Rising Stars Event Begins and Ends with a Splash. Literally.


Inaugurating the night with a splash of champagne was my friend Richard Auffrey, The Passionate Foodie. He more than made up for it by holding drinks, sitting for or taking pictures, scouting good food and drink, and oh, yes, finding my iPhone when I, um, missed my pocket.

Among the highlights were getting to chat with friends old (i.e., Jim from the Liberty Hotel) and new. Mingling with everyone, meeting chefs I’d only read about, discussing the joys of Brussels sprouts with Chef Jodi Bernhard of Longwood Events (and the Belle Mer where good friends Drew & Kim just tied the knot!) - it really was a fantastic evening.

Of course Will Gilson’s foie and doughnuts dish was over the top, but in a good way. Had more than one just to be sure. Think foie and beignets. Chatting with his father of the Herb Lyceum fame was also a treat as we miss his presence at the Dewey Square Farmer’s Market. He’s such a sweetheart, you can see the “apple and tree” adage in those two.

Toni a star among stars!
I finally got to try the sparkly Joanne Chang’s short-rib tacos and to introduce her to Rich! Note to self: get over to Myers + Chang again soon. Those tacos rocked. Yes I had two, to be sure.

Chef Joanne Chang and Rich

Chris Parsons of Catch was serving Taylor Bay Scallops. We’d met over the phone when I was planning the Teach a Chef to Fish workshop. Richard Garcia was another chef there noted for sustainability (he was the Sustainability award-winner) and meeting him in person was a treat, even if he was busy, busy!

We got to ask Jamie and Courtney about the opening of Coppa, and said hello to Mike Pagliarini, another chef working hard at the sustainability of his menus. Jamie did Island Creek oysters with Escabeche with Grains of Paradise and Lovage. I first learned of Grains of Paradise in the Duckathlon blind tasting event, see blind cows Spice Market. Mike did Muscovy Hen Breast with Apple, Turnip, Spiced Pistachios and Swiss Chard. Autumn on a plate.

Jamie and Oysters

I also learned about Fresh Nordaq water and the effect your water has on the taste of your wine. We got on the subject of things Scandanavian - and it turns out he knows Chef Nils Noren whom I got to interview and meet at NYCE. This water is refreshing and quenching as water should be, its filtration system removes impurities and preserves tap water’s salts and minerals. The result is a cleaner taste of the next thing in your mouth. The added benefit of no bottles to ship makes it a sustainable choice.

Richard Auffrey, the Passionate Foodie; Chef Joseph Margate, CLINK; Aaron Cohen, Where to Eat.


The evening ended at Eastern Standard with a splash of Scotch by eager bar goers jostling into me. So I am now properly baptized, one might say, into the Star Chefs fold. Thanks to all for a great evening!


  • I have a beautiful set of recipes from this event so if you’re interested - just let me know. Slow Roasted Leg of Lamb with Anchovy-Garlic Marinade? Olive oil Poached Salmon with Pom Spiced Cider Jus?