2011 Chicago Rising Stars Award Winners and Why They Shine
Jimmy Bannos Jr., The Purple Pig
Curtis Duffy, Avenues
Dirk Flanigan, The Gage and Henri
Stephanie Izard, Girl & the Goat
Chris Pandel, The Bristol
Shin Thompson, Bonsoirée
Andrew Zimmerman, Sepia
HOTEL PASTRY CHEF
Meg Galus, Café des Architectes at the Sofitel Chicago Water Tower
Ryan Poli, Tavernita
Geoff Rhyne, SugarToad at Hotel Arista
Jared Van Camp, Old Town Social
Paul McGee, The Whistler
Rachael Lowe, Sixteen at Trump International Hotel & Tower
Michael McAvena, The Publican
Kevin Boehm and Rob Katz, Boka Restaurant Group
Chicago is a boot camp, playground, and flash-popping arena for chefs, so naturally, the competition among culinary professionals is intense. Our newest class of Rising Stars has made it this far because they’re tough; after all, they’ve been primed and molded, and had their butts kicked by several generations of kitchen stalwarts—Charlie Trotter, Jean Banchet, Rick Tramanto, Gale Gand, Paul Kahan, and Grant Achatz to name a few. But aside from skill, these Rising Stars put forth passion and distinct perspectives on the plate.
We tasted food, pastry, cocktails, and wine pairings from over 80 talented chefs, pastry chefs, mixologists, and sommeliers in Chicago. Eighteen earned the title of Rising Star.
So what makes them shine? Creativity, ambition, exquisite presentation, and, most importantly, a stellar dish or drink win each up-and-coming culinary star the Rising Star Award.What's more, all the Rising Stars have qualities that make us believe they’ll be future leaders of the country's culinary scene. Rising Stars successfully push culinary boundaries. Here's an introduction to the 2011 Chicago award winners: who they are, why they shine, and how they're shaping the future of American dining.