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Stewart Woodman Returns to Twin Cities Dining Scene

Stewart Woodman is back in the Twin Cities.

He just couldn’t stay away.

After a short stint at Kahler Hospitality Group in Rochester, where he served as area executive chef, Stewart Woodman is back, this time in the suburban kitchen at Lela. Woodman took over as executive chef at the Bloomington restaurant May 11 and it’ll be interesting to see what he does with the Italian and crudo concept that’s received mixed reviews in City Pages and the Star Tribune since opening in June 2015 adjacent to the Sheraton Bloomington Hotel.

“Everyone at Lela is thrilled to have such a talented and experienced chef at the helm of Lela’s kitchen,” said Jim Callaghan of Wischermann Partners, which manages the restaurant. “Stewart is a fantastic executive chef whose work is well-known and highly regarded in the Twin Cities. Today, I know Stewart is rejuvenated and thrilled to return to the Twin Cities restaurant scene, and I am certain that Twin Cities diners are going to be equally delighted to enjoy his culinary skills once again.”

Woodman is perhaps best known locally as the chef and co-owner of Heidi’s, which he owned with now former spouse Heidi Lerman. The restaurant closed in 2013. He was named a Food & Wine magazine Best New Chef in 2006 and is a three-time James Beard semifinalist for Best Chef: Midwest. Before departing for Rochester last fall he was the culinary director for Kaskaid Hospitality and cooked at the company’s Workshop at Union (now Union Bar & Grill) in downtown Minneapolis.

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