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The Power Issue

Why we did it, how we did it, and more about the 75 most influential people in the Twin Cities

The Power Issue
Photo by Thomas Strand (6)

More About Our Power List

The Twin Cities are not New York, or Chicago, or even Dallas—we don’t carry our clout like a badge. If fact, we like to pretend we don’t even care. We’re modest to a fault. Which is why we thought it was about time to acknowledge the people whose leadership, influence, and grit has gotten us to where we are today.

But first we had to pick. Just 75 people. We decided to restrict the list to the Twin Cities, though one could argue that folks like John Noseworthy of Rochester, CEO of the Mayo Clinic, or Glen Taylor of Mankato, owner of the Minnesota Timberwolves, are power players of the first rank. If the Twin Cities as a whole are the center of power in Minnesota, that’s where we needed to focus.

More important, we wanted to reflect a new order of influence in the Twin Cities, and nearly everywhere else: diverse in age, race, and background. And we didn’t want it to revolve strictly around money. There’s power in money, yes, but not necessarily leadership. And we wanted leaders, influencers, tastemakers. There’s as much influence today in the arts, activism, and nonprofits as there is in politics and business, and we wanted to reflect that.

It’s subjective, of course. The 75 people we came up with could, with some effort, be replaced by another set of 75 people with an equal claim to influence. It would depend on your point of view. Those are the conversations we hope the issue will stir, and we’ll be the better for it.
 

Behind the Scenes at MNMO’s Power Issue Cover Shoot

We shot our gracious models—Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak, Vikings punter Chris Kluwe, and KARE-11 meteorologist Belinda Jensen—on the rooftop patio of the Walker Art Center. It was a blustery if unseasonably warm day in early December, and the camera crew did all they could to keep the photography lights from blowing away. Chris entertained us with stories about his not-so-secret role-playing game obsession (he owns a game store in California). The mayor filled us in on how Minnesotans prefer to talk about power (they don’t; they prefer to talk of community). And Belinda kept her eye on the sky.

Here’s what it looked like:


 

Where Power Shops

You go to Heimie’s Haberdashery when you want to look like a million bucks. Here’s what happened when we dropped in with St. Paul Mayor Chris Coleman.

“I rarely wear anything that’s not from here,” says St. Paul mayor Chris Coleman, scoping the new merchandise at Heimie’s Haberdashery. Stetson fedoras piled high. Plaid sports coats with elbow patches. Pocket squares that explode like tulips from breast pockets.

The store, which is only seven years old but feels about a hundred, is a short walk from City Hall and next door to the Saint Paul Hotel, which sends men over all the time with sartorial emergencies.

Not that a man needs an excuse to visit. This is a men’s emporium, with manly business conducted beneath the gaze of robust deer mounts. You come in for a straight-edge razor shave and leave with a wooden walking stick, like the one the mayor picks out—a hound’s head carved into the handle—and twirls in a little soft-shoe “Puttin’ on the Ritz.” He’s bought his last six suits here, and before he leaves this morning he’ll buy another.

You can get a suit made-to-order here for less than you’d pay for a nice off-the-rack model at Macy’s, and Anthony Andler, the proprietor, has Coleman’s measurements memorized: 44 long, not too tight across the back, so the mayor can comfortably hold forth at a podium.

“He needs a lot of navy suits,” Andler says, and picks one out from a third-generation tailor in Montreal. Coleman is demurring at a staff suggestion to try something dandier in plaid when Don Shelby, the erstwhile anchorman, strolls in, a pink pocket square blooming from his chest, his white mane spilling onto his dark blazer. “Hey, hippie,” the mayor teases, “get out of here!”

But no one’s going anywhere. The mayor tries on a burgundy pair of Allen-Edmonds shoes and a black winter jacket and then hands Andler his car coat, asking, “Can you fix me up with some new buttons?” It’s not really a question. Of course he can.
 

How Power Eats

A private chef on the beauty of dining out—at home

For my clients, it’s a lifestyle choice. If you’re really busy or you don’t want to cook or you just want to put your energy into something you’re better at—and you can afford it—you come to me.

Here’s how it often works: people have a restaurant they really like and they’ll hire one of the chefs. I cook in my kitchen or theirs. I have keys to their places. I take the dogs out. I look out for them—I’m another set of eyes on the property.

Some private chefs have a set menu for all their clients that they change from day to day or week to week, almost like a mini-restaurant. I prefer customization. What’s in season? What are their dietary needs? Most of my clients are trying to eat healthy, but I have one client who only wants rich foods, lots of bisques. I also have a client I only cook for on weekends because he entertains a lot: two four-course dinners for four people, like gourmet catering.

I have a client who offered to send me to a restaurant so I could replicate a certain dish he really liked there. With others, there’s almost no communication. I bring dinner, they eat it, it’s all good.

At the highest end, you’re cooking for people in their home and serving at dinner time, like a butler. That’s about $50 an hour. For most people, I cook dinner during the day and they reheat it. I’ll also do some of their grocery shopping for the meals I’m not cooking. And I’ll do baking on request: banana bread, pies. I’ve served full Thanksgiving dinners for six to 10 people.

I don’t ask personal questions. But when you’re cooking in someone’s home, you can’t be as unengaged as the guy coming in to fix the water heater. What people eat is such an intimate thing to be involved in. Some clients would eat frozen pizzas otherwise. In other cases, there are psychological issues around food. I can help with that. And here’s the thing: the food I serve my clients is the same food I serve myself. They have high standards and so do I.

AS TOLD TO TIM GIHRING
 

For more from our power issue, read "Power & The New Establishment" and "Built to Lead."
 


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