Star Chefs Congress Day III

The third and final day of Star Chef's Congress is always the calmest.  Most everyone is tired from the Cocktail Classic the night before and it's a good time to soak in all of the things learned over the past three days with some incredible food.

I was thrilled to see Chef Erik Ramirez on hand doling out a delicious Quinoa-Banana Salad.  I think his Peruvian spot  The Llama Inn is one of the best new restaurants to open in NYC this year.

Another local legend Sam Mason was on hand at Oddfellows with a trio of tea flavored ice creams he created using the Rishi Tea Leaves.

The theme for Eat@ICC Tuesday was Alternative Proteins like this playful Vegan Merguez Sausage with butternut squash rillettes, crumbled "Feta" red sorrel and crispy Papadam from David Kuzma from Yale Hospitality in New Haven...

...and this fluffy Wood Fired Sourdough Pita with lentils, coconut sumac, pumpkin and sunflower seeds from Jason Bond of Bondir Restaurant in Cambridge.

The biggest surprise of the day for me was the dish from Alex Talbot of Ideas in Food- Cricket Flour Noodles & Corn Black Lime Noodles tossed in Offal Ragout. I am NOT a fan of this mini bug craze we got going on, it usually grosses me out but this dish was absolutely delicious!

Even though I really liked the cricket dish I decided to move back to the regular proteins with one last stop at Fossil Farms for a Baharat Spiced Alina Duck breast coupled with butternut Swiss chard tabbouleh and a sweet honey crisp apple labneh... 

...a spiced Chorizo Pork Rillette with orange mostarda and sherry vinegar from Chef Nicole Votano of DIRT in Miami Beach...

...and one of the best Steak and Cheese sandwiches I have ever eaten from the charismatic Shola Olunloyo of Studio Kitchen in Philadelphia who always had a crowd around his outdoor KOPA Charcoal Oven.

Of course I had to have one last cocktail which also ended up being one of my favorites of the conference the fruity Raj in Tokyo from Masa Urushido of Saxon and Parole right here in NOHO.

Overall it was another incredible year for Star Chef's Congress. It was evident over the course of three days that the theme "What is Progress" in the food/beverage industry meant very different things to different people.   Some saw progress as more woman in lead roles, others saw it as the move from tipping towards more livable wages, still others as moving towards more sustainable food and cutting down on waste in the business.  

No matter what "progress" meant personally it was very clear that change is happening and in a good way.  There has never been a more exciting time to be in this industry and great events like Star Chef's bringing culinary minds together will just help to grow these ideas even further.  Cheers to Antoinette Bruno, Will Blunt and all the Star Chef's Staff for another fabulous year!

Brooklyn Expo Center
72 Noble Street
Brooklyn, NY 11222