Chef Home Cooking Secrets

Go inside the homes of local chefs to get recipes and tips for their favorite date night, happy hour, and family dinner dishes

Erik Anderson, Jamie Malone, Brut

Date Night with Jamie Malone & Erik Anderson

(Brut/Scena Tavern)

Cooking can be difficult when your sous chefs wildly wag their tails and try to jump on the counter to steal a few gourmet food scraps. Pork Chop and Eleanor are spunky Italian Greyhounds, the liveliest animals in the North Loop apartment of chefs Jamie Malone and Erik Anderson. The other wildlife—foxes, deer, bats, and butterflies—are all on more stationary display. “I definitely went through a taxidermy phase,” Anderson says with a laugh.

Anderson and Malone have traveled and cooked around the globe, picking up animals along the way, totems of their adventures. The stateliest figure is an albino cobra, poised tall, in a glass case high above the spice cabinet and kitchen sink. The snake is a rarity, as are the culinary power couple, who have both graced the cover of Food & Wine magazine’s “Best New Chef” issues.

Erik Anderson, Jamie Malone, Brut

Anderson and Malone met while working at the now-closed Porter & Frye in downtown Minneapolis. Later, Anderson became chef at the esteemed Catbird Seat in Nashville, and Jamie at the Guthrie’s Sea Change. Now, reunited in the same city and same apartment, they are consulting chefs at Scena Tavern in Uptown. But they also have plans of their own.

Between the leopard-print couch and tables with towers of cookbooks rests a large drawing board showing the blueprint designs and logo mock-ups for Brut, the couple’s French-inspired restaurant to open this summer in Sapor Cafe and Bar’s former location in the North Loop. 

Getting a new restaurant off the ground doesn’t leave much time for date night, but when they do get out, Burch is the go-to destination. And when the duo can cook together in their loft, Malone says they usually stick to some version of a protein/vegetable combo, much like the crudo, steak, and preserved mushrooms they’re preparing tonight.

Though their cooking is inspired by places around the globe, the couple is now focusing their talents on pleasing Twin Cities diners. “We’re ready to settle down and just be home,” Malone says.

Erik Anderson, Jamie Malone, Brut

Recipe: Scallop Crudo with Lemon, Olive Oil and Espellette Pepper

2 diver caught U-10 scallops (Anderson recommends going to Coastal Seafoods for the best quality scallops)
Extra virgin olive oil (roughly 1 tbsp. per scallop)
Espelette pepper to taste
Sea salt to taste
Juice from ½ lemon

Slice each scallop into three and arrange on cold plate. Dress with extra virgin olive oil and add lemon juice. Sprinkle as much or as little espelette pepper as you like. Finish with sea salt.

Recipe: Vanilla Gelato

530 g. milk
225 g. heavy crème
5 egg yolks
115 g. sugar
pinch salt
7 vanilla beans

1. Scrape vanilla beans and combine the milk and heavy crème in a pot. Add the scraped vanilla and the pods. Bring to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer.

2. In a separate bowl, whisk eggs and sugar until ribbons form. Strain dairy mixture. Temper dairy into eggs while whisking and then return back to pot. Heat and whisk constantly until custard is formed.

3. Chill immediately over ice bath. After chilled, spin according to directions on whatever home ice cream unit you have.

Recipe: Armagnac Prunes

500 g. demi-sec prunes
200 g. sugar
1 cup water
1 lemon
3 halved vanilla beans
1 bottle nice Armagnac

1. Add sugar and water to a pot and bring to a boil. Add the zest of one whole lemon and the halved vanilla beans. Allow to boil for 45 seconds. Pour the boiling liquid over the dried prunes and allow to steep for 24 hours.

2. After 24 hours, remove the vanilla pods and lemon zest and then drain the liquid (reserve for later). Place prunes in glass jars. Mix reserved liquid with Armagnac and pour over prunes. Seal jars and allow to sit for one month.

Family Dinner with Isaac Becker & Nancy St. Pierre

(112 Eatery, Bar La Grassa, Burch)

Nancy St. Pierre and Isaac Becker. Photos by Erica Loeks.

“Dad, this is amazing,” 11-year-old Winston shouts, leaning his head back and dropping spirals of fresh homemade noodles into his mouth. “I gotta have more of this.” The rest of the family laughs while Winston smirks, cheeks puffing with pasta.

Isaac Becker may be a James Beard Award–winning chef and restaurant owner, but to his two kids, Winston and Klaus, 18, he is just Dad—who makes a “pretty good” dinner.

At chefs’ family dinners, they talk about school day activities just like the rest of us—and surely request a second helping of the evening’s main course (pasta with pan-roasted cauliflower and chicken thigh, in tonight’s case). 

“I think the kids actually prefer her cooking,” Isaac says, nodding to his wife Nancy St. Pierre, with whom he owns 112 Eatery, Bar la Grassa, and Burch Steak and Pizza Bar. Nancy and Isaac typically swap dinner duty, depending on schedules. Nancy opts for hearty dishes that require intensive prep such as lasagna or soup, and likes to make meals in bulk to freeze and quickly reheat when the kids get home from school. “She’ll make a Bolognese sauce that takes all day long,” Isaac says, “but it’s delicious.”

far left: Isaac Becker and Nancy St. Pierre make pasta with Klaus (left) and Winston (right).

Nancy describes Isaac’s home meals as simple but fast, and says she usually stays out of his way. “I’ll chit-chat with him, but we don’t usually cook together.”

The biggest change to the family’s cooking routine took place a couple of years ago, when they renovated the kitchen of their century-old south Minneapolis home, melding professional-grade appliances with vintage style.

“What’s great about taking part in designing your own kitchen, is that it’s ours,” Nancy says. “We got to have exactly what we wanted.”

“Well,” Isaac adds with a grin, “I wouldn’t mind a few more burners on the stove.” It already has six.

Recipe: Spaghetti with Roasted Chicken and Cauliflower

4 skinless/boneless chicken thighs
1 head of cauliflower
2 cloves of garlic (minced)
2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp. butter
1 handful torn basil leaves
1 lemon
2 tsp. chili flakes
½ cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
Piece of Parmigiano-Reggiano to grate at the table

1. Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Slice chicken into half-inch strips and pull apart cauliflower into 1-2 inch florets.

2. Heat olive oil in a large sauté until very hot. Carefully add the chicken and cauliflower to the pan. If the oil is hot enough neither ingredients should stick to the pan. Toss or stir adding about 1 tbsp. salt. Put pan of chicken and cauliflower in oven.

3. After about 15 minutes pull the sauté pan out of the oven. Stir or toss again. Add the butter, and fry on the stove top at high heat until cauliflower and chicken is deep brown and caramelized. Add chili flakes, basil, and garlic.

4. Continue cooking until garlic is golden, take off heat. Add salt as necessary. Strain pasta reserving about half cup of pasta water. Put pan back on the high flame and toss the cooked pasta in the pan, adding a little of the water if its too dry.

5. Squeeze the juice from the lemon into the pan and then toss in the parmesan mixing as best you can, again a little of the pasta water may come in handy.

Pasta Dough:
1 ½ cup all-purpose flour
½ cup durum flour (if available otherwise just sub more all-purpose flour)
10 egg yolks
2 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
3 tbsp. water (plus more as needed)

Place flour in mixer with dough hook. Start mixer at low speed. Add the rest of the ingredients. If it’s too dry, add water 1 tbsp. at a time until it comes together in a ball. Find video on YouTube showing how to roll out pasta ;).

Isaac Becker

Happy Hour with Dan Oskey 

(Tattersall Distilling)


The rough byway running through an industrial pocket of northeast Minneapolis requires traveling slowly over treacherous and pockmarked terrain, which makes the modern space of Tattersall Distilling all the more striking. Light floods the cocktail room from large windows, spotlighting the intricate woodwork of the grand liquor shelf and horseshoe-shaped bar and glinting off the chandelier above it. 

Like their neighbors—a mix of musicians, designers, and craftsmen—the team behind Tattersall comprises artists in a spirited sense. Co-founder Dan Oskey transitioned from bartender to master distiller, picking up mixologist know-how from his gigs at the Strip Club Meat & Fish and Hola Arepa. At Tattersall, his team makes everything from scratch—bitters, tonics, syrups, vermouths, and more—with intricate precision. “As anticlimactic as this sounds, I use a 100 x 0.01 gram scale more than anything,” Oskey says. “It’s so incredibly necessary to have when developing something new, and we’re always developing something new.”

Tattersall, Dan Oskey
Dan Oskey at Tattersall Distilling

Tattersall offers 35 cocktails, presented in a menu that’s bound with a cover, like a little black drink book. For today’s happy hour, Oskey pours six meticulously crafted drinks—enough for a small group of friends to taste and pick favorites. The flavors are complex without being fussy, from the citrusy Southside, to the aquavit-based Phil Collins, to the grapefruit forward Salty Dog, to their frothy take on the due-for-revival Ramos Gin Fizz that they call the Stamos Fizz.

In the same space where laborers once built big metal fire doors, Oskey separates egg whites and gracefully swirls foam for the Fizz, revitalizing a historic neighborhood and gifting Minnesotans with some of the Midwest’s best beverages.

Salty Dog
1 ½ oz. Tattersall Grapefruit Crema
½ oz. Tattersall Barreled Gin
½ oz. Strained Lemon Juice
½ oz. simple syrup
1 eyedropper salt solution (salt dissolved in water)
Shake and strain into Collins glass with ice.
Top with soda water and garnish with grapefruit peel.

Stamos Fizz (pictured above)
Egg white
1 ½ oz. Tattersall Orange Crema
½ oz. Tattersall Barreled Gin
½ oz. strained lemon juice
½ oz. simple syrup
Shake all ingredients vigorously and strain into a Collins glass with ice.
Rinse tin with small amount of soda and swirl. Pour resulting foam over top of drink.
Garnish with orange peel.

2 ½ oz. Tattersall Gin
¾ oz.  strained lime juice
¾ oz. simple syrup
Shake all ingredients vigorously and strain into a Coupe or Martini glass.
Garnish with mint.

Tattersall Distilling

Phil Collins (pictured above)
2 oz. Tattersall Aquavit
¾ oz. strained lemon juice
1 oz. simple syrup
Build in Collins glass and top with soda water.
Garnish with mint.

Read more: Local chefs share their best tips, tricks, and tools