Still riding the high from his Food & Wine 'People's Best New Chef 2013' win this morning, Hitchcock chef/owner Brendan McGill says he's going to celebrate tonight by tending to dinner service and popping open a bottle of Billecart Salmon Brut Rosé he's been holding onto, hoping for a special occasion such as this one — an honor he can finally get excited about:
I got a little excited when it occurred to me that it was actually possible. I worked hard to temper that excitement.
McGill says he definitely treated this contest like a campaign:
One thing we did that might have put us over the top: I flew home to Fairbanks (Alaska) where the local evening news did a piece on me.
A sort of "vote for the hometown boy-done-good" campaign. Genius!
McGill says a rave Seattle Times review in August 2011 was "the highest point we had," and that the buzz "tapered slowly six months after that." Still, he says:
That did something for the restaurant. I'm not sure if this will be the same thing, but it's great to be recognized on a national platform; it's a good first step to more of this type of thing, a better platform to shout our message from.
The message he hopes to be able to shout once his Food & Wine article comes out in July is a focus on the local produce he uses at his restaurant and deli:
What you can do if you buy directly from local porducers and buy the best; have relationships with your vendors. These (awards) can be the repercussions. You don't have to be a glossy 300 seat downtowner to be nationally recognized for what you're doing.
And if you're in the market for a ferry ride and some nationally recognized talent, McGill says there's still seats available for tonight's dinner.
· All Hitchcock Coverage [~ESEA~]
· Hitchcock's Brendan McGill is the People's Best New Chef [~ESEA~]
· Food & Wine 'People's Best New Chef' Nominees: Seattle [~ESEA~]