“You’ve always been the standard-bearer of our profession, and that’s what brings us together here this evening,” chef Thomas Keller said in a captivating speech at the MICHELIN Guide New York City and Westchester County 2020 gala in October. Held at Ziegfeld Ballroom in Midtown Manhattan, some 400 chefs and guests celebrated in true industry fashion, fueled by Champagne and an assortment of bites by chefs including Junghyun Park (Atoboy, Atomix), Gabe McMackin (The Finch) and Thomas Chen (Tuome).
Emcee Dana Cowin, as well as international director of the MICHELIN Guides Gwendal Poullennec and chairman and president of MICHELIN North America Alexis Garcin, kicked off the night with remarks before congratulating chefs and teams of the starred selection. New one-star additions to the 2020 Guide include Benno, Odo, Crown Shy, Oxalis, The Four Horsemen, Le Jardinier, Ukiyo and Estela, while Atomix was elevated to two-star status and Dan Barber’s Blue Hill at Stone Barns in Tarrytown landed in the guide with two MICHELIN stars for the first time.
“Cooking is emotional, a conduit for human connection,” adds Keller. “I’m continually inspired by those around me and have received great guidance from so many of them—and a lot of them are here tonight. In our profession, we have a camaraderie we share. We listen to one another and every day I am still learning. In that way, cooking is very personal, intensely so—but it’s more than that. Cooking transports us beyond ourselves. It extends outward to friends, family, to colleagues, to new acquaintances, to our farmers, our fishermen, our foragers, our gardeners, to anyone we work with and anybody we touch. No matter who we are or where we come from, cooking food is the tie that binds us. That connection is further sealed with our service teams who deliver and devote themselves to comfort and care for our guests. Restaurants are not about any one person—they’re about a team, they’re about a common goal. They never were about one person. They never are. They embody the energy and efforts and talents and dedication of so many. They contain multitudes of perspectives of the many things that make restaurants worth celebrating. That’s what I’d like to celebrate tonight. At a time when the world around us seems so fractured, when it can be seen as if there is so much that divides us, restaurants remain communities and cooking is the common language.”
Watch the star-studded recap in the video below.
Hero image by Clay Williams.
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