Many of the world's most-acclaimed chefs including Thomas Keller and Rick Bayless share one thing in common--they were, at one time, named one of the Best New Chefs of the Year by Food & Wine Magazine. Now one of DC's own has had this award bestowed upon her--Equinox's Executive Chef Karen Nicolas. Equinox held a fantastic party celebrating Karen's award as one of the Best New Chefs of 2012 and I was lucky to be there to celebrate with them.
I think the most exciting thing for us vegans is that Chef Karen Nicolas, just like Chef Todd Gray, is more than willing to cook up fantastic innovative vegan dishes at any time and she was even nice enough to do so for me during her own party.
She served me a delicious heirloom tomato salad with some sort of gelee.
There was an argula, frisee, and radicchio salad with caramelized macadamia nuts and pecans.
The grilled peach dish was spectacular.
And last, but not least, was my favorite -- a dish with sauteed oyster mushrooms, cannellini beans, and fresh corn.
Karen Nicolas is most deserving of this award and I am so proud that she is in my city. Only 10 chefs in the country are presented with this award each year and each of them gets to showcase their culinary creations at Aspen's Food &Wine Classic each summer. As the Washingtonian reported, "Nicolas came to Equinox
last fall with an impressive résumé that included stints at Dry Creek
in Healdsburg, California, and Gramercy Tavern in New York
City. She studied at Johnson & Wales University in Providence,
Rhode Island..." An impressive résumé, indeed.