Born in San Diego, Chef Shawn McClain joined the Chicago culinary community while attending Kendall College. Chef McClain gained the acclaim of diners and critics while heading the kitchen at the four-star rated restaurant Trio in Evanston. It was here that Chef McClain defined and asserted his vision. His style came into focus, marked by the balance he strikes while respecting the purity of each ingredient selected. After seven accolade-filled years, Chef McClain opened Spring in Chicago's Bucktown in 2001. Spring served a seafood-focused menu during ten years of extraordinary critical and popular success. Spring was nominated as "Best New Restaurant" by the James Beard Foundation, and Chef McClain was named "Chef of the Year" by Esquire Magazine and "Rising Star Chef of the Year" by the Jean Banchet Awards for Culinary Excellence. While at Spring, the concept for a vegetable-focused restaurant was born, and in 2004 Green Zebra became Chef McClain's second restaurant in Chicago. Chef McClain was honored with the prestigious award of "Best Chef in the Midwest" by the James Beard Foundation in 2006. In 2009, Chef McClain opened Sage in the Aria hotel in the City Center Complex in Las Vegas, featuring sophisticated, contemporary American cuisine. Sage has received overwhelming praise from the public, food critics, and his peer chefs in the community.