Chefs Know Best
Chefs know best. Better than food writers, or any type of Internet survey, chefs know who are the “best chefs” in their hardworking, demanding, and creative profession. With this in mind, we set out to call chefs across the United States, and conduct thousands of one-on-one confidential interviews to find out who chefs considered to be the “best” among their peers. To be considered the “best” is the highest honor any professional, including chefs, can receive and those included in this book should be very proud to have their work acknowledged by their fellow chefs. Less than 1% of all chefs and professional cooks in America made it into our book!
The magnitude of this undertaking was staggering – to personally conduct thousands of detailed chef interviews, each taking upwards of 30 minutes each, with busy chefs who had never heard of our new organization. But we achieved it. Our dedicated staff worked day and night to interview over 5,000 chefs in all US States and Territories.
Our approach required a complex computerized telephone system to handle the sheer call volume and to record calls for accuracy. Proprietary software helped us aggregate and sort through the enormous amount of data we collected throughout the course of our interviews, and aided us in determining who should be included as a “Best Chef in America.”
Predictably, the responses we got from chefs ranged from skepticism to whole-hearted enthusiasm for what we were attempting to do. Fortunately, most chefs were excited to speak with us, embracing ours as a forum where they could give a true appraisal of their peers, confidentially and with no strings attached. It became even clearer as we got further along in our interviews that the chef world has been ready for us for a long time.
My sincere thanks go out to each and every chef, all 5,114 of them, who took valuable time out of their busy day to be interviewed by our callers. We are gratified not only by the sheer number of chefs who agreed to be interviewed, but also by their enthusiasm for our undertaking. Many of the chefs inside this year’s volume work incredibly hard and in relative obscurity practicing and perfecting their craft. It is with great pleasure we publically and formally recognize all of these accomplished chefs who were selected by their peers to be included in this inaugural edition of Best Chefs America.
Bill Blalock, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Best Chefs America, LLC