Monday, May 7, 2012

'I Thought This Day Would Never Come'

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That was North Pond's Bruce Sherman on Monday in New York as he accepted his first-ever James Beard award for Best Chef: Great Lakes. He had been nominated previously for the prestigious award five years in a row, and this year he was up against exceptionally strong contenders in Chicago's Stephanie Izard (The Girl & The Goat), Andrew Zimmerman (Sepia) and Michael Carlson (Schwa).

He told ABC-7's Steve Dolinsky in his first post-win interview:

"The most difficult part of doing what we do is keeping it up. It's persistence, stubbornness, whatever you want to call it...and it's maintaining standards and keeping it up."

Sherman was one of three Chicago winners this year.

Hot Chocolate's Mindy Segal won Outstanding Pastry Chef, but she wasn't present for the ceremony. She told 312DD earlier in the day she wouldn't be able to make it because she was readying her popular Bucktown spot for a reopening on Wednesday. This was her first Beard win after being nominated seven times in a row.

Next won Best New Restaurant, with partners Grant Achatz, Nick Kokonas and chef de cuisine Dave Beran accepting on the restaurant's behalf.

In the first-ever Outstanding Bar Program category, The Aviary and The Violet Hour lost to New York's PDT (Please Don't Tell) cocktail lounge.

Next chef Dave Beran lost the Rising Star Chef of the Year award to New York's Christina Tosi of Momofuku Milk Bar.

Outstanding Service went to La Grenouille of NYC, beating out Spiaggia and Topolobampo.

And for Outstanding Chef, Paul Kahan of Blackbird lost to NYC's Daniel Humm (Eleven Madison Park).

Isn't it interesting that in every category Chicago lost, it was to a New York establishment?!

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