05/17/2011 12:12 pm ET | Updated Jul 17, 2011

Zagat's 30 Under 30 New York: The Rising Stars Of The Restaurant Scene (PHOTOS)

New York's food scene is well known for the restaurants of old hands like Daniel Boulud, Thomas Keller and Mario Batali. But there are plenty of youngsters ready to cook the next course in the city's culinary history.

Thirty of the best up-and-coming 20 somethings were honored at Zagat's 30-Under-30 New York awards last night at Boulud's DBGB.

The list of honorees includes Daniel Calvert of Per Se, Emma Hearst of Sorella and Stellina, Jeff Katz of Del Posto and Jesse Schenker of Recette.

The award winners, their modest entourages and the press elbowed their way to free oysters and booze in DBGB's front room.

Calvert, a 23-year-old English export started working as the chef de partie at Per Se in 2009, after he spent a year emailing the restaurant, begging for a job. Calvert said working at Thomas Keller's pricey establishment, where the menu changes daily, has taught him to think on his feet and given him a lot more confidence.

Per Se's maître d' once compared working at the restaurant to being like Derek Jeter playing for the Yankees. Calvert uses a soccer analogy instead.

"It's like being on Real Madrid, even though I hate them. Everyone wants to be an all-star and we all work really hard," Calvert said.

After working for Gordon Ramsay at the London, Schenker started his own restaurant, Recette at 25. Working for Ramsay's proteges was no picnic, but Schenker said it was nowhere near as difficult as running his own establishment.

"Until you've done it, you have no fucking clue," Schenker said. "It takes everything out of you, but it's a lot more rewarding."

Photos by Jonathan Grassi