America Loves Cleveland: The Accolades Cleveland Chefs and Restaurants Have Gathered in the Past Year

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Rising star chefs Joe Horvath and Jennifer Plank gained the attention of the national publication Restaurant Hospitality for the sexy farm-to-table offerings dished up at Toast, their trendy Gordon Square restaurant.

In an article titled "Cleveland's Melt brings cheesy menu to Columbus," the Columbus Dispatch chats with owner Matt Fish about his soon-to-open restaurant in that city's Short North neighborhood.

The Detroit Free Press reported on Michael Symon's ever-expanding burger empire, covering the Cleveland chef's plans to bring a restaurant to metro Detroit before the end of the year.

This past August, Travel Channel host Andrew Zimmern spent some time in Cleveland filming for an upcoming episode of Bizarre Foods America, which is slated to air in early 2014.

Eater, the national arbiter for all things delicious, devoted one of its patented Eater Heat Maps to a handful of hot new Cleveland restaurants. Among them were Vero Pizzeria, Pura Vida, SoHo, Spice Kitchen and Black Pig.

A Men's Journal travel feature titled "Visiting Cleveland, on Purpose" calls Cleveland "a pleasant surprise" thanks in no small part to the eats at Happy Dog, Melt and throughout Asiatown.

 Jonathon Sawyer caught the attention of USA Today writer Larry Olmsted, who praised the Cleveland chef for his Tokyo and New York inspired noodle house, Noodlecat. Olmsted was particularly impressed by Sawyer's focus on sustainable ingredients, local food sourcing, and from-scratch preparation.

While Cleveland's top restaurants and chefs garner most of the national spotlight, Huffington Post recently listed Cleveland's Great American Rib Cook-Off as one of America's Top 10 Memorial Day BBQs.

Once again, Chris Hodgson of Hodge's restaurant and food truck fame found his way on the national stage, this time competing for the title of Next Food Network Star on the Food Network. This was Hodgson's second appearance on the network, having competed on the second season of The Great Food Truck Race.

New York magazine devoted one of its "Five-Point Weekend Escape Plans" to Cleveland, directing hungry travelers to Bar Cento, Ginko and Greenhouse Tavern for some world-class eats.

In a Salon article that outlines the fate of traditional public markets, which are fast becoming a dying breed, the West Side Market gets special attention for bucking the global trend.

Cleveland's Matt Fish and Melt Bar & Grilled garnered some love from Relish for serving one of America's 10 Best Grilled Cheese Sandwiches noting, "Thin-sliced white bread and American cheese are things of the past.

Surprisingly, some of Cleveland's tastiest treats can be found at some of the least expected places, at least according to Travel + Leisure Magazine, which touted First Energy Stadium as having some of America's Best StadiumFood, thanks in large part to B Spot and Street Frites.

In a survey titled "50 States, 50 Pies," Zagat named Bar Cento's Sunnyside pizza as the best in the state thanks to its runny egg yolks on a cracker-thin crust.

Chris Hodgson made his way into the running for "The People's Best New Chef: Great Lakes," where he nabbed a nomination from Food & Wine Magazine for that magazine's vote-driven popularity contest.

Eric Williams and Happy Dog earned special mention from Buffalo News food writer Andrew Galarneau, who spent considerable time in Cleveland covering the food scene for his newspaper back home.

When the early-stage nominations were handed out for this year's James Beard Foundation Awards numerous Cleveland chefs made the cut. Among them were Michael Symon for Outstanding Chef, Jonathon Sawyer for Best Chef: Great

Lakes, Zack Bruell for Best Chef: Great Lakes, and Matt Danko for Outstanding Pastry Chef.

Recently, the New York Post covered Cleveland's vibrant food scene, calling out Ohio City's West Side Market, Tremont's Fahrenheit and Dante, and University Circle's L'Albatros as a few of the reasons to book a trip.

Rocco Whalen caught the attention of West Coast foodies when the LA Weekly gave him props for serving one of the best dishes at the charity event L.A. Loves Alex's Lemonade. The dish: char-grilled beef short ribs.

Michael Symon's third cookbook 5 in 5, co-written by Scene dining editor Douglas Trattner, landed on the coveted New York Times Best Seller list, where it has remained ever since.

Cleveland-based food writer Michael Ruhlman was praised in the Washington Post for his updated edition of Charcuterie, which was co-written with Brian Polcyn. Special attention was given to the recipe and process for making guanciale, aka "face bacon."

In a USA Today listing of the most popular room service dishes across the country, Renaissance Cleveland Hotel chef Brett Montgomery's Cleveland Benedict ranks right up there.  The twist on the classic features house-cured corned beef, poached egg and Amish butter hollandaise atop rye toast.

In some non-traditional food related news, MIT Technology review shared how the Cleveland Clinic is one of four institutions teaching the IBM supercomputer Watson the ins-and-outs of recipe creation. Already Watson has created cayenne-infused papaya custard, which was found to be "quite good."

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