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the sweet scoop
From rising food rockstars to acclaimed celebrity chefs, the country’s culinary elite gathered together last night to celebrate the Food & Wine 2012 Best New Chefs. Held at the Liberty Theater in the heart of Times Square, the 24th annual soiree ushered in the latest roster of talented visionaries, as announced by Food & Wine Editor-in-Chief Dana Cowin and Publisher Christina Grdovic.
During the Broadway-themed affair, Best New Chef alumni Daniel Boulud (1988), Michael Anthony (2002), Shea Gallante (2005), Gavin Kaysen (2007), Matthew Lightner (2010), George Mendes (2011), and Top Chef All-Stars winner Richard Blais prepared tempting signature dishes, as partygoers mingled with the industry’s finest and eagerly anticipated the winners ceremony.
Every year, the editors at Food & Wine scour the nation to find the most talented chefs with a unique culinary vision. “It is such a delight to honor these incredible chefs, who have made a tremendous impact on the culinary world in a short period of time,” Cowin says.
Now, introducing the 2012 Food & Wine Best New Chefs:
Erik Anderson & Josh Habiger, The Catbird Seat, Nashville, TN
Mario Carbone & Rich Torrisi, Torrisi Italian Specialties, New York, NY
Danny Grant, RIA, Chicago, IL
Dan Kluger, ABC Kitchen, New York, NY
Corey Lee, Benu, San Francisco, CA
Jenn Louis, Lincoln Restaurant, Portland, OR
Cormac Mahoney, Madison Park Conservatory, Seattle, WA
Bryant Ng, The Spice Table, Los Angeles, CA
Karen Nicolas, Equinox, Washington, DC
Blaine Wetzel, The Willows Inn, Lummi Island, WA
After the big reveal, guests noshed on Creole-seasoned buttermilk fried chicken drumsticks from DJ Questlove—who rocked the turntables and helped take the event to all-out dance party status. In between savory bites and cutting loose on the dance floor with Dana Cowin and The Harlem James Gang, the crowd sipped Belvedere cocktails and Gallo wines, and got sweet on luscious Godiva chocolate truffles.
Thanks to the entire Food & Wine staff for a truly memorable evening. Wishing many congrats to all the 2012 Best New Chefs!
It was the perfect early autumn New York morning— the sun was blazing, there wasn’t a single cloud in the bright blue sky and a brisk chill swirled through the crisp October air—as I hungrily headed down to Pier 54 to start Day 2 of my NYCWFF adventure. Saturday kicked off with book signings and tastings at the Welcome Center. A few of the Food Network Chef-lebrities were there—Alton, Rachel, Giada, Tyler—promoting their latest cookbooks and chatting with crowds of swarming fans.
My afternoon brought an adrenaline-fueled cooking demo with my favorite Guy (Fieri, of course) at the Tishman Auditorium at The New School. I figured he’d be one of the hottest demos of the weekend, and man did he turn up the heat! With as much animated enthusiasm as he brings during every greasy bite on Triple D, Guy pumped up the crowd with a serious dose of non-stop energy and laugh-out-loud jokes, all while making duck fried rice and a heavy-handed strawberry-rhubarb vodka concoction. Everyone had a killer time—it was totally off the hook, as only Guy knows how to bring it.
As night fell on the Big Apple, I basically skipped like a schoolgirl down to the weekend event that I was most thrilled about (surprise, surprise)–SWEET. This treats-celebrating evening blowout was hosted by Sandra Lee and Duff Goldman from Ace of Cakes. The sprawling event space at la.venue was filled with tables upon tables of the most decadent desserts and confections from renowned NY restaurants and celebrated pastry chefs.