Lincoln’s Jenn Louis Nominated for CNN/Food & Wine’s “The People’s Best New Chef”

UPDATED: You can add Gregory Gourdet from Departure Restaurant, Jake Martin of Fenouil, Chris DiMinno of Clyde Common and Ben Bettinger from Beaker and Flask to this list.

Jenn Louis, co-owner and executive chef at Lincoln restaurant, has been chosen as a candidate for a new award created by CNN Eatocracy and Food & Wine magazine. “The People’s Best New Chef” is an expansion of the publication’s highly esteemed Best New Chef award. Jenn is one of ten nominees in the Northwest region, all noted chefs who have run their restaurants for five years or fewer. Ten chefs in ten U.S. regions are considered for the award.

You can vote here until March 1st. The chef with the most votes will be named The 2011 People’s Best New Chef on March 2nd and featured in the July 2011 issue of Food & Wine alongside the winners of this year’s Best New Chef awards.

According to the editorial staff, Jenn has been chosen “Because her minimalist approach to sustainable cooking produces food that’s honest, straightforward and delicious.”

Your thoughts are welcome

    • Food Dude says

      Drop the attitude. I didn’t get any PR or tips on Bettinger, Gourdet or Martin. Their restaurants didn’t put out any press releases that I have seen. I’ll update the post.

  1. FoodPortland says

    Lincoln? Really? Someone has got to have a phenomenal PR agent. Jenn Lewis/Lincoln is far from the best chef/restaurant in Portland. There are handfuls of chefs in Portland that deserve this nomination instead of her.

  2. JandJ says

    What attitude? Gimme a break. It seemed an obvious omission given the content of the article. Glad we’re not getting defensive here (and yes, there is a little attitude in this response).

  3. says

    Hey J&J,
    No attitude or defensiveness here. When you have 2000 emails to clear out in one day, it is hard to cover everything. I don’t think it is an obvious omission, perhaps posting something in a hurry. FD has done A LOT for this town regarding food and restaurant news for almost nothing in return, please be considerate.

  4. Food Dude says

    Actually, it’s just a matter of timing. I got the Jenn Louis announcement around midnight when I was doing press releases. The others came in this morning. Heck, the Jake Martin one came in at 2pm this afternoon. A few PR agencies dropped the ball on this one.

    If you ask me, most of the chefs are pretty small players in the local food scene. When I updated the post, I had to look up two of them.

  5. JandJ says

    OK… FD’s response initially hit me as perhaps a bit strong for what was intended to simply point out an omission. No ‘tude intended and I absolutely appreciate what FD does here.

  6. Irene says

    Jenn does not have a PR agent at all (except perhaps her husband and business partner, David). I received a personal e-mail from her this morning regarding the F&W voting, and a personal reply again when I responded (which read “you are rad”). Granted, she probably puts a little more effort into self promotion than many Portland restaurants, but it’s hard to fault her in such a competitive industry, and if you ever meet her you will find that she has a fraction of the ego and attitude that many successful, attention-getting chefs do.

  7. hsawtelle says


    Lincoln is a client of Heather Jones Consulting (PR). Not that there’s anything wrong with that. As you said, competitive industry, etc.

  8. Irene says

    Oh well, I stand corrected. At least on the first part. Of course I stand by what I said about Jenn as a person, and I also think she’s a great cook!

  9. says

    Contests are so hard, and social media contests are even harder! We represent Chris DiMinno of Clyde Common (who actually IS the best new chef, by the way) and are psyched and totally supportive of his nomination but chose NOT to send out a press release. We felt that letting the support campaign develop in a truly viral fashion, using our own and the restaurant’s social media networks rather than a formal press release, just felt better and more in line with the vibe of Clyde Common.
    But we debated! And we commend Jenn Louis, Heather and the others for going the PR route. There are always choices to be made in promotion and they’re increasingly complex, as media divides and subdivides…

  10. nthink says

    I’m not sure, but on the Chris Diminno tip, I think there is PR being spun at this point. As far as the rest of it goes, let’s just take it for what it is worth. Everyone wants for their venture to do well and they will take measures to make it happen. Can’t fault them for that. Let’s be real, though. Talk to people in the industry and identify people that are nothing more than smoke and mirrors. Hard workers, maybe. Talented and inspirational chefs, maybe not so much.

  11. pearl district says

    This thread is painful to read. The responses, the attacks, and the explanation from the publicists. Maybe it would matter if there weren’t so little at stake. These contests are nothing more than a contest to see who can get more of their friends to vote for them, and whoever is the best self-promoter will win. It misses the entire point.

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