On April 15, restaurant trend magazine StarChefs.com will be coming to Providence to present the 2014 Coastal New England Rising Star Awards.
JWU alumni honorees include birch’s Ben Sukle, Nicks on Broadway’s Derek Wagner, north’s James Mark and Gracie’s pastry chef Melissa Denmark.
Representing the Future of American Cuisine“Top notch cooking and a vibrant, close-knit professional culinary community make Providence a fitting host for this celebration of the region’s next generation of market leaders,” Will Blunt, StarChefs’ managing editor, told the Providence Journal’s Gail Ciampa.
StarChefs established the Rising Star Awards to honor up-and-coming chefs and culinary professionals as representatives of “the future of cooking.” All the winners are under 40 — and each one has developed a culinary philosophy, creativity and ambition beyond their years.
Celebrating New England Chefs, Restaurants and Creative Food ConceptsThe StarChefs team visited more than 150 chefs and artisans across 25 cities and small towns to cull the final list, of which 5 are JWU alumni.
Chefs Making a Difference in RI
Two alumni were singled out for special achievement awards: Derek Wagner of Nicks on Broadway for Sustainability, and James Mark of North for Community.
Sustainability is built into Derek Wagner’s business plan — the bulk of Nicks on Broadway’s menu comes from farmers he knows personally. “Guests have a right to know where their food comes from,” he notes.
Giving back is a focus at north (yes, it’s lowercase): Mark, together with business partners John Chester and Tim Shulga, donates a portion of the proceeds from every single dish sold to Amos House or the RI Food Bank.
Rising Star EventsOn April 14, JWU students will have the opportunity to listen to a handful of Rising Star chefs talk about their own career experiences, followed by the awards gala on April 15.