Signature Dish: Haute Dish's Landon Schoenefeld

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photo courtesy of http://hilaryrobertsphoto.com
Chef Landon Schoenefeld's signature General Tso's Sweatbreads with Foie Fried Rice

In the search for the Twin Cities' best culinary creations, we often come across dishes that stop us mid-bite and force us to reflect on the level of thought and artistry chefs put into their work. The efforts of the chefs are often laborious, and the end results are regularly consumed before the full concept can be appreciated. We've been tracking down some of these dishes to get the chef's side of the story: their thoughts, motivations, and processes. It's our hope that we can give you deeper insight into the talents of Twin Cities chefs and to have a better understanding of what you're getting when you sit down to dinner.

Let's face it, there aren't too many chefs in town who have been able to establish such a nefarious reputation as Haute Dish chef and owner Landon Schoenefeld, but when you've been working in the industry as long and in as many places as Schoenefeld, you're bound to have a few stories that will follow you around -- likely until the end of time. Schoenefeld has come a long way from his Colonel Mustard days and since opening Haute Dish in 2010, he has dazzled diners with his thoughtful, well-executed and visually-stunning interpretations on seasonally-driven, technique-elevated, old and new school comfort foods.

As Haute Dish is well into its third year of service, Schoenefeld continues to grow and refine his menu all while keeping diners entertained with his playful plates. As one of the forerunners of the Twin Cities young, chef-driven restaurant movement, Haute Dish has quickly become a Minneapolis staple as it embodies itself as a representative of our cultured past and expansive, diverse future.


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Signature Dish; The Kenwood's Chef Don Saunders

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Photo courtesy of http://hilaryrobertsphoto.com
The Kenwood's chef Don Saunders presents his Moules-Frites

In the search for the Twin Cities' best culinary creations, we often come across dishes that stop us mid-bite and force us to reflect on the level of thought and artistry chefs put into their work. The efforts of the chefs are often laborious, and the end results are regularly consumed before the full concept can be appreciated. We've been tracking down some of these dishes to get the chef's side of the story; their thoughts, motivations, and processes. It's our hope that we can give you a deeper insight into the talents of Twin Cities chefs and to have a better understanding of what you're getting when you sit down to dinner.

The Kenwood, having only been open for less than a year, is already a fast favorite among south Minneapolis residents. In addition to his other south Minneapolis restaurant, In Season, Don Saunders has helped to solidify the platform for the ever-blossoming Twin Cities food scene. Having worked with some of the best chefs at some of the best restaurants, Saunders classic French cuisine has easily earned its reputation as some of the best in the city.

Focusing on only the freshest ingredients as they come available, Saunders has in part helped to define the culinary philosophy of the Twin Cities and with his recent announcement of shutting down his flagship restaurant, In Season, for the summer for a quick makeover, Saunders is looking to add a new distinctive flair to his culinary repertoire. 

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Signature Dish: Saffron's chef Sameh Wadi

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Photo courtesy of http://hillaryrobertsphoto.com
Saffron chef Sameh Wadi's Roasted Chicken with Eggplant Lovash and Tahini Yogurt

In the search for the Twin Cities' best culinary creations, we often come across dishes that stop us mid-bite and force us to reflect on the level of thought and artistry chefs put into their work. The efforts of the chefs are often laborious, and the end results are regularly consumed before the full concept can be appreciated. We've been tracking down some of these dishes to get the chef's side of the story; their thoughts, motivations, and processes. It's our hope that we can give you a deeper insight into the talents of Twin Cities chefs and to have a better understanding of what you're getting when you sit down to dinner.

For seven years the downtown Minneapolis restaurant Saffron has been redefining the way Twin Cities diners think about and experience Middle Eastern cuisine. At the helm is restaurant chef and co-owner Sameh Wadi, whose passion for food has earned him recognition not only with local food fanatics but on the national stage.

At the age of 29, Wadi has accomplished more than a lot of chefs will in their entire careers. He's the co-owner of three successful businesses: Saffron, the newly opened World Street Kitchen, and Spice Trail, Wadi's own line of handcrafted spice blends.

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Signature Dish: Cafe Levain's chef Adam Vickerman

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Photo Courtesy of http://hillaryrobertsphoto.com
Chef Adam Vickerman's chicken, kale, and polenta with simple pan sauce

In the search for the Twin Cities' best culinary creations, we often come across dishes that stop us mid-bite and force us to reflect on the level of thought and artistry chefs put into their work. The efforts of the chefs are often laborious, and the end results are regularly consumed before the full concept can be appreciated. We've been tracking down some of these dishes to get the chef's side of the story: their thoughts, motivations, and processes. It's our hope that we can give you a deeper insight into the talents of Twin Cities chefs and to have a better understanding of what you're getting when you sit down to dinner.

In a quaint little south Minneapolis neighborhood a little café sits just off the beaten path. Café Levain, the re-imagination of the now closed, once extremely popular Twin Cities eatery Restaurant Levain, sits quietly on the back side of the same building that also hosts one of the owner's other ventures, Turtle Bread Co. It's here that chef Adam Vickerman churns out some of the highest-quality food the Twin Cities has to offer. With a focus on local products and seasonal ingredients, Vickerman fuses classic French cooking techniques with modern takes on traditional home cooking.

Vickerman prides himself on his approachable take on fine dining, using rustic ingredients to create dishes that diners from all walks of life can enjoy. The goal of Café Levain is not to alienate but to provide diners with a window into the soul of what food can be.


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Signature Dish: Jamie Malone of Sea Change

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Photo by http://hilaryrobertsphoto.com/
Sea Change's Chef Jamie Malone presents her signature abalone & shaved asparagus

In the search for the Twin Cities' best culinary creations, we often come across dishes that stop us mid-bite and force us to reflect on the level of thought and artistry chefs put into their work. The efforts of the chefs are often laborious, and the end results are regularly consumed before the full concept can be appreciated. We've been tracking down some of these dishes to get the chef's side of the story; their thoughts, motivations, and processes. It's our hope that we can give you a deeper insight into the talents of Twin Cities chefs and to have a better understanding of what you're getting when you sit down to dinner.

Chefs are often known for their drive and work ethic. To be committed to a job that requires you to donate your life to it, especially on weekends, takes a special kind of person and Sea Change's Chef de Cuisine Jamie Malone certainly fits the bill. To say that Chef Malone is a driven person is to short sell her accomplishments. At an age much younger than most other chefs given the task of running a fine dining restaurant, she's already done more than many will do in their entire careers.

Chef Malone has a soft yet commanding presence in the kitchen and her attention to detail can be seen on every plate delivered to the dining room. Her current focus at Sea Change is on sustainable seafood, a difficult task for any chef and even more so for a chef in the Midwest. Malone goes above and beyond in this category as she has also been known to advocate the use of sustainable fish not just inside, but also outside the restaurant world.

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Signature Dish: Solera's chef Jorge Guzman

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Photo by http://hilaryrobertsphoto.com/
Solera Chef Jorge Guzman presents his Lomo de Cerdo, a historical representation of ropa vieja

In the search for the Twin Cities' best culinary creations, we often come across dishes that stop us mid-bite and force us to reflect on the level of thought and artistry chefs put into their work. The efforts of the chefs are often laborious, and the end results are regularly consumed before the full concept can be appreciated. We've been tracking down some of these dishes to get the chef's side of the story; their thoughts, motivations, and processes. It's our hope that we can give you a deeper insight into the talents of Twin Cities chefs and to have a better understanding of what you're getting when you sit down to dinner.

Chef Jorge Guzman has been the man behind the food at the Twin Cities' top tapas spot, Solera, for several years now.  He wasn't a man who was handed the keys to a golden kingdom, but instead walked into a restaurant with a troubled reputation. Guzman has spent a tremendous amount of time doing things to help breathe life back into what was once a Twin Cities favorite, and he has succeeded. It's quite possible that Solera is better now than it ever has been.

Chef Guzman maintains a wealth of knowledge he uses to create simple yet spectacularly delicious small plates that hold true to the tradition of Spanish tapas. The dishes are never overly complicated, and the balances of flavors is always exceptional and clean. While Guzman doesn't have a Spanish background, he's managed to develop a strong understanding of the flavors and techniques associated with the tastes of the region while incorporating some of his traditional Mexican roots.

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Signature Dish: Piccolo's chef Doug Flicker

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Photo by http://hilaryrobertsphoto.com/
Piccolo chef and owner Doug Flicker's signature, soft scrambled eggs with pickled pig's feet and truffle butter

In the search for the Twin Cities' best culinary creations, we often come across dishes that stop us mid-bite and force us to reflect on the level of thought and artistry chefs put into their work. The efforts of the chefs are often laborious, and the end results are regularly consumed before the full concept can be appreciated. We've been tracking down some of these dishes to get the chef's side of the story; their thoughts, motivations, and processes. It's our hope that we can give you a deeper insight into the talents of Twin Cities chefs and to have a better understanding of what you're getting when you sit down to dinner.

Doug Flicker, chef and owner of the critically acclaimed south Minneapolis restaurant Piccolo (and coming this spring Sandcastle), has been a staple in the Twin Cities food scene for close to three decades. Having worked in many local restaurants over the years, Flicker is more than just a product of his work experience. Piccolo features a unique menu that has helped to transform the current state of dining throughout the region. This week Piccolo turns three years old, and we sat down with Flicker to talk a bit about how he got where he is now and his legendary signature dish, soft scrambled eggs with pickled pig's feet and truffle butter. The dish has even received national attention, including high notes of praise from both Andrew Zimmern and Anthony Bourdain.


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Sex World re-created in gingerbread

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Kari Schuster
A candy-coated Sex World
Local artist and creative eater Kari Schuster of MPLS.TV's Caught in a Nosh, has made an edible replica of a Minneapolis landmark where you would never, ever want to eat: Sex World. The Hot Dish got in touch with Kari to ask her what inspired this project and how you can go about making your very own XXX gingerbread house. More »

Slovenia a lesser-known foodie destination

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□smallkaa/Flickr
Prsut, an air-dried prosciutto popular in the Karst region of Slovenia.

The NYT has a positively porntastic article about ... Slovenian food!

[V]isitors take away vivid memories of its food: Karst prsut (pronounced per-SHOOT), prosciutto that is air dried for 14 days in the sharp burja winds; chewy wheat bread smothered with fresh horseradish or zaseka (a spread of cold smoked ground bacon and lard); risotto with just-picked asparagus and nettles; homemade gnocchi with fried pancetta; fish caught off Slovenia's short but idyllic Adriatic coastline.

Not to mention the linden honey ice cream, Austrian swirl cake with walnut paste, raisins, and cottage cheese, handmade sausages, thick polenta, buckwheat dumplings, oh and the rows and rows of fruit trees and pastoral scenes. Where do we sign up? Can any of you Hot Dishers vouch for this incomprehensible wonderland?


Burger King releases (spews?) blow job ad

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compujeramey/Flickr

Ew, barf, and vomitosis maximus, but we gotta give BK credit for keeping us on our toes (or, on our knees? Sorry --). If the burger chain's not busy offending Hmong people with its ignorance, it's releasing a meat-scented perfume, and lately, it's apparently had time to outdo itself once again, this time to the tune of fellatio. Huh!

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