Food & Wine’s Magazine’s Best New Chefs of 2013 grace the cover of the July issue (on newsstands now). No Seattle chef made the cut this year but look inside: Ethan Stowell was named a “Best New Chef All-Star.”
To celebrate 25 years of “Best New Chef” honorees, the editors chose one from each year for the All-Star roster. Stowell (Class of 2008) joins a group that includes such culinary luminaries as Thomas Keller (1988), Tom Colicchio (1991), Grant Achatz (2002) and David Chang (2006).
Stowell’s reaction to being one of the 25: “There are some pretty sweet dudes on that list. These are my idols. I looked up to all those guys.”
It was a singular honor in a heady year that included marriage to his wife, Angela, and his first nomination by the James Beard Foundation for “Best Chef Northwest.” He’s even more thrilled to have made the All-Star roster.
“I’m not the young guy in town anymore. It still feels really good to be recognized. I feel like it’s the first award for what I’ve accomplished. The only thing more cool than making this list now is if I make the list 20 years into the game. It would mean I’d have staying power.”
Stowell was just 29 when he opened his first restaurant, Union, in 2003. It closed in 2010, the year Staple & Fancy Mercantile debuted. Other restaurants in his ever-growing portfolio include Anchovies & Olives, Rione XIII, Bar Cotto and Ballard Pizza Company. He also produces a line of artisanal pastas sold under the label Lagana Foods.
Recently he joined a professional group of entrepreneurs. At their regular meetings, he has noticed a common thread: “They all hate the fact they like winning awards.”
One that keeps eluding Stowell is the James Beard Award. This year he was nominated for the fifth time but hasn’t snagged the medal yet. “I’m always the bridesmaid.” But that’s okay, he says. Watching his son Adrian, about to take his first wobbly steps, “is better than any award.”