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Chefs Come Out to Support Rising Stars at Star Chefs Gala

Jimmy Bannos Jr. of The Purple Pig accepting his award from his father and mentor Jimmy Bannos Sr.
Jimmy Bannos Jr. of The Purple Pig accepting his award from his father and mentor Jimmy Bannos Sr.

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 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.

Some observations:

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.


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