4/12/2013 05:30:00 PM

Recap: StarChef's Rising Stars Gala

Photo: Courtesy of StarChefs.com

While typically New York's Rising Stars Gala happens in conjunction with StarChef's fall International Chefs Congress, this year the digital magazine celebrated last night instead. After a private event on Thursday where the honorees were joined by their mentors at Le Cirque (Daniel Boulud, Wylie Dufresne, Michael Anthony and Jonathan Waxman were among them), yesterday saw them put to work at an awards ceremony and walk-around tasting at Times Square's Liberty Theater. Initially the venue proved difficult to find (thankfully the chefs coats we spotted inside Famous Dave's tipped us off), but we're happy to report the evening was worth the trouble.

Editors Antoinette Bruno and Will Blunt kicked things off with an awards ceremony highlighting the accomplishments of the 26 industry pros (a few of which you might recognize), but the main draw for civilians seemed to be the tasting afterward. Events of this magnitude can occasionally suffer from mediocre food given the sheer quantity of portions that need to prepped, but the participating chefs and bartenders showed why they deserve the recognition.

Each Rising Star recipient contributed a dish - think pork belly from Joe Carroll (Fette Sau), garganelli and tripe ragu from Michael Toscano (Perla) and a tequila and beer cocktail from Jeff Bell (PDT). And though everyone there was already a winner (particularly the guests), to up the ante, attendees were asked to vote for their favorite item. When the results were tallied, DB Bistro Moderne's Ashley Brauze took home the prize with her dessert of strawberry chiffon, lime chiffon, strawberry mousse, strawberry meringue, rhubarb, confit orange, and basil.

Congrats to all the honorees, and here's hoping the hangovers weren't too rough this morning. Sadly we don't have photos to prove it, but let's just say we heard there was dancing on the tabletops involved during the after party at The Park. Anyone care to fess up?
Photo: Courtesy of StarChefs.com

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