It's time. In less than an hour, Eater's second-annual Hottest Chef in Portland competition will heat things up by officially kicking off today. Here's how it works: Over the past two weeks, you've sent in your nominations, and the top 40 vote-getters will compete in eight preliminary rounds of five chefs each. The top eight will then fight it out in semifinal and final rounds to be crowned Portland's hottest chef.
How it works: A special panel of experts have ranked the submitted chefs (to qualify, chefs had to have made their names in restaurant kitchens — apologies to all you attractive bakery owners, confectioners, and culinary instructors. You know who you are). In standard sporting fashion, the top seeds will face off against the bottom until we have a final list of contenders. In this competition, number one will compete against 37-40, two against 33-36, and so on until we have our final eight. Then we go on to Round 2.
The man or woman crowned the Hottest Chef in Portland will compete on Eater National against the winners from our sister sites across the country. As is always the case, we'll be keeping a close watch on any suspicious behavior, and disqualifications are always an option. So let's make it a clean fight. Look out for the first round later today.