Welcome to day two of the 8th annual Eater Awards, honoring the most talented restaurant and bar industry gurus in cities across the world. Here’s how the Eater Awards work: All 24 Eater cities and the national site will award prizes in multiple categories, including but not limited to Restaurant of the Year, Chef of the Year, and Design of the Year. In each category, editors will choose an editor’s choice winner and readers will vote for a reader’s choice winner — all to be announced on December 5, 2017. Editor’s choice winners will receive an illustrious tomato can trophy, as is the tradition around here. This year Eater will further the fanfare, running a splashy feature about every editor’s choice winner throughout the course of the coming year.
Now, without any further ado, it’s time to vote for the reader’s choice winner in the Chef of the Year category. Polls will be open for 24 hours and will be strictly policed for funny business.
Before selecting a winner, here’s a little background on each of the illustrious candidates:
Traci Des Jardins
The chef recently celebrated 20 years of Jardiniére, her flagship restaurant. Her other restaurants include Arguello, The Commissary, Public House, Mijita, and Public House. Des Jardins also worked tirelessly with SF Fights Fire to aid victims of the fires in Sonoma and Napa earlier this fall, and remains an inspiring figure in the restaurant community.
This year was Tortosa’s comeback in the SF dining scene, as he opened his laid-back sushi restaurant in Hayes Valley, Robin. His mix of traditional Japanese and California ingredients has earned him high marks from critics and diners, bringing a relaxed vibe to the world of high-end sushi. He’s also been vocal about his own battle with depression, and the importance of offering good health care to his (and all) restaurant employees.
The chef has had a big year, including the addition of a third Michelin star to his fine-dining flagship Coi, the release of a book (The Art of Flavor), and the opening of his second location of Alta. He’s also deeply involved with Restaurant Opportunities Center United (ROC), creating training and job opportunities within its racial equity pilot program.
Cantu’s Californios earned its second Michelin star this year, making it the first Mexican restaurant in North America to earn the distinction. His tasting menu-only restaurant has continued to evolve since it opened in 2015, gaining national and local acclaim, including four stars from Chron critic Michael Bauer. And, he recently earned a spot on People’s Sexiest Chef list, which actually exists.
Sarah and Evan Rich
It was a big year for the powerhouse chef couple, who earned a Michelin star for their popular Hayes Valley restaurant Rich Table. They also opened RT Rotisserie, an uncommonly good fast-casual restaurant serving roasted chicken, porchetta, and sauces like douglas fir sour cream and chimichurri.
It’s a tough choice, so choose wisely:
Who is San Francisco’s Chef of the Year?
This poll is closed
Traci Des Jardins (Jardiniére)
Adam Tortosa (Robin)
Daniel Patterson (Alta, Coi)
Val Cantu (Californios)
Sarah and Evan Rich