Milwaukee's best chef, 2011: Adam Siegel
Your votes are in, Milwaukee, and you have selected the winners of OnMilwaukee's Best Dining 2011. We're announcing the results of this readers' poll, including our editors' pick, in a series of articles that run all October long during Dining Month on OnMilwaukee.com.
For the fifth straight year, October is Dining Month on OnMilwaukee.com, presented by Concordia University. All month, we're stuffed with restaurant reviews, delectable features, chef profiles and unique articles on everything food, as well as the winners of our "Best of Dining 2011."
For two years straight, Sandy D'Amato, long one of Milwaukee's best known and most respected chefs, has edged Bartolotta's Adam Siegel for top chef in our annual poll.
But this year, Siegel has leapfrogged to the top by a slim margin. Siegel earned 13.2 percent of your votes, while D'Amato – the man behind Sanford (and Coquette Cafe, which he sold last year) – garnered 12.6 percent.
Comet's Adam Lucks and D'Amato protege Justin Aprahamian were nearly tied at 9.7 and 9.2 percent of the vote.
Siegel, who has helmed kitchens at Lake Park Bistro, Northpoint Custard and Bacchus and has become a key player in the Bartolotta Restaurants team, received a James Beard Award in 2008.
We find it hard to argue and have selected Siegel as our editors' choice, too.
OnMilwaukee.com editors' choice: Adam Siegel (Bacchus)
2. Sandy D'Amato (Sanford)
3. Adam Lucks (Comet)
4. Justin Aprahamian (Sanford)
5. Jason Gorman (The Iron Horse Hotel)
6. Peggy Magister (Crazy Water)
7. Peter Sandroni (La Merenda)
8. Dan Van Rite (Hinterland)
9. Rich Alvarado (Milwaukee Steak House)
10. Michael Feker (Il Mito Enoteca)
11. Juan Urbieta (Ristorante Bartolotta)
12. Mark Weber (Mason Street Grill)
13. Jan Kelly (Meritage)
14. Nick Burki (Coquette Cafe)
15. Robert Ash (The Pfister)
I know most people vote in this category out of sheer ignorance of anything happening in the city but honestly, what has Adam Siegel done in the last 3-4 years, even Sandy for that matter? Justin Aprahamian, Peggy Magister and Dan van Rite have done big things in regards to food yet people can't seem to get past the PAST accomplishments of both Adam and Sandy. While both fantastically talented chefs they have done next to nothing worth mentioning in quite a few years.
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