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Three Twin Cities Chefs Among James Beard Finalists

Of the nine Twin Cities chefs on the short list for Best Chef: Midwest, three made the cut to the even shorter list of finalists up for the award from the James Beard Foundation.

The Bachelor Farmer’s Paul Berglund and Michelle Gayer of Salty Tart, both in Minneapolis, and Lenny Russo of Heartland Restaurant in St. Paul are in the running for their region’s best chef title. All were finalists last year as well, but it was Milwaukee’s Justin Aprahamian of Sanford restaurant who took the title.

Minnesota is also represented, for the first time, in the national category of Best New Restaurant. Spoon and Stable, the North Loop restaurant from chef Gavin Kaysen, is up against Bâtard and Cosme, both in New York City, along with Central Provisions (Portland), Parachute (Chicago), Petit Trois (Los Angeles) and The Progress (San Francisco). Kaysen, a Bloomington native who returned to Minnesota after seven years as executive chef at Café Boulud in NYC, opened Spoon and Stable in late November 2014.

The restaurant got a second nod for its design, thanks to the work of Shea Inc. The Minneapolis firm is a finalist for best design for restaurants with 76 seats or more. Also getting a nomination is WCCO morning anchor Jason DeRusha for his “DeRusha Eats” TV segment.

This year’s restaurant and chef awards ceremony is in Chicago on May 4, marking the first time the foundation has held the event outside of New York City.

Lenny Russo Michelle Gayer Paul Berglund
Lenny Russo Michelle Gayer Paul Berglund


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