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StarChefs International Chefs Congress Innovator Awards

Mon, 06/09/2008 - 18:47
Submitted by richie

Honoring Chefs, Producers and Manufacturers Who Are Instrumental in Moving the Industry Forward

Tuesday September 16, 2008

The 2008 ICC Innovator Awards were announced on the main stage on Tuesday, September 16. These awards were given to three chefs and four products. The chef honorees were Larry Forgione (Contribution to American Cuisine Award), Daniel Boulud (Mentoring Award), and Charlie Trotter (Community Award), and the products recognized were the CVap Cook & Hold Oven (Winston Industries), the Microplane Zester/Grater (Microplane), Sechuan Buttons (Koppert Cress USA), and the Tafelstern Showpiece Collection by Bauscher. The awards were voted on by Congress attendees, save for the American Cuisine Award, which was voted on by the Chefs Advisory Board.

Click below for photos and to more information about the winners:
- Contribution to American Cuisine Award
- Mentor Award
- Community Award
- Technology and Innovation Awards 2008 Innovator Award Winners  Larry Forgione, Daniel Boulud and Presenters Chris Bauermann of Vulcan and Kevin Tormey of True Food Service Equipment
From Left to Right: Chris Bauermann of Vulcan, Larry Forgione, Daniel Boulud and Kevin Tormey of True Food Service Equipment Not Pictured: Charlie Trotter Award for Contribution to American Cuisine

Contribution to American Cuisine Award:
Chef Larry Forgione

presented by


An award that honors chefs whose culinary vision and accomplishments have changed the face of American cuisine for the better. Keeping in mind the diverse identity of American food, this award honors those chefs who have cultivated new strengths and ideas and brought them to the forefront of the culinary world. By sharing their vision with us, these chefs have truly helped define our evolving cuisine.

Larry Forgione has often been called the “godfather of American cuisine.” Born on Long Island in 1952, Forgione attended the Culinary Institute of America before taking a post at London’s prestigious Connaught Hotel. Interestingly enough, it was there, across the Atlantic, that he rediscovered the American foods of his childhood – farm-fresh ingredients which had all but disappeared from the American culinary landscape. Upon his return to the US, Forgione set out to address what he believed to be the underlying issue with the American food movement – the scant availability of farm-fresh ingredients for chefs and home cooks. In time, he developed his signature “farm-to-table” cuisine by forging personal relationships with many of America’s local farmers and artisanal product producers.

In 1983, Forgione opened his first restaurant, An American Place on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, with one goal – to put American food on the map. Forgione committed himself to using only domestic ingredients at the restaurant, the name for which had been suggested by his late mentor and friend, culinary legend James Beard. An American Place earned 3 stars from The New York Times and established Forgione as a champion of regional, seasonal American food.

And look how far we’ve come since then! American artisan products are flourishing – domestic cheese, charcuterie, olive oils, vinegars, chocolate, and even truffles grace the menus of the country’s best restaurants. It’s certainly been a team effort, but this philosophical and agricultural shift had its roots, in part, in the philosophy that graced the much-acclaimed tables of An American Place. (Thank you, Larry!)

Along with his involvement in multiple restaurants throughout the course of his career, which have spread his culinary philosophy from fine dining to casual cafes and even department stores, Forgione was the cofounder of “American Chefs Tribute to James Beard,” which has been an annual event for twenty-two years running, and is one of the most widely attended charity events of the year. The event benefits Citymeals-On- Wheels, which was founded by Beard and Gael Greene. Mentor Award

Mentor Award: Chef Daniel Boulud
presented by

True Food Service Equipment

An award that recognizes a chef who is instrumental in supporting young cooks in their quest for success. Through their commitment to hands-on education both within their kitchens and without, these chefs are working to shape the next generation of culinary leaders.

Along with being a pioneer of modern French-American cuisine, Daniel Boulud is one of the American culinary industry’s greatest mentors. His profound effect on and dedication to the culinary community extends beyond his home base of New York City – today, Boulud has restaurants in Las Vegas, Palm Beach, and Vancouver (where a DB Bistro Moderne is opening soon), and in each kitchen is a chef who has been profoundly shaped by his tutelage. Along with the many successful chefs who have already graduated from his kitchens, they form a nation-wide network of cooks touched by his culinary philosophy and inspirational leadership.

Boulud had some impressive mentors himself: he spent his formative years training with several renowned chefs, including Roger Vergé, Georges Blanc, and Michel Guérard. Following two years in Copenhagen, Boulud took a position in the United States as chef to The European Commission in Washington, DC. Boulud then opened the Polo Lounge at The Westbury Hotel and later Le Régence at the Hotel Plaza Athenée in New York City. From 1986 to 1992, Boulud served as executive chef at New York’s Le Cirque.

In 1993, Boulud opened restaurant Daniel on Manhattan’s Upper East Side, drawing his inspiration from his experience in European and American kitchens, and from seasonal ingredients procured from some of the best local purveyors.In September 1998, Boulud opened Café Boulud, named for the café his great grandparents’ ran on their farm outside Lyon. In June 2001 Boulud opened DB Bistro Moderne, a casual and contemporary restaurant offering updated French bistro cooking in the City Club Hotel on West 44th Street. In July 2003, he opened a second Café Boulud at the legendary Palm Beach Brazilian Court Hotel. In April 2005, Boulud created Daniel Boulud Brasserie in The Wynn Las Vegas. An outpost of DB Bistro Moderne is opening in Vancouver soon. Community Award

Community Award: Chef Charlie Trotter
presented by

Vita-Mix Corporation

An award that honors chefs who are consistently active in their communities, and to whom community involvement is an essential part of their professional mission. They are generous with their knowledge, resources, and time, and reach out to fellow chefs whenever possible to strengthen the bonds of the culinary community.

Beyond his celebrated culinary endeavors, Charlie Trotter has embarked on a number of philanthropic activities, including supporting national and international charities. Closest to his heart is the Charlie Trotter Culinary Education Foundation. The Foundation has two main priorities: awarding scholarships to students who are seeking careers in the culinary arts, and working with Chicago-area youth to promote education as well as an interest in cooking and food.

The restaurant regularly hosts fundraising dinners, the profits from which go almost entirely towards scholarships; scholarships are awarded to several different students each spring, and can be used both toward tuition and room and board. The dinners themselves are community affairs: Trotter enlists the aid of a chef friend and a winemaker to collaborate on a special menu. To date, the Foundation has raised over $800,000 for students interested in pursuing the culinary profession.

Chef Trotter recently received an award at the White House from both President Bush and Colin Powell for his work with the foundation and was named one of only five “heroes” to be honored by Colin Powell's charity, America's Promise. In 2004, Chef Trotter was awarded the “Humanitarian of the Year” award by the International Association of Culinary Professionals for his overall service to the community.

And he is a consummate host: along with weekly Foundation dinners for high school students, he brings together culinary luminaries on a yearly basis to celebrate the anniversary of his restaurant’s opening. The 20th anniversary drew friends and colleagues from across the globe, including Tetsuya Wakuda of Australia, Heston Blumenthal of England, and Ferran Adria of Spain. Innovator Awards Antoinette Bruno of, Howard Richardson of Winston Industries, Mellissa Moore of Microplane, Dana Butler of Microplane, Nicolas Mizard of Koppert Cress, Jeffrey Heaney of Bauscher and Will Blunt of
From Left to Right: Antoinette Bruno of, Howard Richardson of Winston Industries, Mellissa Moore of Microplane, Dana Butler of Microplane, Nicolas Mazard of Koppert Cress, Jeffrey Heaney of Bauscher USA and Will Blunt of Technology and Innovation Award

Technology and Innovation Awards

These awards recognize a company who offers a product that is innovative in its mission or design, and instrumental in helping chefs or culinary professionals succeed in their endeavors. Nominees are voted on by attendees of the International Chefs Congress, and awards are given in four categories: Heavy Equipment, Specialty Equipment/Smallwares, Food and Beverage, and Tabletop.

Heavy Equipment
Winston Industries
CVap Cook & Hold Oven
The CVap Cook and Hold has a patented dual heat system that cooks food to a precise, uniform temperature. The oven provides control over doneness, temperature and level of browning, maximizing profits through increased yield. It’s a favorite of chefs in all levels of dining, from hotel operations to small New York restaurants to the best fine dining restaurants in the country.
Contact: Howard Richardson

Specialty Equipment/Smalwares
The Microplane® Zester/Grater

The Microplane® Zester/Grater was originally designed as a woodworking tool and has made its way into kitchens over the past 10 years, becoming a favorite of professional and home chefs worldwide. Featuring razor sharp all stainless steel blades, the Zester/Grater is designed using a patented technology that effortlessly shaves hard foods and citrus rind without ripping or tearing.
Contact Person: Melissa Moore

Food and Beverage
Koppert Cress USA
Sechuan Buttons

Feels like “electricity” to many. People compare it to putting your tongue on a 9V battery. Others describe it as “pop rocks” candy. The fantastic thing is that you can incorporate this electric/vibrating feeling in any of your dishes.
Contact: Nicolas Mazard Technology and Innovation Award Winner Bauscher

Bauscher, USA Inc.
Tafelstern Showpiece Collection

Tafelstern Showpiece Collection has its own unique stars, which create the right setting without any need for further decoration. Each item is modern in design and multifunctional. Each piece offers great innovation and flexibility – opening up surprising perspectives on the table. It’s a new, innovative perspective on plateware.
Contact: Maria McHugh


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