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From left, Jaume Tapies, president of Relais & Châteaux, recognized Tonis Sligur of The Three Sisters Hotel in Estonia, Martijn Kajuiter of Cliff House Hotel in Ireland and Nathan Rich of Lake Placid Lodge in New York as the three chefs who received the 2013 Relais & Chateaux Rising Star Award in Turin, Italy, on Nov. 4. (Courtesy)

NH native recognized in Italy for culinary excellence

A chef from Farmington was the only American to receive the 2013 Relais & Châteaux Rising Star Award last month.

Nathan Rich, 34, who serves as the executive chef at Lake Placid Lodge's Artisans Restaurant in Lake Placid, N.Y., was one of the dozen people recognized for "their exceptional culinary excellence and influence" by the international luxury hotel association during their annual awards ceremony Nov. 4, according to a release.

"With this award, Relais & Châteaux acknowledges the chefs' superiority within the industry," according to the release.

Staff from Relais & Châteaux, which was established in France more than 50 years ago, visit restaurants around the world during their search for chefs who exemplify excellence.

Rich was one of only three chefs in the entire world to win the Rising Chef Trophy this year, according to Jessica Rothschild, junior publicist at J Public Relations in New York.

Tunis Siigur, of The Three Sisters in Estonia, and Martijn Kajuiter, of The Cliff House Hotel in Ireland, were also named Rising Stars.

Rothschild said Rich is completely thrilled at such "an unbelievable and unexpected honor."

Rich, who began cooking in New Hampshire restaurants since the age of 15, was formally trained at The Balsams Grand Resort Hotel in Dixville Notch, according to Rothschild.

"He does an exceptional job at incorporating local products into his dishes," Rothschild said.

Before coming to The Lodge, which is a member of Relais & Châteaux, Rich previously worked as Chef de Cuisine at the Asana restaurant at the Mandarin Oriental in Boston, according to www.lakeplacidlodge.com.

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