Minneapolis is home to some of the most flavor-forward thinkers in the nation.
Their restaurants are a reflection of their innovative takes on food, which makes Minneapolis a breeding ground for new cuisine. From Chef Wadi ofSaffron to Andrew Zimmerman of Bizarre Foods, these chefs have transformed the way Minneapolis thinks about food and how your taste buds feel about it.
Insider Guide: Andrew Zimmern
Minneapolis boasts an emerging and exciting food and wine scene. Discover what Andrew says you can't miss while you're here.
Insider Guide: Chef Lenny Russo
Lenny Russo, Executive Chef and Owner of Heartland, was a 2009 James Beard Foundation Award Semifinalist for Best Chef Midwest. He shares his love of food, plus some of his favorite spots to eat in Minneapolis.
Insider Guide: Jamie Malone
Jamie Malone is a rising star in the Minneapolis cuisine scene. Named one of Food + Wine's "Best New Chefs," Jamie's masterful creations can be enjoyed at Sea Change. Get inside the mind of Jamie with this insider's interview.
Insider Guide: Chef Paul Lynch
Paul J. Lynch, Executive Chef of FireLake, is known for his heartland classics, wood grilling techniques and dedication to using local, sustainable food sources. He has lived in the Minneapolis area for the past ten years. Find out more about his trade and take a few tips from the man.
Insider Guide: Chef Sameh Wadi
Sameh Wadi, Chef and owner of Saffron Restaurant & Lounge is getting major (zagat-rated) props in the cooking world. The restaurant is the brain child Sameh and his brother, Saed. Opened in 2007, it specializes in contemporary Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisine. Here's Sameh's take on the Minneapolis food scene.
JOSH BROWN, CHEF
When D’Amico was awarded the prestigious restaurants and event rooms at Minneapolis’ Walker Art Center, one obvious chef choice stood out: Josh Brown. He’d already earned stripes at Campiello, Masa, the Calhoun Beach Club and more. Josh has worked with Wolfgang Puck and Jean-Georges Vongerichten—and was our opening chef at Le Meridien Chambers Minneapolis. His personable skills match his culinary talents. So he proudly makes time to be “on the floor,” cheerfully ensuring total guest satisfaction.
DOUG FLICKER - HEAD CHEF
Chef Doug Flicker is an exquisite chef at Piccolo. Chef Flicker became a head chef at only 26 years old! Formerly the head chef of Mission and Porter and Frye in Hotel Ivy! Piccolo received four stars in Minneapolis Star Tribune, "Best Restaurant" in City Pages.
STEPHANIE KOCHLIN - EXECUTIVE CHEF
Chef Kochlin was Lenny Rusoo's assist for several years after training at Le Cordon Blue Minneapolis, and interning in Hawaii with Chef Roy Yamaguchi! This native chef is known for her moules frites steamedin a Belgian beer, along with other delicacies. Now, this superstar is the culinary master behind 50th, and France's Pig and Fiddle.
IRINA KOLOSOV - EXECUTIVE CHEF
Irina Kolosov, happiness is cooking pasta and it's apparent in her new role of Chef, Parma 8200. A graduate of The Art Institute International Minnesota, Kolosov grew up watching her mother in the kitchen. Her mother's passion for delicious and creative food inspired her to pursue a career in the culinary industry. While completing an internship at Palomino, Adam King, Chef, invited her to join the D'Amico family at Cafe and Bar Lurcat. Four years later, she was invited to open Parma 8200 and quickly realized creating Italian food is where her heart belongs.
BRENDA LANGTON - CHEF/OWNER
Chef Langton is the award winning chef/owner of Spoonriver restaurant. As an advocate for local and sustainable foods, Chef Langton and co-owner Timothy Kane, have merged healthy eating with ecquisite, gourmet cuisine. Chef Langton is also the founder of Mill City Farmers' Market, former culinary instructor, speaker, and consultant.
JOHN NG - EXECUTIVE CHEF AND OWNER
Zen Box Izakaya Executive Chef/Owner, John Ng opened his Minneapolis restaurant best known for it's Tonkotsu Ramen with his wife Lina Goh in 2011. Zen Box Izakaya features Craft Ramen, Japanese comfort food, as well as Twin Cities' best selection of Japanese beer, an extensive sake and shochu selection, wine, and Japanese-inspired craft cocktails. Zen Box Izakaya hosts the successful Minneapolis 'Ramen Attack' block-party that draws a massive crowd every year and has featured John's ramen creations as well as guest appearances by Jack Nakamura of 'Ramen Lab', NYC, Mihoko Obunai of 'Ramen Freak' in Atlanta, GA, and Keizo Shimamoto, creator of 'Ramen Burger'.
MIKE RAKUN - EXECUTIVE CHEF
As the Executive Chef and Partner for Mill Valley Kitchen and Marin, Mike Rakun has become a beacon for innovation and creativity. Chef Mike is known for the impactful flavor combinations in his exquisite dishes! Check out Marin’s new menu, designed with the help of Chef Mike. Chef Mike recommends trying the pan-seared black cod, served with steamed vegetables and lemongrass broth! Come check out Chef Mike at Marin!
MIKE SNEEN, EXECUTIVE CHEF
There are many factors that make D’Amico Catering’s food so consistently exceptional, and Mike may be the primary one. He brings it all to the kitchen and to your event. Culinary creativity. Impeccable execution. Team leadership. Mike joined D'Amico close to Day One—in 1990. He’s rarely left the kitchen since, and oversees not only every catering event, but also the chefs and kitchen crews at our many locations. Have a menu request? Mike will nail it—like he has on Indian, African, Asian, Spanish and even Egyptian themes.
LUCIA WATSON - EXECUTIVE CHEF
Chef Watson is the proprietor of Lucia's Restaurant, Wine Bar, and Lucia's To Go. As the author of two books, and recipient of many awards, it comes as no surprise that Chef Watson is one of best organic chef's in Minnesota. Her expertise shine through her four years on the Organic Advisory Task Force to the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, as well as her extensive time as board chair for the Youth Farm and Market Project.