And the Winners Are!
Albany Chefs’ Food & Wine Festival: Wine & Dine for the Arts announces the winners of the
2017 Rising Star Chef awards.
Each September the Festival Rising Star Committee, with the assistance of Steve Barnes and his Table Hopping Blog, launch the annual Rising Star Chef Competition. The public nominates emerging chefs from the Capital District who they believe should be in the next class of Rising Star Chefs. From there it a rigorous process, where each chef submits an application, menu, bio, food pictures, and menus for review by the committee.
The Top Ten Finalists were announced at the Festival Press Conference on Oct 13th. Each Finalist had a tasting and interview conducted by a member of the committee during the 15 days following the announcement. During that time the public voted for their favorites, comprising 30 percent of the finalist’s final score. The Rising Star Committee announced their choices on Nov 7.
The six Winners are:
Elliot Vogel – Tala an American Bistro
Matt Masto – Yono’s / dp an American Brasserie
Mike Stopczynski – Jack’s Oyster House
Patrick Brown – The Brook Tavern
Peter Hahm – Druthers
Tracey Kweicen – Angelo’s Prime Bar + Grill
The finalists will be paired with a mentor from the Signature Chef Team and will be featured in the Rising Star Chef Pavilion during the festival in January. Three Rising Star Chef finalists will be featured during the Friday Tasting and three during the Saturday Tasting.
Each year, the highest scoring winner from the competition is announced and, this year, the committee had a tie. Michelle Hines Abram, the festival’s founding director & chair of the Rising Star Committee stated, “In an unprecedented outcome we have a statistical tie for first place down to the thousandth of a percent between Chefs Tracey Kweicen & Elliot Vogel. Congratulations to both chefs and to Mazzone Hospitality!”
“The sole mission of the annual Festival is to provide sustainable funding for the support and preservation of the not-for-profit arts community in Albany, NY,” said Chairman of the Board of Directors Yono Purnomo. “In our first seven years, we have donated $674,160 to various arts organizations in the City of Albany. This capital infusion will continue their important work and contribute to the diverse cultural offerings of these wonderful organizations, which benefit the entire Capital Region.”
On January 12 – 14, 2017, the Festival Board of Directors and the City of Albany will host the 8th Anniversary Albany Chefs’ Food & Wine Festival at the Hilton Hotel Albany. The 2017 Festival brings together over 70 Innovative Chefs and 250 Global Wine, Spirit & NYS Craft Beer suppliers each year to provide area residents the opportunity to sample the best in culinary offerings at the two Grand Tastings, culinary competitions, Mayor’s Opening Celebration, Slider Slam and Grand Gala Reception & Dinner.
Festival Tickets are on sale now at http://www.AlbanyWineFest.com