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Getting to Know New Top Chef Contender Eliza Gavin

Last week, Bravo announced the cast of the new Top Chef Season 10, and Colorado found three of its chefs on that list: Eliza Gavin of 221 South Oak Bistro in Telluride, Jorel Pierce of Euclid Hall, and Tyler Wiard of Elway's in Denver. Eater wanted to learn more about them, starting with Eliza Gavin.

Eliza Gavin is the chef and owner of the 221 South Oak Bistro, an intimate restaurant serving modern-bistro food, alongside an extensive wine list in Telluride.

A Virginia native, Gavin began cooking early in life and ran her first kitchen while attending college in Tennessee. Gavin pursued a formal culinary education and attended the Culinary Institute of America at Greystone in Napa and continued her culinary training by attending Le Cordon Bleu in Paris.

Gavin's cooking repertoire is extensive. She learned creole cuisine in New Orleans at the staple restaurant Galatoire's, Asian-Indian-Hawaian fusion flavors at Brix (James Beard nominee for the best new restaurant in 1997), and classic French cuisine while working under some of France's best chefs. Eliza Gavin also draws inspiration for her cooking from extensive travels throughout Europe, the Caribbean, Australia and Southern United States.

In 1999, chef Gavin moved to Telluride and began working at 221 South Oak Bistro. She bought the restaurant a year later and never left. She has published two cookbooks: Foreplay, A Book of Appeteasers in 2005 and Recipes from 221 South Oak Bistro published in 2010.

Gavin is no stranger to competitions - in August 2010, she won the Telluride Top Chef Competition, dominating three of the mountain town's best chefs in 30 minute cook offs.
· Three Colorado Chefs Will Compete on Top Chef [~EDEN~]

221 South Oak Street Telluride, CO 81435