A Chef’s Profile
She makes some of the best pastries in town, is on the receiving end of critics’ highest praise and has spent plenty of time rubbing elbows with culinary legends and celebrity chefs, alike.
You likely know her name because of the countless number of accolades she’s earned for her top-notch pastries. But what you may not know about Michelle Gayer is that she’s kind of a badass.
A French chef living in Minnesota who’s known for a burger? It’s certainly not the way Vincent Francoual would’ve predicted it but as he plans a celebration for his restaurant’s 12th year in business, he certainly can’t complain.
It was roughly 16 years ago that Vincent Francoual, a native of France, moved to Minnesota. But before he arrived, he had one important question – where is Minnesota?
Cooking was such a large part of Sameh Wadi’s upbringing it’s somewhat shocking that the young and budding cook never considered it a career path until much later in life.
When Sameh Wadi told his father he wanted to go to culinary school, his first response wasn’t exactly a ringing endorsement. “It was a shock. He had no idea. I mean, no idea,” he said. “My father said, ‘Oh sh–, you’re going to be flipping burgers for the rest of your life. That was his initial reaction.”
Thomas Kim, also known as The Left-Handed Cook, said he always finds it amusing how often he fields the question, “You lived in Los Angeles and you moved to Minnesota? Why?” For Kim, it was simple — a great food scene, plus plenty of awesome music venues made the decision quite easy.
Thomas Kim began dabbling in the kitchen at a very young age, after his exasperated mother told her picky eater, if he didn’t like it, then he could be the cook. The spark was ignited early on — quite literally at times (young Kim managed to start three separate kitchen fires, but more about that in a bit).
Alex Roberts may be a highly accomplished chef with a James Beard Award under his belt and several successful restaurants, but his grace and humility when it comes to leaving a mark on the culinary world is what propels him into true greatness.
“There are a lot of doctors out there but there aren’t a lot of chefs.” Those were the words, coupled with a grandfather’s urge to follow one’s God-given talents, that changed the course of Alex Roberts’ life.
If there’s one person that’s critical about the work that Chef Isaac Becker has done over the years, it’s probably Isaac Becker. The James Beard Award winning owner of 112 Eatery, Bar La Grassa and Burch seems like he’d have plenty to gloat about but he said he’s a bit more “glass half empty” about his success.
These days, Isaac Becker may be the proud owner to three outstanding Twin Cities restaurants, but there was a time, years ago, when his culinary career took a backseat to his dreams of becoming — wait for it — a rockstar.
It’s taken Butcher and the Boar’s Jack Riebel 30 years of cooking, but he finally feels like he’s arrived.
Butcher and the Boar’s Jack Riebel is in the midst of celebrating 30 years of cooking and while he’s worked just about every position over the course of his career – breakfast cook, smoothie maker, salad cook, executive chef – he said working the line is where he loves to be.
When La Belle Vie turns 15 this month, the man responsible for a significant portion of its success will also be the man “stuck” back in the kitchen.