef bracket. Just like the savory version, this online contest breaks a pack of promising pastry chefs into geographic brackets (here it's West, Central, and Eastern). Repping Seattle are three major talents who also happen to be lovely people: Baruch Ellsworth, who came to Canlis by way of San Francisco (he worked with Jason Franey at Campton Place but was most recently at Benu...currently top of my fantasy dining list). Jill Severson took over the consistently great dessert happenings at MistralKitchen last May, though she worked at the restaurant since it opened and previously apprenticed for chocolatier Jacques Torres in New York and worked under William Leaman (now of Bakery Nouveay) at the Essential Baking Company. Finally there's Laura Pyles, keeper of Revel's clever monthly rotating dessert program (this month it's all about bake sales).