Carl Thorne-Thomsen, the chef and co-owner of the Story restaurant in Prairie Village, has been a professional chef for more than a few years. But if Food & Wine magazine says he's the People's Best New Chef 2014, who the hell is he to complain?
Thorne-Thomsen, one of the most shy and reticent local chefs, is hardly complaining. This is a second win for him. Last year, Thorne-Thomsen received enough online votes to snag the Best New Chef, Midwest region. This year he was also nominated in the Midwest region (along with Kansas City's Patrick Ryan of Port Fonda and Ryan Brazeal of Novel) and scored enough votes to win the whole shebang. He was the winner-take-all vote-getter for the competition. The prize includes a shout-out in the June issue of Food & Wine magazine.
"I don't know if they do an actual feature," Thorne-Thomsen says. "But they do something."
Thorne-Thomsen credits his wife (and Story co-owner), Susan, for rallying the Story-loving troops behind him. "Susan has built an incredible e-mail base of our customers over the last few years," Thorne-Thomsen says. "And they were so supportive."
The self-taught chef also credits his staff for propelling his success: "My name may be on the award," Thorne-Thomsen says, "but I have to give a lot of recognition to my great staff - both front and back of the house - that help me achieve my vision and create the kind of food that I want to serve. Story would not be what it is without them."