Jul 29, 2014
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Help Nominate Bolete Chef for Top Award

Chef Lee Chizmar of the Salisbury Township restaurant Bolete could be a semifinalist for a James Beard Foundation award if he gets enough votes.

Help Nominate Bolete Chef for Top Award Help Nominate Bolete Chef for Top Award Help Nominate Bolete Chef for Top Award Help Nominate Bolete Chef for Top Award

Bolete restaurant in Salisbury Township has garnered attention from the likes of The Food Network and Conde Nast Traveler magazine.

Now Chef Lee Chizmar has a chance to win a prestigious James Beard Foundation award -- the culinary Oscars if you will -- and he could use your help to be chosen as a semifinalist.

Bolete's daytime manager, Melissa Flores, said many of the chefs who are considered for such awards tend to be in cities, which have a greater concentration of food critics, food writers and previous James Beard award- winning chefs who vote on the nominees.

If a chef like Chizmar is seen to have popular support, he has a better chance at being named a semifinalist, she said.

Here's how you vote:

1) Enter this web site into your browser to go directly to the voting page: http://jamesbeard.starchefs.com/awards/vote/index _2.php

2) Once you are registered, use your email address and password to log in to vote.

3) Click on the Best Chef Mid-Atlantic category and submit Lee Chizmar for the nomination.

The whole process takes less than five minutes. Voting ends Dec. 31.  

Chizmar, who owns Bolete with his wife, Erin Shea, grew up in the Allentown area and attended Salisbury High School. He graduated from the Culinary Institute of America in 2000 and went to work in a restaurant in San Francisco. 

The chef who mentored him there recruited him to help open a new restaurant in the Boston area called Great Bay, which was dubbed "The Best New Restaurant in the Country" by Esquire magazine. It was at Great Bay that he met his wife, Erin, and they decided to strike out on their own, opening up Bolete five years ago.

Bolete was included in Conde Nast Traveler magazine's 105 best new restaurants in 32 countries in its May 2008 "Hot Issue" and mentioned in the now defunct Gourmet magazine as one of the best farm-to-table restaurants. 

Chizmar's Cauliflower Soup was featured on The Food Network show "The Best Thing I Ever Ate" in which chefs spotlight a restaurant dish that they wish they had thought of creating. 

The James Beard awards are very prestigious in the culinary world, Flores said. "It's literally like the Oscars," she said. 

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