The Best New Chef nod from Food & Wine magazine is one of the most coveted distinctions in the food business. Awarded to only 10 breakout chefs each year (the 2012 list had 12 winners), the title has launched careers for some of the world’s greatest chef talents, including Thomas Keller (‘88), Tom Colicchio (’91), Rocco DiSpirito, (’99), Jonathan Benno (‘06) and countless others. Watch 2010 Best New Chef Mike Sheerin talk about how the award gave him the courage to open his own restaurant:
“That award impacted my career by giving me the confidence to actually step out on my own as a chef, partner and owner in my own restaurant with my brother and two other partners that I have in Chicago,” Sheerin told genConnect. “It was my stamp of approval. It was the verification of all of the years of training I did.”
Sheerin, who won the 2010 Best New Chef award for his work at “Blackbird” in Chicago, left his post there shortly after to pursue a new venture: The Trenchermen. The restaurant’s moniker means, “one who enjoys eating and drinking in excess” and boasts a progressive American menu inspired by the century-old Turkish bathhouse décor.
His advice for 2012 winners? “Don’t let any opportunity slide by you.”
genConnect was credentialed press at the 2012 Food & Wine Classic in Aspen, Colo., where we interviewed the top chefs, wine experts and culinary gurus from the event. For more of our video interviews and articles from the 30th Annual Food & Wine Classic, click here.
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