PBA Member Nominated For Prestigious Award
James Martin, executive chef/owner of 85 Main in downtown Putnam, has been nominated for the Connecticut Restaurant Association’s 2011 “Chef of the Year” award.
Along with Martin, the finalists for Chef of the Year include Scott Miller from Max’s Oyster Bar in West Hartford and Kevin Long from Shrine at Foxwoods.
While holding a great deal of respect for his fellow nominees, Martin says that Miller and Long work with the corporate advantages of “culinary teams and marketing directors to make sure every move is guided correctly.” As for Martin, there are no such luxuries. “I’m an independent,” he says.
Martin says that he’s flattered to be nominated but that he prefers to ”work with my head down” and isn’t operating 85 Main with the goal of winning awards. “What’s important to me is to remain independent in a small town and to be doing it in an area that I love being in.”
85 Main opened its doors in Putnam in 2005 and Martin has since been credited by many with putting the small town on the culinary map.
The three Chef of the Year finalists were determined by a write-in vote and the winner will be selected by a committee of CRA organizers. The CRA will announce the 2011 Chef of the Year on Wednesday, November 9th, at its annual Salute to Excellence Award Dinner at the Mohegan Sun Casino. The dinner will be attended by Connecticut’s culinary elite, but is also open to the general public.