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Eater's Hottest Chef in Chicago Contest Begins ... Today

So who is the hottest chef in Chicago? That's for you, our loyal Eater readers, to decide in the Eater Hottest Chef Competition.

Here's how we're going to do it: chefs will compete in eight preliminary rounds with Eater Chicago readers doing the voting. In order to be eligible, chefs and pastry chefs have to currently be working in restaurant, working on a restaurant or temporarily between gigs.

The winners from each round will then compete in the finals to determine the dreamiest, sexiest, hottest chef in Chicago, who will then go on to compete on Eater National against the winners from our sister sites in Boston, New York, Philly, D.C., Miami, Austin, New Orleans, Atlanta, Houston, Dallas, Denver, Las Vegas, Seattle, Portland, San Francisco and Los Angeles.

The first round will kick off at noon today so be ready to vote and see if reigning Chicago chef Merlin Verrier can hang on to the top spot. Sidenote: we'll be keeping a close watch on any suspicious behavior, so please no ballot-stuffing, because disqualifications are always an option. Let's make it a clean fight.