© Rory Tischler
Sarah Jessica Parker samples chef Paul Liebrandt's foie gras.It’s an open secret that our Best New Chefs party is one of the huge, big highlights of the year at Food & Wine. This year’s celebration for our awesome class of 2010 was at the Four Seasons restaurant, all decorated to look like a dream sequence out of Moulin Rouge, with huge feather mobiles over that famous pool. There are always a thousand highlights; here are a few of mine.

* Having Sarah Jessica Parker as my first celebrity sighting. (Her date, Bravo’s Andy Cohen, was the second person I saw.) SJP helped me out by wearing an easy-to-spot sparkly silver jacket. Those stalking her—not me, I promise—issued regular Twitter updates about what food she was eating at that moment. She wasn’t the only recognizable person there: A camera crew almost knocked me down to get to Kyle MacLachlan. I think they’d already shot Josh Charles (The Good Wife) and food stars like Tom Colicchio, Gail Simmons and Katie Lee.

* Having so many superstar former Best New Chefs cooking terrific food at the party. There was Andrew Carmellini (BNC 2000) and his lamb meatball sliders. Next to him: Dan Silverman (BNC 1997) with yellowtail hamachi tartare. Up the stairs: Paul Liebrandt (BNC 2009) with foie gras chantilly. Near the pool: Daniel Humm (BNC 2005) with an eggshell filled with smoked sturgeon sabayon.

* Having the smart DJ play Jay-Z’s “Empire State of Mind” as this year’s Best New Chefs were announced and took their places on the Pool Room’s staircase. (Extra credit to Mike Sheerin from Blackbird in Chicago for dancing his way in.)


© Sylvian Gaboury
* Having the superfun after-party downtown at Kenmare, and the after-after-party at Pulino’s, where newbie Best New Chefs Sheerin; Matt Lightner from Castagna in Portland, Oregon; and Roy Choi of Kogi in L.A. ate late-late-night pizza.