American chef Mark Ladner, executive chef of  the Michelin-rated Del Posto Restaurant, isn't just one of New York City's finest chefs, he ranks alongside of the country's other culinary titans.

His flagship restaurant Del Posto, offers fine Italian cuisine served with sterling-silver flatware, handblown crystal, Egyptian cotton linens and vintage Italian porcelain.

On Monday, Ladner will find out if he will win one of the foundation's most prestigious honors, as Best Chef NYC.  His competition is stiff.  Other nominees are Michael Anthony from Gramercy Tavern, April Bloomfield from The Spotted Pig, Wylie Dufresne from wd-50 and Michael White from Marea.

A protégé of Mario Batali, Ladner co-authored Molto Gusto with Batali.  He also is partner of Lupa Osteria Romana and Otto Enoteca Pizzeria, both in New York.

Ladner sat down with FoxNews.com to dish about what it's like to be up for a James Beard award, his secrets to pizza making (pst: it has something to do with the gluten content in the crust) and if there are any plans in his future to join the TV cooking show host ranks.