Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, gather round. Today marks the launch of Eater's hotly anticipated Annual Hottest Chef in the Bay Competition. Ever since the nomination polls opened two weeks ago, we've been flooded with reader input on the sexiest chefs in the land. This year 30 contenders will battle it out for the coveted title through daily polls, and the champion will go on to face the winners from our sister sites in New York, Los Angeles, Austin, Miami, Chicago and Portland. Sidenote: we'll be keeping a close watch on any suspicious behavior, so please no ballot-stuffing. Disqualifications are always an option. Let's make it a clean fight.
The only ground rules: all nominees must somehow be associated with a local restaurant -- no caterers or street food people, sorry -- and must work in the kitchen in some capacity: execs, sous chefs, pastry chefs et al. are fair game; no front of house. Now. A special panel of experts have seeded all submitted chefs and, in standard sporting fashion, the top seeds will face off against the bottom until we have a list of finalists. In this competition, number one will compete against 30 and 29, two against 27 and 28, and so on until we have our final six. It's been a big year of openings, so there are a good number of new faces. Let's give title holder Louis Madonado a run for his money.
Voting for Round 1, Heat 1 starts at 12 noon.
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