Gavin Kaysen carves fresh path in U.S. Midwest

Tue Feb 24, 2015 8:07am EST
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By Richard Leong

NEW YORK (Reuters) - After years working in top restaurants in Europe and with Daniel Boulud, his Michelin-starred chef and mentor, Gavin Kaysen packed his bags and moved his family to Minnesota to open his own restaurant featuring French-American food.

Spoon and Stable, which opened in November, has earned him acclaim among both diners and critics in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis-St. Paul.

The 35-year-old chef, born in California but raised in Minnesota, likes chasing storms when he is not cooking. He spoke to Reuters about his return to his Midwestern roots and the local dining scene.

Q: How would you describe Spoon and Stable's food?

A: People anticipate, because of my success in the past, food they have never seen before. It might be more precious than it is today. I don't really cook that way right now. I wanted to create something casual and comfortable, something that is accessible for people to come to more often than once a week.

Q: Why did you move back to Minneapolis?

A: I always saw Minneapolis as an opportunity. It really struck my cord the first time, five years ago, when I came home over the holidays and made a reservation at a restaurant on a Tuesday evening at 7:30 p.m. They said, 'No, we are fully sold out tonight.' That's amazing. We have seen it in cities such as Charlotte in North Carolina, both Portlands in Maine and Oregon, Houston and Asheville (North Carolina). Minneapolis fit in there.   Continued...

American chef Gavin Kaysen poses with a prepared char in an undated photo in the kitchen of his restaurant Spoon and Stable in Minneapolis, Minnesota, provided by Bonjwing Photograph. REUTERS/Bonjwing Photograph/Handout via Reuters