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US Foods Takes Over US Bank Stadium for Food Fanatics Show

Gavin Kaysen (right), executive chef and owner of Spoon and Stable and Bellecour, talks with US Foods Chef John Byrne about the importance of not just hiring good talent but developing it.

Be nice to your pizza dough. That’s the lesson Ann Kim wanted to impart to attendees watching her culinary demonstration during US Foods’ Food Fanatics Live show May 3 at US Bank Stadium in Minneapolis.

“A lot of times you see pizza chefs tossing the dough and slapping it around, and I think that’s a lot for show,” said Kim from her post in the Epicurean Experience area. The owner of Pizzeria Lola, Hello Pizza and now Young Joni, Kim was one of several Twin Cities chefs who took the stage to share menu ideas and operational insight.

Throughout the day, chefs including Justin Sutherland of Handsome Hog, Chris Ikeda of Lake & Irving, Stephan Hesse of Pajarito and Thomas Boemer of Corner Table and Revival cooked an array of dishes. Elsewhere at the show—which took over the field usually home to the Minnesota Vikings—attendees were able to see and taste first-to-market and premium products exclusive to US Foods, plus sample beer and liquor from the likes of Burning Brothers Brewing, Summit Brewing and Tattersall Distilling. 

Acclaimed chef Gavin Kaysen attracted a huge crowd to the main stage as he talked with US Foods Chef John Byrne on a range of topics, including the importance of not just hiring good talent but developing it.

“When it comes to finding good talent, you as the chef have to commit to training that talent,” said the owner and executive chef of Spoon and Stable and Bellecour. Kaysen also said he’s continually inspired by his own mentors such as award-winning chef Daniel Boulud. “What’s always inspired me is doing events with Daniel. He doesn’t just sit back and watch things happen; he gets in there. And so I think that trickles down.”

Even with his national success and the popularity of Spoon and Stable and now Bellecour, Kaysen doesn’t think he’s “made it” yet.

“I go home every day wondering what I can do to make it better,” he said. 

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