Food & Wine magazine has named James Rigato, executive chef of the Root Restaurant & Bar in White Lake, as a Great Lakes Region nominee for The People's Best New Chef award.
Now in its third year, the competition is an extension of the magazine's Best New Chefs program and "honors talented up-and-coming innovators who have run their own kitchens for five years or fewer."
Judging for the award is done by public online voting, which will determine regional finalists and the overall nationwide winner. Rigato is the only Michigan chef among the 100 nominees in 10 regions nationwide.
"It's such an honor to be a nominee and to have the opportunity to represent Michigan in the competition," Rigato said in a news release. "This is truly a testament to our dedicated staff and patrons, and I'm proud to be part of our region's growing food scene."
The Root Restaurant & Bar was the Detroit Free Press 2012 Restaurant of Year. Rigato opened the restaurant with Ed Mamou; the menu features seasonal cuisine from local sources.
Online voting is open now through March 18. The national winner will be the top vote-getter among the 10 regional finalists. To vote www.foodandwine.com/peoples-best-new-chef/great-lakes. The results will be announced on March 19. The Root Restaurant & Bar is located at 340 Town Center Blvd. (248-698-2400 and www.TheRootRestaurant.com).
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