Lizotte is the only Connecticut nominee in the category, which also honors chefs from Providence, Portsmouth, Cambridge, Portland and southern Rhode Island
"Why he's amazing: Because he's cooking exquisitely refined, European-influenced food on the 20th floor of an insurance company building in downtown Hartford," Food & Wine editors write, noting that Lizotte's "quintessential dish" is Jonah crab en croûte with crispy baguette, charred tomato mustard and tarragon salad.
"I'm honored that Food & Wine included me in this roster of talented chefs nationwide and thrilled at the opportunity to possibly bring this award to ON20, to Hartford, and to Connecticut," Lizotte said in a press release.
Before becoming ON20's executive chef in 2012, Lizotte honed his skills at top restaurants in New York (including Le Bernardin) and France, including La Tupina in Bordeaux. In 2012, he earned a silver medal in the prestigious Bocuse d'Or USA competition.
The People’s Best New Chef, an extension of the Food & Wine's Best New Chefs award, honors talented up- and-coming innovators who have run their own kitchens for less than five years, according to the news release. The chef with the most votes in each region will be named a finalist; the finalist with the most votes overall will be named The People's Best New Chef. The People's Best New Chef finalists and winner will be revealed on April 2 online at foodandwine.com; the winner will also be featured in the July 2014 issue of Food & Wine, the same issue that profiles the Best New Chefs.