Kurt Ramborger, Eater's Hottest Chef in America [Photo: Paul Rutowski]
Ladies and gents, we have a winner: After tabulating all the votes in our hottest chef competition in a head-to-head tournament — and eliminating all the fraudulent votes — we can officially crown Eater's Second Annual Hottest Chef in America. The winner: chef Kurt Ramborger of ViUDA Bistro in Buda, TX (just outside of Austin).
Ramborger goes by the nickname "The Irish Chef — he is a fiery redhead, indeed — and he ran a very impressive social media campaign to win the title. He posted videos to YouTube, including this one in which he signs (he's deaf, haven't you heard?) the story of his twenty-year career in restaurants, starting as a dishwasher, moving around from Seattle to California and elsewhere. The deaf community totally rallied behind him. Ramborger is still single, but he tells Eater, "I am datin' with my kitchen now, sorry mi'ladies...."
Reached for comment about his win, Ramborger emailed Eater: "Whooo... Really felt a longest hours I have been await fer the result!!! Just glad 'tis all over with and give Austin a Proud with best Chefs in the country amongst Chef Paul Qui's Top Chef winner, 3 F&W Best new Chef nominated, and best Food Truck in America! Austin are in the Food national Map now! Don't mess with TEXAS!!!""
And Paul Rutowski, a partner of ViUDA Bistro, emailed: "Rene Alcala and I (Paul Rutowski) as ViUDA Bistro Partners, Rene and I both are elated about Kurt's success with the Eater.com contest! We may be a small bistro in Buda but this propels us onto the national scene! The good news is that we will have enough room for everyone provided that they make reservations!"