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Last year’s Rising Star, Joshua Walbolt, has hitched that star to an East Coast wagon. The former Lat 14 chef has moved to New Jersey in hopes of finding work in NYC. “They say if you can make it here, you can make it anywhere,” he joked. 


Minneapolis-based Dairy Queen sold out of its Fall Blizzard Candle Collection, which featured the five aromas inspired by the new fall menu: Snickerdoodle, caramel brownie, berry pie, pumpkin pie and snickers. The limited-time candle sets were snapped up in less than 30 minutes, according to the company. 


Peter Botcher is the new executive chef of The Marquette Lounge, previously known as Jacques’ Restaurant inside The Marquette hotel in Minneapolis. Botcher will oversee all culinary outlets, including the lounge, hotel in-room dining and extensive banquet and catering offerings, which includes Windows on Minnesota located on the 50th floor of the IDS building.

Botcher is joined by Fadi Zaatari, director of food and beverage. The hotel is now managed by Wischermann Partners, who also manages the Hotel Ivy and The Westin Edina Galleria.

Botcher brings 18 years of culinary experience to his position. Before joining The Marquette, he held executive chef positions at Second Bar + Kitchen in Austin, Texas, and Butcher & the Boar in Minneapolis. He trained in Napa, California, and worked for Chefs Steven Brown and Vincent Francoual locally. Botcher has had a varied and self-styled apprenticeship that includes cooking in a Michelin star vegetarian restaurant and the oldest BBQ restaurant in Texas among other adventures. 

Zaatari, who was trained as a chef in Zurich before moving to the U.S. to attend the University of Wisconsin Stout, began his career at the Radisson Hotel South, the Four Seasons Hotel, the Radisson Plaza Hotel Minneapolis, and the Radisson Hotel Cincinnati. 

In 2003, Zaatari opened the Le Meridien Hotel in Minneapolis as the director of food and beverage, and was instrumental in his positions with IHG and the Millennium Hotels, opening several hotel food beverage operations locally and nationally.

After an abrupt closing in early July, the Lucky Cricket in Minneapolis’ Shops at West End reopened at the end of August to a de-Tiki’d look, a brand new staff and a revamped menu. The restaurant retained its good looks and the new menu is not so much about Chinese food as it is Pan Asian, according to the new manager, hand-picked by owner Andrew Zimmern himself. The Tiki bar menu of drinks has been pared down, and a new craft cocktail menu installed. The ambitious number of menu items has also been lowered, which includes Crispy Pig Ears, Singapore rice noodles, five sharing platters and sandwiches and three kinds of bao. 

The dining room at Lucky Cricket

The Salt & Pepper Crispy Squid

The romance novel, The Friend Zone, by Abby Jimenez, owner of Nadia’s Cakes in Maple Grove and Woodbury, is a USA Best Seller with 761 customer reviews on Amazon (97 percent of which are five and four star recommendations). Jimenez, who has a reputation for witty repartee on social media, is a Food Network champion as well. You can read her backstory online in the January 2019 Foodservice News. And while no one in the book bakes, the main character does take treats from Nadia’s Cakes to the hospital staff when she visits a friend in the ICU.

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