Where the Best New Chefs Ate
© Sylvian GabouryAs soon as Food & Wine Best New Chefs hit town for the big party we throw for them each year in NYC, they’re on a rigorous (mostly self-imposed) eating schedule. It starts the night before the official announcement with a welcome to-the-F&W-family dinner. This year, that dinner took place at Faustina, the new Italian restaurant from Scott Conant (a BNC 2004) in the Cooper Square Hotel. At a humongous table for 40, this year's chefs went to town on BNC margaritas (a mix of Patrón blanco tequila and five-spiced agave nectar), plus Conant’s outstanding fonduta with poached egg, burrata-filled cannelloni and braised oxtail with semolina dumplings. There was enough food to keep everyone going for the next 72 hours or so. (So more power to the chefs who went on to eat and drink even more at Meatball Shop, and then Pulino’s.) In spite of their busy schedules, the chefs made time to eat still more. Here’s where a few of them went.
Matt Lightner of Castagna in Portland, Oregon, hit Corton. Lightner was so excited to meet Corton's outstanding chef, Paul Liebrandt (a BNC 2009), that as soon as he got his award at the Best New Chef party and got off stage, he went to find Liebrandt.
Roy Choi of L.A.'s Kogi left the BNC party to go to Momofuku Ssäm Bar. “I needed some soy sauce," he said. Not only did he load up on the iconic pork buns, he brought some to the after-party at Kenmare for his fellow winner James Syhabout (Commis, Oakland, CA).
Jonathon Sawyer of Greenhouse Tavern in Cleveland headed to Barbuto. Said Sawyer, "I had a slamming pasta chittarra alla carbonara, with peppered guanciale and Parmesan. And it didn't hurt to be eating with two legends like Jonathan Waxman [Barbuto's chef/owner] and Larry Forgione [the legendary American chef/owner of the now-gone An American Place].” Sawyer didn't stop there; in his short time in NYC, he also ate at Colicchio & Sons, The Spotted Pig, Má Pêche and Motorino. And took home some soppressata from Faccio's Pork Store.