James Beard Award-nominated chef joins Merchant, Lucille | Restaurants

Ahead of the pandemic, Cadence won Food & Wine Magazine’s “No. 1 Best New Restaurant” award in 2019, beating restaurants across the country.

“Simple pleasures and serious food – for once you don’t have to choose between them,” Food & Wine wrote.

Joshua Berkson, owner of Merchant and Lucille and president of Rule No. One Hospitality Group, said Nodler contacted him, excited about what Berkson was doing with his non-profit Cook It Forward, which in June 2020, began to partner with Madison restaurants. to produce healthy, individually packaged meals for local food banks, pantries and other sites.






The Merchant Terrace on Pinckney Street pictured in April.


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Last year, he raised over $ 325,000 in donations from 620 sources.

This summer, he brought together a small group of Madison restaurant owners to pledge to donate some of the federal COVID-19 stimulus money they received to minority-owned businesses that had been approved for the same funding, only to find it later canceled.

Berkson has severed ties with his former business partner, Patrick Sweeney, who was arrested last spring for domestic violence, including stalking, disorderly conduct and forcible confinement.

“He’s completely out of business,” Berkson said of Sweeney.

Berkson declined to say whether Sweeney’s high-profile issues were affecting business at Merchant and Lucille.

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