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Celebrating the 2016 Eater Awards

Carla Hall and Amanda Kludt honored this year’s winners in NYC

Last night at Union Fare in NYC, the 2016 Eater Awards winners were honored for their contributions to this year’s dining scene and their commitment to making the industry a better place for their teams and diners alike. Check out the winners of the seventh annual Eater Awards on a national level and city by city across the country, and keep reading to see what went down in New York at the event last night.

Eater would also like to thank the winning chefs who came out to cook, Carla Hall for presenting, event sponsors Ketel One Vodka and Guinness, Union Fare for hosting us, and our parent company Vox Media’s experiential marketing and design teams, without whom none of this would be possible.

  • On the menu at the event: coffee mousseline profiteroles from Maple & Ash in Chicago, mole negro and chapulines a la Mexicana from La Guelaguetza in LA, pimento cheese and blonde chocolate panna cotta from Willa Jean in New Orleans, pad kapow moo with pik nam pia from Dee Dee in Austin, apple-cheddar hand pies and fennel seed snickerdoodles from Sister Pie in Detroit, cornbread and ramp buttermilk with smoky bacon from Mae in Portland, prosciutto with parmesan butter and balsamic mustard from Lilia in New York, beef belly with congee cake from Small Brewpub in Dallas, and grilled ocotpus from Union Fare.
  • The respective chefs of the dishes above were: Aya Fukai (national pastry chef of the year), Fernando Lopez, Kelly Fields and Lisa White (New Orleans chef of the year), Lakana Trubiana (best new food truck in Austin), Lisa Ludwinski ("Bill Addison’s favorite pie" award), Maya Lovelace (Portland chef of the year), Missy Robbins (New York chef of the year), Misti Norris (Dallas chef of the year), and Yvan Lemoine.
  • The team from Willa Jean in New Orleans served pimento cheese in little lidded tins that many people snuck into their purses or pockets only to proudly brandish later
  • Carla Hall, winner of the Eater Icon award, co-hosted the event with Eater EIC Amanda Kludt, and made the time to say hello to everyone who came up to her.
  • Danny Meyer stopped in briefly at the beginning of the night to accept his Doing Something About it Award before heading off to a USHG board meeting (he had hoped that his restaurant Union Square Cafe would be serving last night but the reopening got pushed back a week.) When Vox Media editorial director Lockhart Steele told Meyer, "Sorry about the Cubs," the restaurateur responded: "I was actually in Chicago the night they won, actively rooting against them."
  • There were two former Young Guns winners cooking: Maya Lovelace from Portland and Lisa Ludwinski from Detroit.
  • Downstairs at the event space was a secret bar dubbed a speakeasy, accessible only to those with tokens. The space served top-notch cocktails, including a drink with smoked cardamom.
  • New York chef Alex Stupak was overheard sharing an important service strat: "I always take a shot of mezcal before pre-shift meetings."
  • A favorite dish of the night was the larb served up by Austin’s Dee Dee. The team was recommending that guests only put a tiny drop of the chili fish sauce on top, but at least one attendee bragged about ignoring the recommendation and dousing his pork (many others were spotted fanning their mouths and gulping beer or mules).
  • The crickets at Guelagetza were delicious, but apparently people were a little hesitant to try it. Fernando Lopez said that people weren't eating that many — which disappointed partygoers who assumed that friends of Eater would be more game. Maybe everyone was too stuffed with pork salad and Mules?
  • Hesitating aside, the quote of the night was certainly: "Look, you've got a leg hanging out of your mouth."
Carla Hall and Amanda Kludt.