May 2009 Listed
Minnesota Monthly Food & Wine Experience
Executive Chef, Grand Café
Local Chef Challenge Winner
What dish did you prepare in Minnesota Monthly's Food & Wine Experience Local Chef Challenge?
The winning dish was Seared Diver Scallops with Shaved Brussle Sprouts, Bacon, Confit of Parsnips and White Fig Gastrique.
What kind of competition were you up against?
Some really talented chefs, some I would count as my friends. There was a very diverse field; everyone had different backgrounds.
What advice would you give chefs competing in the Local Chef Challenge in the future?
If your plan doesn't match up to the secret ingredient, maybe you should change your plan.
Where did you receive your professional training?
15 years on the job, as well as The Art Institutes Minnesota Culinary AAS.
Where was your first restaurant job?
Busboy at Perkins, age 14.
What's your favorite cooking indulgence?
Whiskey, sometimes even for cooking.
Who was your culinary mentor?
Where's the best place to go for cheap eats?
That's a somewhat relative question. Cheap to who? I like happy hour at Fuji-Ya... is that really cheap though? To be fair I haven't been to Barrio, though I hear it's the spot.
Finish this sentence: I ignite my cooking creativity by...
having to think on my feet. It's not always food-related, sometimes concepts are suggested by other art forms.
Would you like to add anything else?
Thanks, Ben Pichler (Sous Chef), couldn't do it without you.
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