Jamie Malone Takes Over the Kitchen at Grand Cafe

It’s been two years since Malone left Sea Change with plans to open Brut, but now she’s cooking in a resaturant once again

Jamie Malone, Grand Cafe
Chef Jamie Malone. Photo by Tj Turner.

It was July 2014 when chef Jamie Malone left Sea Change with plans to open a new restaurant called Brut. Over the last two years, we’ve been able to enjoy her food at a number of pop-ups, and at the short-lived Scena Restaurant in uptown. But we’re breaking some big news! Jamie is back in a Twin Cities kitchen.

I love Grand Cafe. Joy and I wrote about it not long ago, Mary and Dan Hunter have created a warm, inviting, friendly, and delicious spot at 38th and Grand in South Minneapolis. Jamie says “It’s been a whirlwind,” as she and the Hunters are planning a new direction of culinary excellence at Grand. There was a hint of change in the air, when the Grand Cafe Facebook page announced a farewell to the Sunday Sicilian Pizza night, and a vague photo that said “Something’s brewing at the Grand Cafe.”

“For the moment I’ll just say I could not think of a more perfect and charming place to cook until Brut gets going (that oven!!)” she told me. So that answers question one: Brut, with Erik Anderson, is still in the works, despite a North Loop location falling through. Second question: What’s she going to cook at Grand Cafe? Well, as Jamie mentioned, the broad, white oven in the middle of the dining room is legendary. The location used to be a bakery, the bread oven has served many different functions as Grand has moved through different chefs. Jamie replaces Andrew Kraft, who was the chef at Grand Cafe since 2014.

This is not going to be Brut’s food, it’s not going to be Scena, it’s not going to be Sea Change. We’ll wait for details, but Grand Cafe is and has always been a feel-good French-inspired restaurant. It’s a winter cassoulet, it’s beautifully braised meats, and lovingly roasted vegetables. Jamie is without a doubt one of the most gifted chefs in the state, so I can’t wait to see what she does. Give her a little time to get up to speed with the new kitchen, and with the new team, but look for more information next week on Grand Cafe’s hours and focus.

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