Vincent Francoual, chef and owner of Vincent – A Restaurant in Minneapolis, emerged as the winner in Minnesota Monthly’s Local Chef Challenge, presented by Groupon at the Best Buy™ Rotunda at Mall of America ™. The competition started Saturday, March 26th with eight of Minnesota’s top chefs dueling it out in elimination heats. Francoual was the last chef standing, on Sunday, March 27th, winning $10,000 cash and bragging rights.
In the final round, Francoual and J.D. Fratzke of The Strip Club were challenged to create dessert from a pantry of ingredients provided by Valley Natural Foods. In addition, the chefs were given four ingredients, kumquats, pistachios, mascarpone, and chow mein noodles that were required to be included in the dish.
The prepared cuisine for each round was judged by a distinguished panel of culinary experts: Minnesota Monthly’s Dara Moskowitz Grumdahl, Le Cordon Bleu chef instructor Jason Ross, WCCO reporter Jason DeRusha and Cambria Brand Advocate and Supermodel Cheryl Tiegs.
J.D. Fratzke took second place, winning $1,000 in cash.
This was the third annual Minnesota Monthly Local Chef Challenge. Previous winners included Jon Radle and Jack Riebel, Dakota Jazz Club and Restaurant. Minnesota Monthly also produces the Minnesota Monthly Food & Wine Experience.