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Food & Wine Fetes Chefs in White

April 8, 2002, 12:00 AM EDT

At Food & Wine's Best New Chefs 2002 party, editor in chief Dana Cowin (far left) announced the magazine's picks for the best new chefs in America. Publisher Julie McGowan (far right) handed out framed mini chef uniforms to each chef.

Food & Wine's Best New Chefs 2002 party Frame Tuesday, 04.02.02, 6:30 PM onward
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Food & Wine magazine celebrated the 15th anniversary of its annual Best New Chefs issue and announced this year's best new chefs picks at a sleek, fun party at Frame (the event space known briefly as the Waterfront, which was once the Tunnel nightclub). Melissa Lynch, the mag's promotions director, made wise use of Frame's raw, industrial look--steel beam columns, hardwood floors, brick walls and steel piping throughout--by using a stark silver and white decor theme that accented the space's features without being fussy.

Event planner and caterer Tinker Boe of Mood Food came up with the decor concept, which started with silver printing on the invites. Inside the main ballroom, white lights shone on the room's pillars, and tall cherry blossom displays adorned the bar area. Bowls of white M&M's were placed on the bars (which served a special Absolut cocktail, wines from Ruffino and champagne from Champagne Mumm). Even the white cocktail napkins from Gold Seal Novelties were branded with silver lettering.

Cocktail tables were topped with stainless steel cheese graters placed over votive candles, which matched both the silver look of the event and its theme. And for a bizarre, but fun touch, two dancers dressed in chef uniforms jazzed-up with holographic silver detailing danced on the main bar to Samantha Ronson's nostalgia-inducing mix of 70's and 80's music. (Although a Britney Spears tune drew some extra swaying from the primarily young-ish crowd.)

For the food, seven past Best New Chefs from the class of 1988 including New Yorker Daniel Boulud served dishes from stations that lined the space, and Mood Food caterwaiters passed hors d'oeuvres. (Mood Food has managed to get a number of the big food mags as clients. In addition to F&W, Boe worked with Ruth Reichl for Gourmet's 50th anniversary party and works with Bon Appetit frequently--not a bad testament to her catering capabilities.)

To announce the chefs, F&W editor in chief Dana Cowin and publisher Julie McGowan took the stage for a quick presentation where the chosen chefs were given framed mini chef uniforms. Among them were two New Yorkers: Michael Anthony and Dan Barber of Blue Hill.

In the large crowd of advertisers, food journalists and restaurant people, we spotted Rocco DiSpirito (class of 1999), Todd English, Danny Meyer, Drew Nieporent, Geoffrey Zakarian, Michel Nischan, The New York Times' Florence Fabricant, Village Voice columnist Michael Musto, and food PR mavens Karine Bakhoum, Susan Magrino and Melanie Young.

--Suzanne Ito

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