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Michael D. Chase, President, The Copper Cellar Corporation, Knoxville, TN

According to savants, Michael Chase is the hottest young independent restaurateur in one of the three fastest projected growth states in the United States. With his heart and spirit immersed in foodservice ever since he was a kid, with his great understanding of true quality in food, with his indomitable will to succeed, Chase has arguably created the best beef restaurant (Copper Cellar); the best seafood restaurant (Chesapeake's); the best Italian restaurant (Cappuccino's); and the best barbecue restaurant (Calhoun's) in his region of the United States. What contributes to all of this greatness are Chase's exemplary business skills and organization reflected in everything from his fanatical attention to quality purchasing to state of the art computer applications to an extremely loyal staff.