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Best New Chefs

Mike Sheerin

2010 Best New Chef Award Profile
Mike Sheerin
Photo courtesy of Mike Sheerin

Born: Chicago; 1976.

Education: Grand Rapids Community College Culinary Arts program; Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Experience: Toque and Everest, Chicago; Jean Georges, Lutèce and WD-50, New York City.

How he got a job at WD-50: "I kept dropping off copies of my resume. After five or six times, Wylie Dufresne [the chef/owner] said, 'I have enough of your resumes.' He showed me the meat station and said, 'I need someone to stand here.' I said, 'I can't really stand around.' He hired me on the spot."

Memorable cooking experience: Cooking for El Bulli's Ferran Adrià and The Fat Duck's Heston Blumenthal on the same night at WD-50. "Cooking for two people who Wylie idolized, who I idolized."

Ingredient obsession: Bitter chocolate. "We're using it to make fried chocolate: We change the texture of it by cooking down tapioca pearls, then adding the bitter chocolate and drying it. Then we fry it, to give it a nice caramelized flavor. It's good with duck leg confit."

Cheap eat: $2 chicken empanadas from Chicago's Tango Sur, an Argentinean corner store.

Favorite cookbook: The River Cottage Meat Book by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall.

Who he follows on Twitter: Sean Brock of McCrady's in Charleston, South Carolina ("He has a good blog going on, too [seanbrock.wordpress.com]"); Grant Achatz of Chicago's Alinea; Chris Cosentino of San Francisco's Incanto ("He's hilarious and entertaining; he'll post pictures of pigs being bled out in Spain—who does that?").

Restaurants
Trenchermen
2039 W. North Ave. Chicago, IL, United States
(773) 661-1540
Blackbird
619 W. Randolph St. Chicago, IL, United States
(312) 715-0708
2 recipes by Mike Sheerin

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Congratulations to Nicholas Elmi, winner of Top Chef: New Orleans, the 11th season of Bravo's Emmy-Award winning, hit reality series.

Already looking forward to next year (June 19-21, 2015)? Relive your favorite moments from the culinary world's most sensational weekend in the Rocky Mountains.