Food & Wine Magazine officially announced it's 2010 "Best New Chefs" yesterday, one of the biggest accolades for a young chef. The kudos tend to serve as a predictor of future success, although not always (anyone seen Ted Cizma or Kelly Courtney lately?) Chefs who've been running their kitchens for less than five years qualify.
This year's Chicago winner is Michael Sheerin, the Chef at Blackbird. Ironically enough, Sheerin's boss, Paul Kahan, won the same award 11 years ago while he was the chef at, yes, Blackbird. Two years ago, Kahan's co-worker, Koren Grieveson, won the award as the chef at Avec. So it seems, just like the University of Chicago piles up the Nobels for Economics, Kahan's little restaurant group is doing the same for the "Best New Chef" nod. They're also keeping the nation's eye on our city's culinary scene, and for that, we're all a little prouder.
Kudos also to Missy Robbins, former Exec. Chef at Spiaggia, for her nod this year as Chef at A Voce in New York City. I had the pleasure of dining there about a year ago, and it was clear her experience in Chicago has informed her ingredient combinations there. I know her former colleagues at 980 N. Michigan are raising a glass of prosecco to her as well.