As previously reported, StarChefs.com, the online "magazine for culinary insiders," has bestowed Portland with its first-ever StarChefs Rising Star awards and gala, and the winners were revealed in the O this morning.
The six "Rising Star" chefs represent a mix of longtime Portland culinary players and very recent newcomers, as the crop includes Aaron Barnett (St. Jack), Greg Perrault (June), Naomi Pomeroy (Beast), William Preisch (The Bent Brick), Gabriel Rucker (Le Pigeon), and Aviary's team of Sarah Pliner, Kat Whitehead, and Jasper Shen.
UPDATE: The StarChefs organization has posted an accompanying "Why They Shine" piece, revealing the "dishes that clinched it" by each chef. According to StarChefs' Francoise Villeneuve and Antoinette Bruno: "We tasted savory dishes, desserts, cocktails, and wine pairings from more than 90 of Portland's talented chefs, pastry chefs, mixologists, and sommeliers. Only 17 earned the title of Rising Star. Why do they shine? Our winners were chosen for their creativity, ambition, and most importantly, a stand-out dish, wine pairing, or cocktail."
In addition to Rising Star awards, the organization named winners in the following categories, recognizing:
Andy Arndt, Aquariva at Avalon Hotel and Spa
Sunny Jin, Jory
Jenn Louis, Lincoln
Elias Cairo, salumist, Olympic Provisions
Kir Jensen, Sugar Cube
Kristen Murray, Paley's Place
Tim Healea, Little T American Baker
Jack Hott, Castagna
Kurt Huffman, Chefstable (Gruner, Ping, St. Jack, Kask, Foster Burger)
Jeffrey Morgenthaler, Clyde Common
The celebratory StarChefs gala is scheduled for December 5 and will cost guests $85 for the Nines Hotel celebration. But FYI: The RSVP list for an industry-only afterparty Clyde Common is currently open, and features complimentary food and drink for industry professionals after the main shindig. Hmm, an industry afterparty at the Clyde... sounds kind of familiar?
· The Portland Rising Star Award Winners and Why They Shine [Official site]
Clockwise, left-right: StarChefs winners Aaron Barnett; Greg Perrault; Tim Healea; Kristen D. Murray; images courtesyStarChefs.com