The company announced the 2021 Dallas-Fort Worth Rising Stars and launched the accompanying “Restaurant Week” Dec. 2. The two-week promotional event will last until Dec. 16.
The Rising Stars program and restaurant week spotlights up-and-coming chefs, pastry chefs, and bartenders and incentivizes the community to support the hospitality industry.
“[Rising Stars] have strong, compelling culinary philosophies and are committed to fostering a culinary community by sharing their knowledge with fellow professionals,” says the company’s website.
In North Texas, the 2021 class includes 17 rising stars recognized for their culinary strengths, charitable contributions to D-FW, and their ability to “navigate, lead, and inspire.” Among them are Jimmy Park (chef) of Shoyo, Matthew Ramirez (baker) of Lucia, and George Kaiho (bartender) of Jettison.
Interested in tasting some of these rising star dishes? You can find winners and the dishes that got them there on StarChefs’ Restaurant Week menu page.
Besides chefs, bakers and bartenders, awards also go to top-notch concepts, community work, game changers and sommeliers. This year’s D-FW “Game Changer” award went to Meridian’s Junior Borges and his Blue Prawn Moqueca.
One of two concept awards went to Andrew Chen of Monkey King Noodle Company. Specifically, his Dan Dan Pork Noodles which have wok-fried Niman Ranch Iberian Duroc Pork Ragú and hand-pulled noodles.
Another stand-out is pastry chef Maricsa Trejo of La Casita Bakeshop. The well-traveled Texas native concocts everything from honey caramel and smoked chocolate tarts to more Mexican-inflected pastries such as caramel churro cruffins.
The restaurant week coincides with the StarChefs’ Rising Stars magazine release and gives guests the opportunity to get to know local culinary talent by enjoying the winners’ featured dishes, wine pairings, cocktails, tea, beer, and baked goods.
Chefs are nominated by StarChefs’ advisory board, previous award winners, local food media, and StarChefs’ editorial research, as well as through its online nomination form. Then, they are chosen by the company’s editorial team via in-person tastings and interviews. In each city, the editorial team tastes and interviews with 120 culinary newbies ultimately selecting a group of 18-20 that they feel best embody the vanguard of that city’s dining scene.
Here’s the full list of the 2021 D-FW class:
Christian Dortch Georgie by Curtis Stone
Matt Ford Billy Can Can
Misti Norris Petra and the Beast
Jimmy Park Shoyo
Game Changer Chef
Junior Borges Meridian
Andrea Shackelford Harvest Seasonal Kitchen
Maricsa Trejo La Casita Bakeshop
Andrew Chen Monkey King Noodle Company
Emma & Travis Heim Heim Barbecue
Nathan Abeyta Deep Cuts Dallas
Jessica & Seth Brammer Lenore’s Bagels
Matthew Ramirez Lucia
Joe Zavala Zavala’s Barbecue
George Kaiho Jettison
Lauren Loiselle Homewood
Dean Fearing Fearing’s Restaurant
Charles Olalia The Adolphus Hotel
Chad Houser Café Momentum