- Jimmy Bannos Jr. of The Purple Pig accepting his award from his father and mentor Jimmy Bannos Sr.
- Dirk Flanigan's dish representing both Henri and The Gage. Roasted loin of venison, liver-mushroom croquette, brussel sprout puree and Vadouvan curry.
- Rob Katz accepting the award he won with partner Kevin Boehm of the Boka Group for rising star restaurateurs.
- Ryan Poli serving "Fish Tacos": Hiramasa sashimi, mango-papaya-chili relish, avocado and tortilla infusion from upcoming restaurant Tavernita.
- Shin Thompson from BonsoirÃ©e accepting his Jade Range Plancha for winning favorite dish as voted on by the diners at the gala.
- Giuseppe Tentori presenting Curtis Duffy with his award and reminiscing about their days at Charlie Trotter's.
- Andrew Zimmerman from Sepia winning $5,000 for best dish of the night.
- Paul Kahan presenting the award to Patrick Fahy of Blackbird.
The Fairmont Chicago was buzzing last night as chefs from across Chicago came out to support a very impressive roster of Rising Star Chefs. The event was a walk-around tasting allowing guests to mingle with the honored chefs who were serving up some excellent dishes that were hand selected by the StarChefs.com committee as their favorites. All of the dishes were paired with beer or wine chosen by sommelier rising stars, Rachael Lowe from Sixteen and beer connoisseur Michael McAvena from the Publican.
The recipients were really appreciative of what their mentor's had to say, and there was a sense of pride from the mentors about the accomplishments of these chefs.
Paul Kahan mentored a lot of the rising stars, and joked, after Jimmy Bannos Sr. honored Jimmy Bannos Jr., that he also fathered his mentees, albeit Schwarzenegger style. Michael McAvena, Patrick Fahy and Jared Van Camp all touted Kahan as their mentor, and it was no surprise when he won the Mentor Award which was voted on by the collective group of Rising Stars.
It wasn't just the mentors and past winners who came out to support these young chefs. Nick Kokonas, Frank Brunacci, Bill Kim and Blackbird's Lynn House were all seen mingling.
Andrew Zimmerman from Sepia and Shin Thompson from Bonsoirée were the big winners of the night. Zimmerman won $5,000 for having his pheasant agnolotti recognized as the best dish of the night and Thompson won a Jade Range for having his scallop-crab motoyaki voted as best dish from the attendees of the event.