Local Flavor

Chef David Standridge, winner of Best Chef of the Northeast | Photo by Bread & Beast Photography
New England chefs, bakery earn James Beard Awards

Three of New England’s top chefs and restaurants were represented in this year’s James Beard Awards. Announced last week, the awards included local wins in the categories of Outstanding Bakery, Outstanding Pastry Chef or Baker, and Best Chef: Northeast.

Outstanding Bakery:
ZU Bakery, Portland, Maine

Opened in 2000 by Barak Olins, ZU Bakery specializes in rustic breads and pastries. A small, intimate space, the bakery is designed to invite all those who enter to hear and see the chefs at work. It’s the kind of place where whole grain flour is milled in-house from local spelt, wheat and rye, and that extra attention to freshness and flavor makes all the difference.

Outstanding Pastry Chef or Baker:
Atsuko Fujimoto, Norimoto Bakery, Portland, ME
Photo by Scott Peterman

Originally from Tokyo, Atsuko Fujimoto had a presence in the Portland dining scene for years before opening Norimoto Bakery in 2021. Since then, the wholesale bakery has become known for its unique blend of European baking and Japanese flavors (with Maine ingredients, of course). Menu items change weekly, and can be found both at the bakery on Stevens Ave and at multiple Portland restaurants and cafés.

Best Chef: Northeast
David Standridge, The Shipwright’s Daughter, Mystic, CT

Creative dishes and a commitment to the environment define the work of Chef David Standridge (pictured at top), the executive chef and owner of The Shipwright’s Daughter in Mystic, Connecticut. Standridge advocates for sustainable fishing practices and makes dedicated efforts to incorporate local kelp, invasive species, and bycatch fish into his menu on a regular basis.

‣ Watch our recent New England Living Chef Series featuring David Standridge.

‣ Read the New England Living magazine story featuring Standridge, “With a Little Kelp from Your Friends,” about the use of kelp in his dishes.

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