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Celebrating Local Talent: DC's Rising Stars

Washington DC Dining DC

Dock 5 at Union Market was filled with more culinary talent than an episode of Top Chef Masters Tuesday night. (an industry trends magazine) held an awards ceremony and tasting gala honoring “Rising Stars” from the DC area, including nearby Richmond, VA, and Baltimore, MD. This year’s honorees were joined by past award winners and mentors. We snapped previous winners Bart Vandaele and R.J. Cooper with emcee David Guas and 2014 Rising Star Bryan Tetorakis. After the ceremony, winners were tasked with serving a celebratory bite or sip.


Neighborhood Restaurant Group had no shortage of winners, with Sommelier Brent Kroll, The Arsenal’s Kyle Bailey and Red Apron’s Nathan Anda. We snapped Brent with his beverage cohorts Greg Engert (who earned Rising Star status not too long ago) and Jeff Faile. Other DC winners included Bourbon Steak’s Joel Palma, The Red Hen’s Mike Friedman and Kapnos’ Mike Isabella.


Winners from Virginia included: Chef Austin Fausett from Trummer’s on Main in Clifton; Chef Lee Gregory from The Roosevelt in Richmond; and Chef Benjamin Thompson from The Rock Barn in Arrington. We snapped Austin, who chose to serve Virginia peanut foie gras soup with quince mostarda and espelette pepper. In Maryland, Chef Graeme Ritchie of VOLT was recognized, and naturally, Chef Bryan Voltaggio was in the house helping Graeme serve Wagyu short ribs with malt and salsify. A portion of the event's proceeds went to DC Central Kitchen.