The new executive chef at 1862 David Walley's Restaurant and Saloon, Richard LaCounte, has been honored as one of the country's top culinary talents in the inaugural edition of Best Chefs America.
Less than 1 percent off all chefs and professional cooks in America made the publications list, according to a press release issued by the Genoa resort.
This is the first-ever peer review guide of U.S. chefs, who were chosen after extensive interviews between their fellow chefs and Best Chefs America analysts.
LaCounte will be showcased in the 386-page coffee table book that will be released on Friday.
"This is a great honor. To be recognized by my peers and to be included in Best Chefs America is really a dream come true," said LaCounte. "This is a tough profession. There can be a lot of pressure and changing situations. Handling these situations professionally with my peers has always been a goal of mine. To be recognized for this and my expertise and creativity as a chef gives me great satisfaction."
"Chefs themselves truly understand what it takes to be successful in this competitive industry, and Best Chefs America offers them a forum to express their views," said Elizabeth Fishburne, Best Chefs America lead analyst. "Based on the overwhelmingly positive response from more than 5,000 participating chefs, it is clear that the chef world was ready for us."
A native of Reno, LaCounte trained at the Culinary Institute of America in New York City. He recently joined 1862 David Walley's Restaurant and Saloon from the Grand Sierra Resort and the Charlie Palmer Group.
"Having worked in some of Las Vegas' most exclusive restaurants, LaCounte's expertise is evident in the presentation and taste of his specialties at 1862," the company said. "His appreciation for seasonal ingredients and the finest game, fish and poultry are transformed into innovative menus."
Best Chefs America analysts conducted more than 5,000 confidential telephone interviews with chefs who were nominated by other chefs, culinary professionals and food enthusiasts across the country. The interviews consisted of a series of proprietary questions, and software was used to aggregate the data. Chefs earning the highest scores among their peers in their region were included in the guide. The results were compiled in the aforementioned coffee table book, complete with chef listings broken down both geographically and alphabetically. Best Chefs America also features high-quality photography and highlights emerging culinary trends and ingredients uncovered during the interviews.
The book costs $75 and can be purchased online at www.bestchefsamerica.com.
1862 serves dinner nightly from 5-9 p.m. Reservations are recommended.
For more information, call 782-6602 or visit www.1862davidwalleysrestaurantandsaloon.com.