by Riley Manlapaz
Photography by Joe Budd
One of our most exciting and rewarding readers' contests this year determined San Francisco's next culinary star. After thousands of votes were cast in two rounds of voting, Kory Stewart—the young chef of Americano Restaurant & Bar at Hotel Vitale—was chosen as the brightest new talent* on our city's much-ballyhooed food scene.
The contest also rewarded a lucky voter who cast his lot with chef Kory, who prepared a sumptuous midsummer feast designed pair with the contest's sponsor, Trumer Pils beer. David Westen won the special night, and he and his wife Aynur invited their guests Sona Aggarwal, Semiha Durak, Orcun Malkoclar, and Jennifer Sherman to join in the celebratory meal.
Chef Kory Stewart's special menu included impeccably fresh produce sourced from his own backyard garden, as well as the acclaimed Baia Nicchia Farms in Sunol, Calif. Dishes included heirloom tomatoes with smoked eggplant, and a peach-and-blackberry crisp served straight from the baking pan. Two courses that went especially well with the Trumer Pils included the seared foie gras and the grilled Spanish mackerel.
A graduate of the California Culinary Academy, Chef Kory's training also included stints at some of San Francisco's most acclaimed restaurants, including Postrio, Town Hall, Michael Mina, and Scott Howard. The main course was a Hearst Ranch rib eye dish made even more dramatic by a marrow sformato served in-bone on the plate.
Americano Restaurant & Bar at Hotel Vitale, 8 Mission Street, San Francisco
Special thanks to Joie de Vivre Hospitality, Jill Plemons, Brad Sorensen, Travis Valentine, Hava Edieva, and the rest of the staff at Americano at Hotel Vitale.
*Nominees were limited to those who had held the position of executive chef for no more than three years.