Cleveland Rallies Around Long-Time Local Favorite Zack Bruell To Finally Win A James Beard Award

The five-time nominee hopes to highlight his 40-year career with the prestigious honor

Mar 01, 2016, 14:51 ET from Zack Bruell Restaurant Group

CLEVELAND, March 1, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- As Clevelanders celebrate an impressive culinary resurgence, the chef behind much of the momentum was nominated this year for his fifth James Beard Award in the category of Best Chef, Great Lakes Region.

Throughout the past decade, Bruell has steadily opened 10 unique and highly celebrated restaurants, all within the city limits of Cleveland. The eateries range from sushi and oyster bars to seafood, French and Italian bistros reimagined through a contemporary lens.

Bruell's latest menu creation at Parallax is a twist on the traditional French brasserie with a distinct South-Asian influence. It was Parallax that caught the attention of the James Beard Foundation this year, as local diners rallied around Bruell for the win.

"I feel like the Susan Lucci of the restaurant world," Bruell recently told a TV news anchor during a live interview to discuss the nomination. "It really would be a great honor."

In the early 1970s, Bruell and a handful of fearless young chefs at Michael's Santa Monica played a key role in forging the culinary movement that was eventually dubbed California Cuisine. A few years later, when he moved to Ohio, Cleveland Magazine credited Bruell with importing the west-coast style with his own local restaurant, Z Contemporary Cuisine.

Bruell eventually sold the landmark eatery, but his fans never forgot how he miraculously layered vibrant flavors within a larger dish. By 2004, Zack reemerged with Parallax in Cleveland's Tremont neighborhood. In the years that followed, his support ballooned to a critical mass, enabling him to open nine new restaurants, all within 15 square miles.

The new lineup at Parallax includes duck confit with Thai red curry sauce; seafood bouillabaisse in coconut-based broth; and cassoulet with house-made Thai sausage and mung beans. The Franco-classic trout almandine has been retooled with a peanut crust and hoisin butter. The sesame-seed seared salmon is served with a side of mashed edamame.

Regardless of the outcome, Bruell plans to attend the James Beard award ceremony in Chicago this spring to honor his fellow chefs.

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SOURCE Zack Bruell Restaurant Group