For Jason Vincent, the only downside in being named one of Food & Wine magazine’s “Best New Chefs in America,” was the timing. Making the 2013 list of 10 chefs meant Vincent had to spend Tuesday in New York for the announcement, photo shoot and gala.
“I was planning on watching opening day with my kid,” said Vincent, a die-hard Cleveland Indians fan. “When I found out I won, I also thought, ‘April 2nd? Really?”
In exchange for missing 1/162 of the Indians’ season, Vincent, executive chef at Nightwood restaurant (2119 S. Halsted St.), gets to join a very exclusive club.
Food & Wine’s Best Chef award, now 25 years old, has an impressive track record of identifying chefs with significant careers ahead of them. Previous winners from the Chicago area include Rick Tramonto and Gale Gand in 1994, as well as Rick Bayless (1998), Paul Kahan (1999), Grant Achatz (2002), Bruce Sherman (2003), Michael Carlson (2006), Paul Virant (2007), Koren Grieveson and Giusseppe Tentori (2008), Michael Sheerin (2010), Stephanie Izard (2011) and Danny Grant (2012).
“This is a big moment,” Vincent said. “This is something I’ve really, really wanted for a while.
“I grew up in Cleveland, and when Michael Symon (of Lola restaurant) got it in 1998, I thought it was awesome that a Cleveland dude got recognized,” Vincent said. “I just kind of obsessed over it, to tell you the truth.”
Find the complete list of Best New Chefs at foodandwine.com.Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times