She's come a long way from teenage prep cook at Dahlia Lounge. Photo via Westward.

Today Food and Wine magazine announced this year's crop of Best New Chefs, an honor that has become one of the more prestigious designations on the national restaurant/chef landscape.

Among this esteemed group of 10: Chef Zoi Antonitsas, the woman responsible for the Greek-inflected seafood menu at Josh Henderson's Westward. As the food mag puts it, her creations "make Lake Union seem like a stunt double for the Aegean Sea." Awww.

Antonitsas began her culinary career at 16, working as a summer prep cook at Dahlia Lounge. She went on to work at Etta's, cooked in the Bay Area (and yes, did Top Chef) before returning to Seattle to cook at the former Madison Park Conservatory.

Antonitsas will join the rest of her Best New Chef class on the cover of Food and Wine's July issue. Last year's cover didn't feature any Seattle faces, but Antonitsas joins the ranks of Jason Franey, Blaine Wetzel, and her former boss Cormac Mahoney as recent honorees. Dig a little farther back and you'll see names like Ethan Stowell, John Sundstrom, Matt Dillon, Mark Fuller, Jason Wilson, Maria Hines, and Jason Stratton. Not a shabby bunch.

Here's the full rundown of Best New Chefs.And a huge congrats to Zoi and Team Westward.




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