Slideshow: The New York Wine and Food Festival's 'Best New Chefs 25th Anniversary Party'

Leek and Sunchoke Mezzaluna
Leek and Sunchoke Mezzaluna
Daniel Boulud of Daniel ('88) and Gavin Kaysen of Café Boulud ('07).

There's a reason why Boulud's restaurants are so beloved in New York, and this dish representing him and his Café Boulud Executive Chef Gavin Kaysen was exemplary of their classic French cuisine executed flawlessly (something we appreciate at such walk-around tasting events). Their plate had a comforting richness from porcini cream that didn't overwhelm, with a satisfying bite of roasted sunchokes and funky salt from Pecorino Romano.

Smoked Sturgeon Panna Cotta with Wild American Caviar, Beets, and Rye Crouton
Smoked Sturgeon Panna Cotta with Wild American Caviar, Beets, and Rye Crouton
Terrance Brennan, Picholine ('95).

Brennan didn't settle for a solely creamy panna cotta, but used sweet and slightly briny caviar to add a gentle touch of salt, pushed over by the smoke and crunch of a rye crouton, and complemented by a bit of freshness from sweet beets and the little green thing, which we honestly couldn't identify but that contributed a melon or cucumber-y bit of almost-sour refreshment.

Scallop Ceviche with Passion Fruit, Mango, and Mustard Seeds
Scallop Ceviche with Passion Fruit, Mango, and Mustard Seeds
Alex Stupak, Empellon Cocina ('13).

Stupak had our vote for the most innovative dish of the evening, his ceviche giving off an even undercurrent of heat from habaneros that didn't overwhelm the dish. A papaya sauce and mango foam brought sweetness to balance out the scallop's citrus bath, overall creating a balanced ceviche that was both restrained and loaded with flavor.

Shrimp with Crab Fondue
Shrimp with Crab Fondue
Tom Colicchio, Colicchio and Sons ('91).

Colicchio continues to wow us with how much flavor he concentrates in his food, and this "fondue" was no exception. Incredibly smooth with a nice pop of herby chive, the crab melted in our mouths and was enveloped in a creamy richness that somehow had a rather clean finish.

Chicken Liver with Cippoline, Pine Nuts, and Raisins
Chicken Liver with Cippoline, Pine Nuts, and Raisins
Missy Robbins, formerly of A Voce ('10).

We loved this dish. Robbins's cippoline onions were cooked to the point that they just gave in texturally, adding both sweetness and a bite to the richness of the chicken liver, which was smooth and not too fragrant. The combo with the pine nuts and raisins in one mouthful had satisfying sweet/rich/meaty/green/sharp accents, with one not overpowering the other.

Veal Terrine with Fall Vegetables and Bagna Cauda Dressing
Veal Terrine with Fall Vegetables and Bagna Cauda Dressing
Jonathan Benno, Lincoln ('06).

Jonathan Benno's talent is extremely underrated in our internet food focus. His root vegetables were so clean and flavorful that he had to do very little with them for his terrine, with was simple and earthy, the veal melting quickly with its fatty richness and the whole thing finishing with a peppery bite. It was a dish exemplary of how one can finesse superior ingredients with pristine technique, letting the products' inherent flavors do the bulk of the work.

Shaved Raw Fluke with Crushed Olives, Lemon, and Chiles
Shaved Raw Fluke with Crushed Olives, Lemon, and Chiles
Dan Kluger, ABC Kitchen ('12).

Kluger's fluke was just slightly thick enough to be a bit more substantial than what we'd expected, covered in crushed olives with a brininess that somehow didn't overpower the freshness of the fish. The lemon and chili were definitely present, but we really appreciated how the citrus didn't take full focus, so that all flavors and textures were rolled in succession.

Spicy Seafood Salad
Spicy Seafood Salad
Rich Torrisi and Mario Corbone (Torrisi Italian Specialties and Carbone, '12).

Thankfully my Poppa doesn't frequent food blogs, because I feel no shame stating that this seafood salad beat the pants off of his. Tiny bites of white potato and calamari were touched with tomato and dried herbs, altogether salty, sweet, spicy, and smoky. On its own everything was fresh and comforting, but taking a bite with the endive made it even that much more Italiano.

Braised Veal Osso Bucco with Heirloom Polenta and Broccoli Rabe
Braised Veal Osso Bucco with Heirloom Polenta and Broccoli Rabe
Andrew Carmellini, Locanda Verde ('00).

Carmellini's veal was extremely tender, falling apart with a bite. The South Carolina corn used in the heirloom polenta was excellent, and altogether it was a delightfully seasonal plate we wouldn't have minded a full portion of.

Walu Sashimi with Preserved Fig, Cured Caper, and Grapefruit
Walu Sashimi with Preserved Fig, Cured Caper, and Grapefruit
Michael Psilakis ('08).

Sweet, salty, and citrus-y, Psilakis's substantial piece of fish had a little char on the end of the bite, boasting lots of flavor for one fork in a portion size we appreciated.

Steak Tartare with Bulgar, Sesame Tofu Sauce, and Chinese Chili
Steak Tartare with Bulgar, Sesame Tofu Sauce, and Chinese Chili
Anita Lo ('01).

Lo's bright tartare used a fun addition of slightly sweet bulgar which lightened the bulk and provided a slightly crunchy texture in contrast to the smooth, clean raw steak. We appreciated the hint of chili and the simplicity that showcased the clean ingredients.

Food and Wine's
Food and Wine's "Best New Chefs" from the past three decades