Twin Cities Table Kicks Off Tonight

A week of good eats for a good cause.

Join ten of the Twin Cities’ top chefs at Minnesota Monthly’s newest event, Twin Cities Table, a five-night dinner series benefiting Open Arms of Minnesota. Starting this week, guests will enjoy a social hour, followed by a one-of-a-kind four-course meal, plus dessert and expert wine pairings and live entertainment provided by the Dakota. Custom menus have been thoughtfully prepared by a duo of chefs, designed with Twin Cities’ foodies in mind.

Asei Tendle, Executive Chef at Open Arms of Minnesota, and Jim Kyndberg, Executive Chef at FireLake Grill House, kick off the event tonight with courses including blue spot prawn, duck confit, braised bison, and apple upside-down spice cakes.

All five nights of Twin Cities Table will be hosted at Open Arms of Minnesota, located in Minneapolis. This nonprofit organization prepares and delivers free meals made to meet the nutrition needs of those living with cancer, HIV/AIDS, MS, and ALS.

Check out the chef lineup below, and for more information, a preview of menus, and to purchase tickets, visit

Monday, January 26
Asei Tendle, Executive Chef, Open Arms of Minnesota

Tendle is the executive chef at Open Arms of Minnesota, a nonprofit organization that prepares and delivers free meals specifically tailored to meet the nutrition needs of individuals with cancer, HIV/AIDS, MS, and ALS.

Jim Kyndberg, Executive Chef, FireLake Grill House
Known for his uncanny ability to create food with a taste of place, Kyndberg and his team of culinary experts are creating gourmet dishes with a modernized twist. A leader in the Minneapolis culinary community for the past 15 years, Kyndberg has received praise from both local and national media.

Tuesday, January 27
Philip Dorwart, Executive Chef, Create Catering 

Dorwart is the executive chef and owner of Create Catering. His cooking style is contemporary American cuisine, and he uses only the best-available produce, meat, and fish, preparing them with care in a way that focuses on the ingredients.

Mike Rakun, Executive Chef, Marin
Rakun is the executive chef of both Marin Restaurant and Bar in Minneapolis and Mill Valley Kitchen in St. Louis Park. Rakun uses high quality ingredients, and lets the food speak for itself by simply changing its flavor profile using flavor combinations that are familiar to the people eating it.

Wednesday, January 28
Derik Moran, Executive Chef,
Dakota Restaurant & Jazz Club
Moran displays his background as a visual artist in his plate designs, and with the art on the menu (and his tattoos). His inventive food and ability to be so creative within such tight parameters demonstrates that he’s not only comfortable and practiced as a chef, but that he loves and respects food.

Jonathan Hunt, Executive Chef, al Vento
Hunt first started cooking professionally at the age of 15, in a small pizza kitchen. Forging ahead through half of the kitchens in Minneapolis, he ended up at Pane Vino Dolce as chef. This is where he found his niche in Italian cooking and decided to open his own restaurant, al Vento.

Thursday, January 29
JP Samuelson, Executive Chef, Red Stag Supperclub

Samuelson is the executive chef at Red Stag Supperclub in Minneapolis where he crafts delicious, contemporary American cuisine with local and organic ingredients.

Lucas Almendinger, Executive Chef, The Third Bird
Almendinger is the executive chef of the Third Bird in Minneapolis. Prior, he was chef on the main floor and the opening chef at Union Fish Market.

Friday, January 30
Donald Gonzalez, Executive Chef, Forepaugh’s

Gonzalez is the executive chef at Forepaugh’s Restaurant in St. Paul. He pairs the farm-to-table experience with his concept at Forepaugh’s to feature a culinary celebration of all the distinct cultures that have melted down to become American cuisine.

Marshall Paulsen, Executive Chef, Birchwood Café
Paulsen is the executive chef of Birchwood Café in Minneapolis, where he crafts vibrant, seasonal dishes with locally sourced ingredients. During his time at Birchwood Café, he has developed a delicious menu with a fresh and flavorful flair.