Last night, editor Dana Cowin, teevee judge Gail Simmons, and the rest of the Food & Wine team welcomed the 2009 class of Best New Chefs. Due to Cowin's tweet clues on Monday, these guesses were right on the money. Congratulations are in order for:
Naomi Pomeroy, Beast (Portland)As for the party, it was a boozer. Some takeaways:
Barry Maiden, Hungry Mother (Cambridge)
Kelly English, Iris (Memphis)
Nate Appleman, A16 (San Francisco)
Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo, Animal (Los Angeles)
Bryan Caswell, Reef (Houston)
Christopher Kostow, Meadowood (Napa)
Mark Fuller, Spring Hill (Seattle)
Linton Hopkins, Eugene (Atlanta)
And hometown hero Paul Liebrandt, Corton
1) Roll call: Tom Colicchio, Daniel Boulud, Andrew Carmellini, Drew Nieporent, Dave Chang, Scott Conant, Michael Psilakis, Bradford Thompson, Christopher Lee, Katie Lee Joel, Rocco Dispirito, Anita Lo, Terrance Brennan, Franklin Becker, Fabio Trabocchi, Seamus Mullen, that guy from Mallrats, Mr. Cutlets, a svelte Ed Levine, Philip Baltz, Steven Hall, and PR people as far as the eye could see. The Top Chef contingent: Leah, Hosea, Stephanie, Harold Dieterle, Spike, Andrew, Nikki, Lee Anne.
2) See photo no. 2.
3) The entertainment, a house band playing Annie Lennox and Hall & Oats covers, was perhaps an improvement upon last year's dance troupe but was incredibly loud. D-Biggity and Tommy C should never have to shout to be heard.
4) The awards part of the evening was, unsurprisingly, short and sweet. After a cute intro from Gail, Dana Cowin and publisher Christina Grdovic announced the winners, gave them a framed toque, and let everyone get back to their eating and shouting.
5) 8:30: the first time a glass was broken in the ladies room.
6) A surprise great dish of the night: Top Chef Stephanie Izzard's scallop with asparagus. Harold also pulled through with some sort of coconut milk concoction, Hosea and Leah stayed connected at the hip for the majority of the soiree, and a behatted Spike walked around like he owned the place.
7) Cowin was absolutely beaming about her Twitter experiment. She was also psyched about all of the BNCs who brought along their parents.
8) Dude from Mallrats was in attendence because he's apparently a real food nut and friend of Ilan Hall.
9) When the City Winery workers started booting out the last of the drunks at around 10 p.m., the after party was, inexplicably, on the second floor of the Five Guys on 7th Ave. And indeed, it was a shitshow. Luckily, we were squired away by Mr. Cutlets in his 88 Nissan 300Z. The after after party on the third floor of the Pig was not a shitshow.
· Paul Liebrandt Likely Among F&W Best New Chefs [~E~]