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Cathal Armstrong on Cover of Food and Wine

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Our First Night with FOOD and WINE

Thank you, Thank you to all of you who have been so supportive of us at EVE.

We are just back from NYC. The FOOD and WINE announcement party was

a blast. Here's just a 'quick and snappy' from our first night. I've had so many calls so I figured, may as well try to do it in one shot. (Camille-Beau can spill some insight. We invited them as our guests. 68 reservations on table 103 means a great deal to us.) I can't give the full scoop since someone wants to do a piece. But anyway, thought our friends out there may be interested. Again, many many thanks, Meshe

Cathal got the call from Dana Cowin, FOOD and WINE editor about 2 weeks ago. It was impossible for me not to burst from the excitement. "Can we tell our staff, our mothers?"

"Please keep it under wraps", she said "Until the announcement party!" it was scheduled

for April 4. The two weeks followed with extensive interviews, fact checking, (We were

worried that Cathal would not qualify. The rule is: The Chef must be in charge of his

own kitchen for 1-5 years. Remember, he was chef at Bistro Bis. BUT since he was

still 'under' a chef/owner it really wasn't completely under his total supervision.

They really do a lot of research. I was told that each chef's final 'research' book is a big binder! Ratha-one very cool lady was in charge of just the research. She said she had to go thru 285 Chef's that were widdled down from a crazy stack. Then the teamwork started. Who would be the final 10 and why? We weren't aware that they had already sent their scouts out and had a couple dinners at EVE.

The whole experience was out of this world, I don't think I have ever seen Cathal in disbelief. He would say "Is someone going to ring us and say,..ah here now, we made a mistake, it's not you after all." Hmmm...I don't think so baby cause they arranged all the travel details and a high end hotel stay, dinner, and one very 'straight from the fridge' vip soiree.

We were invited to Dana Cowin's home for a cocktail party and to meet the nine other honorees. Brilliant. So about 35 in total. The Chefs, companions, and the Food and Wine execs. (Most very genuine and no pomp!) Tom Colicchio hung out and chatted as his staff prepared the hors doeuvres for the evening. He told us fun stories about that new series, 'Top Chef'.

Funny, I am reminded how small our industry is due to only 3 degrees of separation. We all did not know each other, but we all knew many of the same people. Jonathan Benno (Chef of Per Se) was once room mates with Mark, our new waiter. Stewart Woodman, (Chef from Five in Minneapolis) is pals with one of my best friends who also lives there. You know, that kinda thing. For a few of us the bond was immediate. (We already made plans to visit the other restaurants before meeting in Aspen.)

Later in the evening we all hit China Town for a late night banquet at David Chang's recommendation. He's (NY's #2 honoree from Momofuku). Sorry, I can't tell you the name it was all in Chinese!!!!!! Eat, eat, eat and a few drinks too. But we couldn't stay out too late since a photo shoot was scheduled for 8:00. A car was sent to collect all the Chef's at 7:45 am for the big photo spread due out in the July issue. So off we were to the Soho Grand for a good night's sleep. Two glasses of wine later, the butterflies settled slightly in my husband’s stomach.

He smiled at me and said, “I guess I’m in.”

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A few photo highlights of last night's Food & Wine "Best New Chef" reception. (sorry for the blurry, ghosted images in some of the pictures. The vodka mojitos I always seemed to have on hand had absolutely nothing to do with the quality (or lack thereof) of these photos, really ;) )

Battery Maritime Building, Manhattan:


Drinks and hors d'oeuveres were offered at several restaurant tables which all had their head chefs present:

Scott Conant (2005 winner) - L'Impero: post-241-1144288799_thumb.jpg Shea Gallante (2005 winner) - Cru: post-241-1144288856_thumb.jpg

Tom Valenti - Ouest: post-241-1144288816_thumb.jpg post-241-1144288831_thumb.jpg serving "Moroccan Spiced Salmon": post-241-1144288842_thumb.jpg

Laurent Tourondel (BLT-everything) was there as well. No photos but he did confirm the upcoming opening of BLT Steak in DC is slated for August/September.

And for the main event -- Tom Colicchio (Gramercy Tavern, Craft, Craftsteak, Craftbar... you get the idea) and Katie Lee Joel (aka Mrs. Billy Joel) present the chefs:

post-241-1144288373_thumb.jpg while Dana Cowin of F&W congratulates the winners:


For you "Top Chef" watchers we have Miguel (contestant) and Gail Simmons (F&W editor and judge): post-241-1144288907_thumb.jpg

Other "TC" contestants -- Cynthia, Lee Anne, Andrea, Stephen -- were roaming around, photoless...

And we end with Cathal and a few familiar faces: post-241-1144288925_thumb.jpgpost-241-1144288947_thumb.jpgpost-241-1144288962_thumb.jpg



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Congratulations!  A great and well-deserved honor. So, materialistically, what's the prize? <_<

Materialistically?...he got a LL Bean gift bag Bag with the award logo, coffee, wine, scotch and other little gifts along the same lines and one very cool plaque.

But the real prize is to celebrated among your PEERS!! NOTHING beats that!

We met some really great people who share the same goals and new ties have been made.

It's like that visa commercial. Priceless.

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Congratulations, very well deserved! I've known a couple of top tens, get ready for a fun year of the "rock and roll lifestyle" Also, the lickedy spit lunch is still the best deal in town, though I'm always tempted to have the glass of wine and birthday cake for lunch. Can't wait for the chipper to open!

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Congratulations Chef!

I just saw this on the WaPo website: "Chef Cathal Armstrong will be online Tuesday, April 18 at 1 p.m. ET to discuss his award from Food & Wine, plans for Eamonn's and the spring menu at Restaurant Eve."

(I have yet to dine at RE myself...but I hope to before too long!)

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The latest issue of Food & Wine features several best new chefs, including Restaurant Eve chef and DR.com member Cathal Armstrong. The article features a recipe for bouillabaise from Armstrong, and he gives a shout out to Davon Crest Farms. Congratulations!

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Biggest inspiration. David Lankford, co-owner of Davon Crest farm in Trappe, Maryland, who's one of Armstrong's main purveyors. "He'd brought in samples—arugula that tastes like intense black pepper; powerfully fragrant strawberries—and we threw them in the fridge. A week later, I found them and they were still picture-perfect. He's as excited about farming as I am about cooking. When I'm down, David is like my Santa Claus."

That's sweet.

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