Food and Wine celebrated the 25th anniversary of their "Best New Chef" awards with a romantically star-studded event at the New York City Wine and Food Festival on Friday. On the top of the Mandarin Oriental overlooking Columbus Circle, 30 past "Best New Chef" winners from the eighties through today presented some incredible dishes, reflective of their personal styles and highlighting some delicious ingredients. It was an expensive ticket, but one of the most civilized and enjoyable events of the weekend.
New York definitely brought some muscle with seasoned chefs Daniel Boulud, Scott Conant, and Tom Colicchio representing alongside newer winners Alex Stupak, Mario Carbone, Rich Torrisi, and Dan Kluger. Hugh Acheson, Nate Appleman, and Linton Hopkins were amongst the out-of-towners in to remind our local crowd of their own serious skills.
As we made our rounds to every table, it was easy to see how each chef had won their accolades, and every single thing we ate was thoughtful, smartly executed and beautifully presented. Those that stood out did so because they pushed just slightly on our expectations—the even heat and smart use of fruit in Stupak's ceviche, Kluger's non-reliance of overbearing citrus on his crudo—or because their simplicity and flawless execution reminded us why some dishes are the classics we will always return to, like Boulud's refined mezzaluna or the clean and product-forward vegetables in Benno's veal terrine.
Because of overlapping events, we didn't get to stay for dessert, which was served later in the evening on a separate floor. So if any eaters wanna fill us in, we'd love to hear what we were sorry to miss.
Click through the slideshow above for 14 plates we can't stop thinking about.