By Allison Long Lowery
June 17, 2013

We’re pleased to announce the finalists for Best Neighborhood Chef category to our third-annual Trailblazing Chef Awards.  The 2013 Awards, chosen by Cooking Light editors, will again recognize chefs who are setting the pace for important trends in American restaurants in such categories as authenticity, innovation, and more.

This year’s Neighborhood Chef category gives YOU a voice in the awards process, allowing you to vote for one of 10 regional finalists as favorite local Chef. Cooking Light editors selected finalists from around the country that are truly IN and OF their neighborhoods, community hubs that celebrate their locales through outreach and great food. Now we’re opening it up for fans to select a winner. The winning Chef will be featured in the November 2013 issue of Cooking Light and on

You can vote once daily starting today through July 1 to name this year’s Trailblazing Neighborhood Chef of the Year at

And the finalist are…

Bill Smith, Crook’s Corner, Chapel Hill, NC

Joel Mahr, Lot 2, Omaha, NE

Ned Elliott and Jodi Elliott, Foreign & Domestic, Austin, TX

Jason Hammel, Lula Cafe, Logan Square, Chicago

Sohui Kim, The Good Fork, Brooklyn, NY

John Gorham, Tasty n Sons, Portland, OR

Jason Fox, Commonwealth, San Francisco, CA

David Bracha, The River Seafood & Oyster Bar, Miami, FL

Melissa Martin, Cafe Hope, Marrero, New Orleans

Matt and Kate Jennings, Farmstead, Inc., Providence, RI

Meet the 2012 and 2011 classes of Cooking Light’s Trailblazing Chefs for more information about the program.