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Vote for Austin’s Chef of the Year

Which local chef really stood out in 2015?

Nadia Chaudhury is the editor of Eater Austin covering food and pop culture, as well as a photographer, writer, and frequent panel moderator and podcast guest.

On Monday, November 16, Eater will present the 2015 Eater Awards, our sixth annual celebration of all that's made the restaurant world run—and run wild—in the past 12 months. Winners will be selected on both the local and national levels in five major categories, and the voting begins right now. The poll’s now closed for restaurant of the year. Next up? Chef of the Year. Cast your vote for the chef that really made a difference this year below.

Here are this year’s nominees. Tatsu Aikawa and Takuya Matsumoto (Ramen Tatsu-Ya) kept it fresh by opening a second location, worked on inventive new dishes with collaborations and Pop Ramen dinners, while also making that cult-inspiring ramen. Michael Fojtasek and Grae Nonas (Olamaie) are passionate about their take on modern Southern cuisine enhanced by truly local sourcing. Aaron Franklin (Franklin Barbecue) is the country’s poster boy for line-worthy barbecue, but still remains true to his Austin roots. Rene Ortiz (Launderette) has a new second home where his playful approaches can really shine. Paul Qui (Qui, East Side King) is on an empire-building mission, with food trucks, brick and mortars, and his flagship’s transformation into celebration of experimental flavors.

Here's how the voting works: Eater editors have named nominees in Austin for each of five major categories. Eater readers will vote, narrowing the nominees to three finalists. From those three finalists, the Eater editorial team will select a winner. Ready to play your part? This poll will be open for 24 hours; voting irregularities will be strictly policed.