What do you get when Starchefs, a publication that focuses on trends in the restaurant industry, and the Seattle restaurant scene get together? The Starchefs' 2015 Seattle Rising Stars Awards gala and ceremony at McCaw Hall. Eaters, hospitality pros, and the social cognoscenti got together to celebrate the best and brightest of Seattle restaurants. I was there to take in the eating and drinking and survived to tell the tale.
The event was centered on the Seattle-area chefs, sommeliers, and bartenders that were recognized by Starchefs as Seattle's Rising Stars of 2015. Without further ado, here they are:
- Cameron Hanin - Tavern Law
- Edouardo Jordan - Salare
- Travis Kukull - Mollusk
- Marie Rutherford - The Whale Wins
- Jeff Vance - Spur Gastropub
- Brady Williams - Canlis
- Brandon Pettit - Delancey
- Heong Soon Park - Tray Kitchen
Hotel Chef and Art of Presentation winner:
- Joe Ritchie - Goldfinch Tavern at Four Seasons Seattle
- Monica Dimas - Neon Taco
- Drew Fitchette - Elm Coffee Roasters
- Matthew Hofmann - Westland Distillery
- Brendan McGill - Hitchcock Deli
- Colin Lenfesty, Mike Murphy, and Adam Paysse - Holy Mountain Brewing
- Jackson Rohrbaugh - Canlis
- Seth Sempere - Spur Gastropub
- Tommy Stearns - Canon
- Brian McCracken and Dana Tough - Spur Gastropub, Tavern Law, The Old Sage, and The Coterie Room
As befits a gala centered on gustatory pursuits, there was a post-awards ceremony where the celebrated chefs and bartenders did their thing and served up an array of food and drinks. Of course, the level of skill and creativity was of a high bar that made it fun for guests in attendance.
I did my part and tried to eat and drink as much as I possibly could so that I'd need to be wheeled out of McCaw Hall. A few of my highlights of the evening were:
- Travis Kukull of Mollusk's pickled octopus okonomiyaki (an intriguing blend of savory and sweet),
- Brady Williams of Canlis' spot prawns (perfectly cooked and balanced with a vermouth and shallot butter sauce),
- Clare Gordon of General Porpoise's apple galette with camembert
- Junko Mine of Café Juanita's chocolate crostini with ricotta and honey.
- And Brandon Pettit of Delancey served their chocolate chip cookie, of which I took two for the road. It is one of my favorite chocolate chip cookies in Seattle after all.
Starchefs' has been celebrating Rising Star Chefs throughout the country for the past twelve years and this was the third time that they've celebrated the chefs of the Seattle area. They were in Seattle in 2003 and again in 2009 to recognize our very best.
It's fun to look back at those celebrated in those vintages. It will be exciting to see what the 2015 winners have up their sleeves for their future. Congratulations to the class of 2015 on their Rising Star awards.