Chef Bruce Sherman of North Pond - Biography

Chicago, IL

April 2012

Born and raised in Chicago, Bruce Sherman attended the University of Pennsylvania, majoring in Economics. Having grown up the son of a banker, Sherman thought he would have an office kind of life. But while studying abroad at the London School of Economics and experiencing European culture, Sherman he had a life-altering realization, essentially realizing he could choose any career he pleased. Over the years, 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, Sherman graduated and moved to Boston, where he began a career in restaurant management. Unable to satisfy his creative urge as a manager, he moved to the back of the house, working as a cook and absorbing all facets of kitchen life. He moved next to D.C., where he broadened his foodservice knowledge by starting a catering company, one 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.

Over the following four years in New Delhi, India, Sherman immersed himself in the local culture and local cuisine. While in India, Sherman consulted for regional palace hotels, teaching local Rajasthani cooks to prepare Western food for the visiting tourists. 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. The experience in India profoundly influenced his cooking, but not in the obvious manner. Sherman learned as much about seasonality as seasoning and spice. Sherman then moved to Paris and enrolled at the École Superieure de Cuisine Française to solidify his culinary knowledge. He completed the yearlong comprehensive program, supplementing his studies with jobs at a number of highly regarded restaurants. The following year, he returned to Chicago, working under some of the top toques in town.

In 1999, Sherman accepted the position as Chef at North Pond, where he’s been creating broadly influenced, subtle, seasonal cuisine ever since. Sherman was honored by Food & Wine as one of America’s “Best New Chefs” in 2003; then in 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, and again in 2012, he was nominated by the James Beard Foundation in the “Best Chef: Great Lakes Region” category. In 2008, Share Our Strength named him “Most Sustainable Chef” at the Chicago Taste of the Nation event and later that year, he accepted the position as National Board Chair of Chefs Collaborative, a position he still holds.