New York’s culinary elite will anoint 25 emerging chefs, mixologists and sommeliers tomorrow night at StarChefs.com’s 2013 Rising Stars gala and raise some money for cooks-in-waiting.
The honorees will serve signature dishes and cocktails at Manhattan’s Liberty Theater. Among the dishes competing for best of the night will be slow-roasted carrots accented with wheat berries and duck skin by the NoMad restaurant and hotel’s chef de cuisine Abram Bissell, who works under Executive Chef Daniel Humm.
Candidates are nominated by the advisory board of New York-based StarChefs, a food-industry web magazine started in 1995, as well as local media people and previous winners.
“All our winners serve fantastic dishes,” said Will Blunt, StarChefs’s managing editor. “It’s also a speculation on the future of New York food, presenting those who will have a big impact on the industry.”
Elizabeth Falkner, the chef of Brooklyn’s Krescendo and a contender in last year’s “The Next Iron Chef: Redemption,” will be the evening’s emcee.
Part of the event’s proceeds will be given to the Careers through Culinary Arts Program, a nonprofit that trains at-risk high-school students in the culinary arts. Some of the students will get to watch and assist chefs such as Matt Lightner of Atera, who earned two Michelin stars this year for his modernist cuisine less than a year after the restaurant’s opening.
Another honoree is Aurelien Dufour, the 26-year-old head of charcuterie programs for Daniel Boulud’s Dinex Group restaurants based in New York, which include his flagship, Daniel, and DBGB Kitchen & Bar on the Bowery.
“He’s a true prodigy,” Blunt said of Dufour. “It’s amazing what he produces each week.”
At the tasting, Lightner will serve sake-cured diver scallops while Michael Toscano of Perla will offer small plates of garganelli, tripe and prosciutto. Pig & Khao’s Leah Cohen will present cod wrapped in a banana leaf.
Brooklyn’s exploding culinary scene will be represented by Blanca pastry chef Katy Peetz with her parsley cake; the curried Australian lamb of Gwynnett St.’s Justin Hilbert; and Justin Bazdarich of Speedy Romeo with a peekytoe crab crostini dish. Joseph Ogrodnek and Walker Stern of Battersby will cook an Australian short-rib pastrami.
“The young talent in Brooklyn is incredible,” said Antoinette Bruno, StarChefs’s editor-in-chief, in a statement. “The borough is making it affordable for young chefs to express themselves for the first time in New York and gain the independence chefs in other markets have enjoyed for years.”
The mixologists will include Jeff Bell of PDT, a protege of 2012 James Beard Award winner Jim Meehan, who will pour a potent concoction of Cabeza Tequila, beer, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, Bittermens hellfire habanero shrub and a wheel of grapefruit dipped in Sal de Gusano.
Blunt said attendees should be impressed with cocktail queen Jillian Vose’s breakfast cereal-infused rum and cognac libation named “Morning Buzz.”
“Jillian’s cocktail is not to be missed,” Blunt said. “She just played around with soaking honey-nut Cheerios in cream and strained it into the mix. It certainly helped her clinch the award.”
The 2013 StarChefs.com Rising Stars gala and culinary tasting is tomorrow at the Liberty Theater, 234 W. 41st St. in Manhattan from 8 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Tickets are $125 ($175 for the 6:45 p.m. VIP reception and event). Information: http://www.starchefs.com/cook/events/rising-stars/2013/new-york.
Muse highlights include Katya Kazakina on art, Ryan Sutton on dining.