News and Noteworthy
Chef Vincent Francoual, culinary director for Cara Irish Pubs, has been named Global Best Chef by the Irish Hospitality Global Association that includes North America, Europe, Asia, and Ireland. Before joining Cara Irish Pubs, Francoual owned the popular fine-dining spot, Vincent A Restaurant in downtown Minneapolis for 14 years before closing in 2015. Francoual is overseeing the transition of Cooper Pub in the West End to The Local West End. This is the first step in Cara’s expansion plan that could result in up to 10 more Locals. The Local opened in 1997 and has become a fixture for its Irish fare.
Chef changes: Ryan Cook joined Chef Jamie Malone in the kitchen of Eastside in Minneapolis. The two worked together at Sea Change. Malone, the owner of Grand Café, is overseeing the changes in menu and ambiance at Eastside.
Westin Hotels & Resorts has hired Solomon Shaheer as executive chef of BANK Restaurant located within the Westin Minneapolis.
Wyatt Evans, the former owner of Heirloom in St. Paul, has joined Jester Concepts’ Culinary Director Mike DeCamp as his chef de cuisine for P.S. Steak, the new concept going into the historic 501 Groveland Ave., the former site of La Belle Vie.
Jonathan Gans has moved into the executive chef role at Bachelor Farmer.
Lucas Almendinger, formerly of Third Bird, Tilia and Union, has taken over the kitchen at Hygga, a coffee shop/cafe on Fourth Street in St. Paul’s Lowertown. Owner Nabeel Ahmad is making considerable changes to the restaurant, including changing its name, which sounds more Scandinavian than the concept, according to Ahmad.
Minnesota is on the national culinary map and here’s one more notable. A.T. The Black & White in Little Falls was singled out as Minnesota’s candidate for Thrillist’s Best Small-Town Restaurants. Amanda and Tomas Zimmerman are the eighth owners of the diner that started out as burger shop in 1931. In case you’re curious, Driftless Café in Viroqua was Wisconsin’s pick.
City Girl Coffee’s varietals and blends are available on Amazon and at Minnesota Target locations. Founded in 2015, City Girl is a sustainable and socially conscious coffee roaster dedicated to empowering women in the coffee-growing industry.