Each week, we'll interview two of the chefs participating in our 2013 Iron Fork competition. On November 7, these six culinary masterminds will go head to head to see who can create the most appetizing and healthful dish using a secret ingredient provided by Lunds. For more information on the event, or to purchase your tickets, click here.
|Brendan McDonald is ready to compete|
Brendan "Junior" McDonald
An up-and-comer on the restaurant scene, Brendan McDonald, nicknamed Junior, will be joining Chef Jack Riebel in the ring for our upcoming battle royale, Iron Fork. It's this St. Paul native's first time stepping into the ring, but he's been training for culinary competition since his early days of being mesmerized by Emeril Lagasse.
Growing up in a food-focused family, he fondly remembers Sunday suppers, with buoyant, golden popovers fresh from the oven. Both sides of his family put a focus on the table. "I remember my dad cooking a lot growing up."
His first job in the industry was waiting tables at Ciatti's. From there, he knew he wanted to get serious about cooking and attended St. Paul College for cooking (just as Chef Jack did, just a couple of years ahead of him.) He then spent some time at the White Bear Yacht Club. "One of the line cooks said if I worked hard and did really well, I might be able to get a job downtown," says McDonald. He soon landed at The Dakota.
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