Smoke's Tim Byres Knows What Voters Really Want

Trounced in his first two campaigns for a seat in the Virginia House of Burgesses, George Washington adopted a winning strategy in 1758: He bought booze for voters.

Treating is no longer tolerated in political elections, but there's nothing stopping contenders for Food & Wine's People's Best New Chef crown from mimicking Washington's tactics. On Monday, nominee Tim Byres of Smoke -- who's facing nine fellow chefs in the Southwest division of the online poll -- is celebrating his run with free food and free drink for everyone.

According to a Facebook post from Smoke, Byres will be cooking on his new patio grill -- a smart move, since Byres' equipment helped endear him to the magazine's judging panel. In a blurb on why Byres "is amazing," the nominators wrote: "He goes beyond just barbecue, with an in-kitchen wood grill and smoke pit for smoking or curing almost every dish."

The evening's libations will be Texan beer. And if Washington's experience is any guide, the restaurant should be ready with a generous supply if it's serious about persuading potential voters to go online and "show the rest of the country that Dallas is a great food town that stands firmly behind its great chefs!" It took 28 gallons of rum, 50 gallons of rum punch, 34 gallons of wine and 46 gallons of beer for Washington to win the votes of 391 land-owning men.

The Smoke party starts at 7 p.m.

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Hanna Raskin
Contact: Hanna Raskin