Three local chefs, Robert Sisca, Joseph Margate and William Kovel, have been nominated for Food & Wine's second annual People’s Best New Chef award. Eater spoke to all three about how it feels. Up next, Joseph Margate of Clink at The Liberty Hotel, who was also nominated last year.
Where you surprised? It was a big surprise, actually.
When did you find out? They emailed us a few weeks ago saying congratulations and with the nomination basically. It's kind of funny how that happens. Usually that happens with places with big PR people behind it, but we don't really have any right now. Or any, to be honest with you. So it's good.
And you were nominated last year too? Yes, but it came really quickly and I went on vacation during the whole voting. I went to the Philippines with some friends to a very remote beach, so I couldn't really do what we did this time which is doing Facebook and such to kind of manage it a little better.
How long have you been at Clink? I started here three months after they opened, so a little over four years.
Where were you before? I was working as a sous chef in New York at Eleven Madison Park.
What do you think caught F&W's attention? I always have to look back to where we are in the building and how we do things a little bit differently here. We're not like your conventional hotel with in-your-face kind of service. I think our menu speaks for itself. It's approachable, everything's in English as much as I can do it and we're sticking with seasonal American.
What's your signature dish? I wouldn't really say I have a signature dish because our menu changes so much. If I'm out and about at events and stuff like that, people definitely bring up the food at the bar. People always talk about our veal sliders: they stop me and tell me how much they love it.
So what would you do if you won? Well I think we'll throw a party! I don't what happens when you win, to be honest with you.
Do you think it will change things for the restaurant? I hope so. It would definitely be exciting for the staff, both front and back of the house.
What do you think of the other nominees? They're both very nice guys, I've met both of them. I wish them luck, too.
For more information or to vote for a nominee, see here: http://www.foodandwine.com/peoples-best-new-chef/new-england
[Photo: Joseph Margate/Official Site]