Move over, Bouley! Step aside, Jojo! There's a new generation of "emerging tastemakers," — according to Food Arts magazine and their friends at Sterling Meats, at least. Sunday night, meat purveyor and magazine jointly fêted ten young chefs who, they predict, "will be influencing what, where and how we dine out on a national level." The chefs were presented with framed, diploma-like certificates and envy-inducing Masamoto cobalt-steel knives. Here's who was honored and why — and our own take on the ones that most deserve props.
• The Spotted Pig's April Bloomfield, for giving America its first gastropub.
• Pork-happy Momofuku chef David Chang, for creating a fine restaurant in the style of a casual noodle bar.
• Eccentric Falai cook Iacopo Falai — who bowed constantly on his way to accept his certificate, and then bowed at everybody on the way back — for his brilliant cookery.
• Gypsy Gifford, whose UWS restaurantRain predated the current pan-asian craze.
• Alexandra Guarnaschelli, of sleek Butter, for her imaginative cooking and teaching at the Institute of Culinary Education.
• Alex Ureña, of Ureña, New York's young master of modern Spanish gastronomy.
• Public chef Brad Farmerie for pioneering his own "Australasian" brand of Pacific-rim cookery.
Our thoughts? Chang is a bright star, and Sanchez and Ureña define forward-thinking. But Alexandra Guarnaschelli? Butter wasn't designed for gastronomes; even the bar food is boring. And Gypsy Giffford — her restaurant has been around for ten years. We think the most influential young chefs are Zak Pelaccio of Fatty Crab, Jonathan Benno at Per Se, and Tia Pol's Alex Raij. Of course, we don't have any Masamoto knives to give away. And we're not passing any final judgements until we hear from you.