Top Chef Minneapolis
Dear Bravo Top Chef,
You need to send Top Chef to Minnesota. The Top Chef fans from the tundra have been watching and waiting to host a season here. We swear it does get warm here in the summer.
As you may have noticed the Twin Cities have been popping up in the food world. We have some James Beard award winners, a lively food scene, and food trucks galore.
There are many reasons why you should bring Top Chef to Minnesota but here are some of the highlights:
“Minnesota Nice,” is not just a saying. As you may have noticed, Minnesotans are some of the most loyal people and welcoming people you will ever meet. We love food and we will tell you when we have had an excellent meal.
The cheftestants could do several local challenges. We have many fun food traditions in Minnesota with my favorite being the Minnesota State Fair. You will never see anything like it again in your life. Imagine everything on a stick and even foods that should not be on a stick. I would also love to see them try to beat some of our prize-winning bakers.I know Marjorie will give them a run for their money.
Our churches here even serve some awesome food. Every year during lent churches host fish fry’s with some even serving Lutefisk (best eaten with lots of butter).
We also have many random food festivals during the summer including Kolache days, Potato Days, and Pie Days. These festivals often end with a street dance and lots of beer.
Speaking of beer we have an up and coming beer scene in Minnesota. Ever heard of Surly? Yeah, that is from here. If you haven’t had it, there is another reason to get here now. We also have many small breweries with some imaginative brews.
If you want to throw the cheftestants for a loop have them cook wild rice for a quick-fire challenge. My guess is that many of them have not used this ingredient before in a timed challenge.
Or, if you really want to piss them off make them use Lutefisk.
We have an awesome airport with some great restaurants in it. It would be fun to have the chefs cook in the airport right when they arrive.
Basically, you should come to Minnesota to do a season of Top Chef. You will not be disappointed.
Season 12: Top Chef Minneapolis?
ps. Please let me come to restaurant wars and rub elbows with Tom.
Travail Chefs at Gather June 2013
I can’t think of a time that I have had more fun eating food. Now I completely understand why Travail Kitchen and Amusements is one of the most popular restaurants in the Twin Cities. Although, it is closed right now for a location change, the chefs were on top of their game as guest chefs at Gather.
Gather is one of my favorite spots in Minneapolis because of the beautiful location, great happy hour, and the creative food from the guest chefs.
The first Thursday in June was particularly exciting since Gather was celebrating it’s second year and because the Travail chefs were there. Mike Brown, James Winberg, and Bob Gerken know how to get people excited about food. The mood in the room was electric.
I had fun learning about their playful dish and the ingredients in it. Have you ever had langoustine before? This was a first for me.
As you can tell, the Travail chefs do things differently. They went around and spoke with each table and showed them how to eat their dish.
I also had the watermelon salad which is on the summer menu at Gather. It was light, a bit spicy, and very fresh.
This cherry and spoon dessert is only at the Gather for a limited time. Yes, you can eat the spoon! It was not my favorite dessert and tasted like it came out of a fridge but it was fun to look at.
You only have one more Thursday to get the guest chef plate with langoustine (google it…) .
because making food fun makes everyone smile
What is the most fun you have had at a restaurant in Minneapolis? Where do I need to go?
10 things you should NOT do when you are a server
This post is based upon an experience that I had at a local restaurant recently.
Firstly, I understand how horrible being a server can be. Having to deal with both rude customers and the kitchen can stress even the most calm person out. Most servers that I have encountered in Minneapolis and surrounding areas get most everything right. They would never come close to committing any of the food crimes that I witnessed on this occasion.
This was appalling.
10 things you should NOT do when you are a server:
- Sit down and read a book on the floor when you have people in the restaurant. Even if the restaurant isn’t busy never do this on the floor.
- When a customer asks you a question about selection don’t just point to the menu. You should verbally give them the selections and also suggest which ones you like or which ones are popular. Especially, when it is ethnic food. It is a great way to get someone to try something new.
- Don’t hover. Yes, I do want to order but give me a second to sit down and look at the menu. I know you want to sit and read your book. But, I am not ready to order yet.
- Set down the food and run away without explaining what it is. Tell me about it.
- Try to turn everything into a joke. It really isn’t that funny that you are really horrible at your job.
- Act like you own the restaurant. Bossing other workers around and being loud in the kitchen while you do nothing makes you look like an idiot.
- When bringing the bill try not to say anything about your tip.
- Don’t blame others. If something came out of the kitchen incorrectly get it fixed.
- Put a carafe of water on the table and tell the customers that you will not be refilling their water glasses because you put that carafe on the table. You jokingly say that it is because you are too lazy. Well, they know you are too lazy.
- Blame the customers for your low tip because they are cheap. It might just be you.
Andrew Zimmern doesn’t always get good service either which makes me feel a little bit better. He wrote about a Sushi Restaurant in NYC recently in @mspmag titled When Restaurant Service Goes South. It is a great read.
Cheers to all those servers out there that make dining out an enjoyable experience.
Because serving takes talent.
Have you had any bad experiences with service in Minneapolis? What are the best service experiences that you have had? One of mine was at Twin City Grill.