In the past year, we’ve had the honor of attending some of the city’s most prestigious food events. However, the Star Chefs DC Rising Star Awards Gala is now one of our favorites. Held at Union Market this past Tuesday, December 16th, Scott and I ventured into North East DC to rub elbows with the city’s finest chefs. And by rub elbows, I mean work our way through the throngs of excited foodies to sample some of the most highly recommended dishes by this area’s most skilled culinary artisans.
Before any food was tasted or drinks were drank, we had the privilege of watching these rising stars get recognized. Though we have only been dabbling in the restaurant scene for about a year, it was fun to recognize many of our favorites and support such a talented group of chefs (all the winners are listed at the bottom of the post). Included in the group were this areas most well-versed sommeliers and mixologists, equally vital in our thriving food scene.
However, after these chefs were decorated, their tables opened for sampling of the goods. Worried that it would be a repeat performance of the Best of DC event back in April where samples were fleeting and kicked within the first hour, we made the rounds quickly and strategically.
We began with one of our favorite dishes of the night – the ____ by Chef Mike Isabella. It’s easy to have a difference of opinion of the restaurants in this town, as depending on the day/service/dish, any number of things can sway your palette and opinion. However, at the Star Chefs Gala, each chef presented their “best” dish – the one that garnered much attention. So, in essence, we were sampling the Star Dish as well. Chef Isabella kicked off the evening with a bang, which set the tone for the remainder of the gala.
We finished our night with perhaps one of my favorite dishes yet – the Pretzel Gemelli by Chef Ian Boden of The Shack. The sauce was exquisite, and I made sure to circle back around that table more than once.
These chefs know how to execute the perfect bite – the kind of bite that leaves you craving not only a second and third helping (and 4th and 5th…) but also the recipe. Thankfully, we walked away with a magazine full of all the star dish recipes, and can’t wait to take a stab at them in the New Year.
In a city with a thousand foodies and self proclaimed food experts and critics, it’s easy to disagree on which Chef is the best in town and which dish reigns supreme. But honestly, this year every Chef in the place deserved every accolade they received. Proud to have been in attendance with such talented and expert Chefs!
2014 StarChefs.com DC Rising Stars Award winners:
Kyle Bailey of The Arsenal at Bluejacket
Mike Friedman of Red Hen
Matthew McGhee of RANGE
Joe Palma of Bourbon Steak
Aaron Silverman of Rose’s Luxury
Johnny Spero of minibar
Ian Boden of The Shack
Austin Fausett of Trummer’s on Main
Lee Gregory of The Roosevelt
Phillip Perrow and Caleb Shriver of Dutch & Company
Joe Sparatta of Heritage
George Marsh of Parts & Labor
Graeme Ritchie of Volt
Mike Isabella of Kapnos
Nathan Anda of Red Apron
DC Pastry Chef
Giane Cavaliere of Rogue 24
Maryland Pastry Chef
Sarah Malphrus of Woodberry Kitchen
Derek Brown of Columbia Room, Eat The Rich, Mockingbird Hill, The Passenger, and Southern Efficiency
Dave Coleman and Mike McGarvey of 3 Stars Brewing Company
Evrim Dogu of Sub Rosa Bakery
Benjamin Thompson of The Rock Barn
Jay Caragay of Spro Coffee
Bryan Tetorakis of Rogue 24
DC Sommeliers were also tasked with pairing each winning dish with wine.
Brent Kroll of Neighborhood Restaurant Group
Julian Mayor of Bourbon Steak
Julie Dalton of Wit and Wisdom (Maryland Sommelier)
Franck Loquet of iCi Urban Bistro