News: Promotions, Resets and Accolades
Chef Donald Gonzalez was promoted to Madison Restaurant Group’s culinary director, overseeing the culinary vision and execution at each of the company’s restaurants, while Chef Justin Sutherland, a recent Iron Chef America champion, is taking on the role of corporate brand chef for Madison Group’s eight restaurant brands in St Paul. Before Gray Duck Tavern, Gonzalez cooked in well-known kitchens from California to New York, and his accolades include working with Thomas Keller and Jean-George Vongerichten.
Sutherland will focus on the concept/brand development for the upcoming Marriott Hotel including Handsome Hog, PUBLIC kitchen + bar and Green Lantern Cocktails + Music spaces. Gonzalez and Sutherland are taking the place of Josh Hill, who was Madison’s culinary director for the last three years. Hill was recently appointed culinary director of a major restaurant chain in Hollywood, California.
Trader Joe’s opened inside the East End apartment building at Washington and Chicago in downtown Minneapolis in July. In addition to the 10,700-square-foot grocery store, there’s a 1,600-square-foot liquor store. The 181-unit apartment building also houses a Jimmy John’s sandwich shop and there are plans for a Starbucks Café to open, according to The Journal, a publication that covers downtown Minneapolis.
Pete Linder has joined Bemidji-based InHarvest’s executive team as vice president of foodservice sales. Previously, Linder was vice president of sales for Watsonville, California-based Superior Foods, a global supplier of frozen fruits, vegetables and grains. In his new role, Linder will oversee and support InHarvest’s foodservice sales team.
Twin Cities chef and cookbook author Amalia Moreno-Damgaard was a featured speaker at the Latino Food Trade Show in Meadowlands Expo Center as one of their celebrity chefs. Her first book, “Amalia’s Guatemalan Kitchen Gourmet Cuisine with a Cultural Flair,” has won nine international awards, including Best Foreign Cuisine Book USA by Gourmand World Cookbooks from Paris, France. Moreno-Damgaard co-founded Women Entrepreneurs of Minnesota, a nonprofit in the Twin Cities that fosters women entrepreneurship through networking and education.
Chef Max Thompson, owner of St Paul’s Stewart’s, is taking over the kitchen at Nighthawks, the restaurant started in 2015 by HauteDish ‘s Landon Schoenefeld, and then abandoned in 2016 when the promising Schoenefeld left the Twin Cities and the industry. The debut for the reset is October 1.
Eater’s roving critic Bill Addison singled out dining at Hai Hai, owned by Chef Christina Nguyen and bar man Birk Grudem, as one of his best meals this past year.
Cuningham Group Architecture, an international design leader with offices in eight cities, including Minneapolis, is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year by engaging its employees to participate in community service programs through Uplift 50. “For 50 years we have felt that architecture is more than just shelter,” Founder John Cuningham said. “It also has the capacity to uplift the human spirit… Community service events are part of our commitment to the communities in which we live.” Employees of the firm’s Minneapolis office spent a day volunteering for two local nonprofit organizations, Bridging, a nonprofit organization which provides basic home essentials to families and individuals transitioning out of homelessness and poverty, and The Sheridan Story, a nonprofit which provides food to children living with food insecurity.