Star Chef's celebrated it's 10th anniversary this year and the event was better than ever. The wealth of talent inside the Brooklyn Expo Center over these three days was stunning and it was great to see so many chefs in action from Chef Quique Dacosta in Spain to Chef Lee Wolen in Chicago. Here's a few takeaways from the event:
- Pisco is finally getting some serious love. PromPeru had a booth for all three days showcasing both Barsol Pisco and Macchu Pisco along with some incredible Peruvian food. I just love how versatile this spirit can be from the classic Pisco Sour to more elaborate drinks like the Falling South a blend of pisco, pumpkin, agave nectar and Lumos spice elixir.
- Seminars like "How to Pay Your Chef $15 an Hour" were jam packed. Everywhere I went there was discussion around Danny Meyer's no tipping policy and what it could possibly mean for the industry moving forward. People seemed hopeful about this change and creating a more stable, friendly work environment.
- New York NY! Obviously the event being in Brooklyn means New York was front and center but the two bars dedicated to only NY ingredients were churning out seriously amazing drinks. Hudson Baby Bourbon and Stillhouse Rye were just two of the indie spirits among a whole host of amazing locals making a splash. Add in the exploding NYC craft beer scene and incredible cider program at places like Wassail; NYC is truly the place to be.
- Great people. Seriously this is a tough industry and it requires a lot of hard work. A restaurant won't survive without a solid team to support it. The guys from Fossil Farms were a great example of this incredible teamwork. Every day they were cooking up amazing food while laughing, making jokes and just having a good time with each other.