Minneapolis – April 3 2018 – Chef Donald Gonzalez is taking over the top toque role at Sea Change starting April 10, and he’s planning to make some waves.
Yes, it will still be seafood-focused. Yes, it will still emphasize sustainable and responsibly sourced ingredients, but Executive Chef Gonzalez has big plans for virtually every aspect of the restaurant.
“I’m excited to become part of a restaurant with such an incredible history, but make no mistake, this is the beginning of a new chapter,” stated Gonzalez. “I’m planning to introduce some of the biggest changes this restaurant has ever seen. I really see the sea as a metaphor for the menu, and a means of connecting cultures, cuisines and communities. The rivers and oceans connect us all.”
With that in mind – and reflecting his own travels and time living abroad -- Gonzalez, intends to expand the menu and introduce more global cuisine, as well as add dishes that feature proteins from land, air, as well as sea. He’s also planning to coax dinners to expand their palates past their current comfort zone.
“Guests will find dishes that are familiar, but with one or two ingredients they’ve not experienced before, or prepared using a different technique,” explained Gonzales. “I want them to feel safe while discovering new or more intense flavors.”
And, while he’s not yet ready to share details, Gonzalez states he also has plans that will impact the bar menu and cocktail program, as well as ideas for creating a stronger connection and sense of community with downtown residents.
For Sea Change business partner, Tim McKee, bringing on Gonzalez was an easy decision.
“Donald has an impressive pedigree – he’s worked with some of the greats in the business,” noted McKee, referring to Gonzalez stints with Thomas Keller of French Laundry and world-renowned international chef, Jean-George Vongerichten. “He also has a studied approach. And, he has vision. He can really move this concept forward in a different way. I’m excited to collaborate with him.”
Most recently Gonzalez was executive chef for St. Paul-based Gray Duck. His extensive experience includes stints not only in the kitchens of Keller and Vongerichten, but also the Waldorf Astoria in New York and Restaurant Lulu in San Francisco. Locally the chef has worked at Forepaughs in St. Paul, Tria in North Oaks and Chambers Kitchen in Minneapolis.
Sea Change is the much-lauded sustainable seafood restaurant originally developed by James Beard award winner Chef Tim McKee. Sea Change features sustainable seafood, highlighting fisheries that use environmentally responsible methods of gathering and farming seafood. The restaurant’s focus on environmental responsibility extends beyond the ocean with other sustainable initiatives.