A native Chicagoan, chef/partner Bruce Sherman of Chicago’s North Pond restaurant utilizes influences from his travels and cooking in Paris, Southeast Asia and London to produce his true-to-the-season contemporary French-American cuisine. He also shares his vision by promoting sustainable cuisine as a board member of Chefs Collaborative.
After majoring in Economics at the University of Pennsylvania and studying at the London School of Economics, Sherman’s most inspiring education occurred much earlier, sharing time in the kitchen with his mom. After college graduation he started his career path in Boston in restaurant management, ultimately moving to the back of the house to fully satisfy his creative drive. He then opened and ran a successful catering company in Washington, D.C., until later selling it when he married and moved to India with his wife in 1993.
In New Delhi, Sherman made daily trips to the corner vegetable “wallah” (vendor) and began, of necessity, to cook only with what was available each day. This had a profound effect on his cooking style. In 1996, a year in Paris at the Ecole Superieure de Cuisine Francaise and in other restaurant kitchens refined his culinary skills and further developed his style, one clearly grounded in French technique. The following year Sherman returned to cook in Chicago, and in 1999 accepted his current position at North Pond, where he has been dazzling diners since with his broadly influenced yet subtle, seasonal cuisine. Sherman was honored by Food & Wine as one of America’s “Best New Chefs” in the July 2003 issue and with a “Good Eating Award” by the Chicago Tribune in November of the same year. He serves on the national boards of Chefs Collaborative and Slow and is a founding member of Chicago’s Green City Market, the city’s only sustainable market.
A native Chicagoan, Bruce Sherman traveled the world developing his culinary knowledge before returning to his hometown to delight Chicago's dining community. As Chef and Partner at Lincoln Park's North Pond, Sherman utilizes influences he picked up in Paris, Southeast Asia and London to produce his contemporary French, innovative, seasonal cuisine.
Sherman was born and raised in Chicago, and attended the University of Pennsylvania majoring in Economics. Growing up the son of a banker, Sherman thought he would have an "office career" - he would become a banker, lawyer or doctor, perhaps. While studying abroad at the London School of Economics and experiencing all that is European, Sherman had a life changing realization, one that opened up the world to him and allowed him to recognize that he could do anything he pleased. Growing up, he had always enjoyed watching his Mom cook, as she comfortably experimented with new flavors and cuisines, and he decided to pursue a career in the restaurant field. Upon his return to the States from abroad, Sherman graduated - with honors - and moved to Boston, where he began a career in restaurant management. Unable to satisfy his creative urge as a manager, Sherman moved to the back of the house, and worked as a cook absorbing all facets of kitchen life. He then moved to Washington, D.C., where he broadened his foodservice knowledge by starting a catering company, which he continued to run until selling the business in 1993. When Sherman's wife had an opportunity to work in India, they jumped at the chance.
In India, Sherman immersed himself in the local culture, particularly the cuisine of India. Making daily trips to the corner vegetable "wallah" (vendor) forced him to cook only with what was available each day, what was fresh and seasonal. His experience in India profoundly influenced his cooking style, but not in the obvious manner - the notion of seasonality he developed while living in India was as great an influence as the understanding of the flavors and usage of the diverse regional spices. While in India, Sherman acted as consultant for some Palace Hotels, teaching the local Rajasthani cooks how to prepare Western food for the visiting tourists. He also completed personal studies to develop a greater understanding and appreciation of the indigenous spices of the Malabar Coast. In 1996, Sherman moved to Paris for the purpose of furthering his culinary knowledge and enrolled at the Ecole Superieure de Cuisine Francaise. He completed the yearlong comprehensive program and supplemented his studies with jobs at a number of highly regarded restaurants. While in France, Sherman refined his already advanced culinary skills, developing his personal style, one that is clearly grounded in French technique. The following year, he returned to Chicago, and worked under some of the top toques in town. In 1999, Sherman accepted the position at North Pond, and has been dazzling diners with his broadly influenced, subtle, seasonal cuisine ever since.
Sherman and his wife Joan live in Evanston with their daughters Emma and Kate. According to Chef, it's the "instant satisfaction and spontaneous feedback" of cooking - whether in the kitchen, seasoning a recipe to alter the flavor, or in the dining room watching a guest's response to a dish he has just prepared - that Sherman enjoys most.