Jon Radle Wins Local Chef Challenge

Grand Café Takes Center Stage at Minnesota Monthly Food & Wine Experience

Jon Radle, executive chef at Grand Café in Minneapolis, emerged the winner in the Local Chef Challenge at the Minnesota Monthly Food & Wine Experience on Sunday, March 1st. The competition began on Saturday morning with eight chefs, including Vincent Francoual (Vincent), JD Fratske (The Strip Club), Asher Miller (20.21 Restaurant), Sameh A. Wadi (Saffron Restaurant and Lounge), Erik Anderson (Porter & Frye), Scott Pampuch (The Corner Table), and Anna Christoforides (Gardens of Salonica). Randle was the last chef standing, winning $2,500 in cash and a $1,000 gift certificate to Kitchen Window in Calhoun Square.

In the final one-hour round, Radle and Anderson created an appetizer and an entrée from a pantry of ingredients. In addition, they were given one common ingredient, fresh squid, to be combined with one selection from their own restaurant’s kitchen.

Jon Radle’s winning appetizer was cured ham and avocado with a white fig and mint vinaigrette and toasted almonds. His winning entrée was seared ahi tuna and squid with roasted red pepper sauce.

Dan and Mary Hunter, owners of Grand Café, were in the audience during the competition and praised Radle for the talent he brings to their restaurant’s kitchen.

Anderson took second place, winning $1,000 in cash and a $500 gift certificate from Kitchen Window. In the final round, he made an appetizer of lamb belly with butternut squash and mango with green chili and fennel. For his entrée, he stuffed the fresh squid with scallops and olives and served it with beef, parsnips, and shitake mushrooms.

Minnesota Monthly magazine created the Local Chef Challenge in an effort to showcase the talented chefs and outstanding restaurants in the Twin Cities.

* To celebrate the win, Grand Café is featuring Radle’s scallop dish on its current menu. Also new: Find Simple Supper menus available at Grand Café from 5-6 p.m. Tues.-Thurs. and a special tasting menu on  Sunday nights. Learn more at