Catch a Rising Chef!

Rising Star chefs Akhtar Nawab and Craig Hopson
Rising Star chefs Akhtar Nawab and Craig Hopsonhaha

You can be forgiven for not keeping your rising-star chefs straight. The Beard Awards give one (a coveted one, as you may remember from the Jason Neroni saga); Food & Wine has its own version; and Starchefs sponsors a gala every year in which New York Rising Stars are featured. The lineup is after the jump, and we have to confess to scratching our heads a little when we saw it.

Michael Anthony, Gramercy Tavern
Calamari and carrots

Eric Hara, davidburke & donatella
PB & J Hudson Valley foie gras torchon

Craig Hopson, Picholine
Frog wings tempura with celery kmchee

Chris Lee, Gilt
Bratwurst, fennel kraut, Wisconsin cheese-beer sauce

Akhtar Nawab, The E.U.
Pickled tongue torchon with porcinis and Marcona almonds

Masato Shimizu, 15 East
Slow-poached Madako octopus with sea salt

Yosuke Suga, L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon
Eel and Rougie foie gras terrine

Damon Wise, Craft
Pork-confit sandwich with Wisconsin Cheddar

Sustainability Award: Daniel Eardley, Chestnut
Corn-flan tamale, salsa verde, chorizo and achiote oil

Restaurant Concept Award: Chris Santos, The Stanton Social
Maine crab-cake corn dog

Hotel Chef Award: Doug Psaltis, Country at the Chambers Hotel
Astoria lamb kebab and candied cherry tomatoes

Pastry Chef: Tim Butler, Alto
Meyer-lemon Wisconsin-ricotta tart, ice-Cream sandwich style

Pastry Chef: Bill Corbett, Formerly of Anthos
Sesame in Sesame

Sommelier: Stephane Colling, The Modern
Ultrapremium wine pairings with each dish

Mixologist: Jim Meehan, PDT and Gramercy Tavern
Tea-Quila Highball

Everybody here is super-talented, and most of the dishes sound pretty good, with the exception of calamari and carrots, which we’ll give Mike Anthony the benefit of the doubt on. But speaking of Anthony, how can some of these guys reasonably be called Rising Stars? Anthony is the chef at one of the most famous restaurants in America, and the possessor of three stars from both Adam Platt and Frank Bruni. That star has risen, baby. Likewise with some of the other chefs, who are a big long in the tooth for the category: Tom Colicchio wingman Damon Wise is now an executive chef who has ascended out of the kitchen entirely, and Chris Lee was already famous from his last restaurant, the Striped Bass in Philadelphia. The real rising stars for our money are Craig Hopson (bound to have his own place soon), Akhtar Nawab (underappreciated at E.U.), and Masato Shimizu (a genius). And it’s nice to see Peter Meehan’s little brother Jim getting some props on his own too. Delayed recognition is what these awards should be all about, even if by definition the names aren’t especially marketable.

Rising Star Revue [Starchefs]

Catch a Rising Chef!