The James Beard Foundation Awards may have ignored Maine this year, but on the heels of that disappointing announcement yesterday, comes some good news from StarChefs.com.
The industry trends magazine has announced its 2014 Coastal New England Rising Stars Awards, honoring up-and-coming chefs and culinary professionals, including eight from Maine. To determine the winners, StarChefs.com “visited more than 150 chefs and artisans across 25 cities and small towns” in New England, conducting “in-person tastings and interviews,” according to a press release. The full list of winners is HERE.
“The New England Coast is the place to go to be close to the land, sea, and real food people. Chefs and artisans are opening single-minded restaurants and concepts, and the community has their back,” said Antoinette Bruno, editor-in-chief of StarChefs.com.
The winners will be feted at the StarChefs.com Rising Stars Gala on Tuesday, April 15, at the Providence Biltmore Hotel, beginning with an awards ceremony at 6:30 p.m. and followed by a tasting gala, where attendees will experience 20 of Coastal New England’s top chefs and restaurants with beverage pairings and cocktails by the winning sommelier and bartenders.
General admission is $95 per person. VIP tickets are $125 and include a private VIP reception with Champagne and Petrossian caviar, beginning at 5:45 p.m. A portion of the evening’s proceeds will go to Rhode Island Community Food Bank, a nonprofit that provides food to people in need and promotes long-term hunger solutions. Tickets can be purchased at www.starchefs.com/risingstars.
Chef Rob Evans of Duckfat in Portland will one of six chefs cooking for an invitation-only honorees dinner on April 14 at Bacaro in Providence.
The Maine winners are:
Ravin “Bas” Nakjaroen of Long Grain, Camden
Featured Dish: Australian Beef Panang Curry, Roasted Red Peppers, Bamboo, and Coconut Cream
Andrew Taylor and Michael Wiley of Eventide Oyster Co. and Hugo’s, Portland
Featured Dish: Lobster Sashimi, Sea Beans, Daikon Radishes, Frozen Ramp Purée, Ginger-Scallion Sauce, Nori Vinaigrette, and Fried Garlic
Justin Walker of Earth at Hidden Pond, Kennebunkport
Featured Dish: Fried Oysters, Wood-fired Padron Pepper Relish, Bacon, and Sage
Ilma Lopez of Piccolo, Portland
Featured Dish: Chocolate Budino Crostata, Candied Hazelnuts, Maldon Sea Salt, and Vincotto
Eli Cayer of Urban Farm Fermentory, Portland
Featured Drink: Ginger Kombucha
Nathan Sanborn of Rising Tide Brewery, Portland
Featured Beer: Daymark American Pale Ale
Will Pratt of Tandem Coffee Roasters, Portland
Andrew Volk of Portland Hunt & Alpine Club, Portland
Featured Drink: Fratelli Stinger: Laird’s Applejack, BrancaMenta, Bourbon, Angostura Bitters, and Lemon Peel