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Posts about Chefs

Heidi's Minneapolis restaurant closes its doors

Posted by: Lee Svitak Dean Updated: October 23, 2013 - 5:04 PM

Last week Stewart and Heidi Woodman announced they were closing their six-year-old restaurant Heidi's at the end of December. But last night's sign on their door indicated a change of plans.

Today, via a press release, they announced that the restaurant was closed immediately and gave the reason: the end of their marriage.

The press release:

After 12 years of marriage, Heidi and Stewart Woodman have mutually come to the decision to divorce. With this news, they announce today that Heidi's Minneapolis, the restaurant they created and co-owned for six years, has closed its doors.

In a statement from the Woodmans: “We kindly ask that our privacy be respected. While we’ve made the decision to end our marriage, we share the same love and commitment to our two children. Our focus is on them at this time."

Last night a flurry of tweets indicated that something was amiss given the sign that was posted on their door (see photo above), which hungry participants in Restaurant Week had stumbled upon.

A little history: Heidi's Minneapolis was an instant hit when it opened in 2007 at 50th Street and Bryant Av. in Minneapolis. After its building was destroyed by fire in 2010, the Woodmans moved the restaurant to 2903 Lyndale Av.S., where it earned a four-star review from Star Tribune critic Rick Nelson.

The culinary couple -- she's an accomplished pastry chef -- landed in Minneapolis, Heidi's hometown, in 2003, where Stewart became the first chef at Levain, which earned a four-star review under Stewart's cooking. 

The husband-wife team went on to open Five Restaurant & Street Lounge, an ambitious but short-lived effort. Their next venture together was Heidi's. They had also opened Birdhouse on Hennepin Av. S., which closed over the summer.

Heidi and Stewart Woodman in 2011 at Heidi's on Lyndale. Photo Star Tribune

Heidi and Stewart Woodman in 2011 at Heidi's on Lyndale. Photo Star Tribune

Top 25 best food memoirs

Posted by: Lee Svitak Dean Updated: October 17, 2013 - 4:23 PM



Grub Street (New York magazine's online food presence) offers its list of Top 25 food memoirs,prompted by the large number of that genre to be published this fall.

Missing from the list are the books I would put at #1 and #2. "A Day of Honey: A memoir of food, love, and war," by Annia Ciezadlo and the very recent "Mastering the Art of Soviet Cooking," by Anya von Bremzen (reviewed in this week's Taste section).

What would be on your list? Remember that these are food memoirs and not cookbooks.

Here is the Grub Street list:

25. Fresh Off the Boat by Eddie Huang

24. Down and Out in Paris and London by George Orwell

23. The Devil in the Kitchen by Marco Pierre White

22. The Telling Room by Michael Paterniti

21. A Tiger in the Kitchen by Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan

20. The Sweet Life in Paris by David Lebovitz

19. Born Round by Frank Bruni

18. Blue Plate Special by Kate Christensen

17. The Apprentice: My Life in the Kitchen by Jacques Pépin

16. Climbing the Mango Trees by Madhur Jaffrey

15. Shark's Fin & Sichuan Pepper by Fuschia Dunlop

14. Home Cooking by Laurie Colwin

13. The Raw and the Cooked by Jim Harrison

12. The Man who Ate Everything by Jeffrey Steingarten

11. Alice, Let's Eat by Calvin Trillin

10. California Dish by Jeremiah Tower

9. When French Women Cook by Madeleine Kamman

8. Heat by Bill Buford

7. Tender at the Bone by Ruth Reichl

6. Between Meals by A.J. Liebling

5. My Life in France by Julia Child

4. The Gastronomical Me by M.F.K. Fisher

3. Toast by Nigel Slater

2. Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain

1. Blood, Bones & Butter by Gabrielle Hamilton

TPT looks at Minnesota food in "Farm Fresh Road"

Posted by: Lee Svitak Dean Updated: October 4, 2013 - 4:59 PM

Ready for a road trip? Public television is.

"Farm Fresh Road" -- a 30-minute show about Minnesota foods from farm to table -- premieres at 7 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 6, on TPT's Minnesota channel.

The program features Mary Lahammer of Twin Cities Public Television as she wanders the state in a progressive meal kind of trip looking for food experiences that are the equivalent of "courses" -- an appetizer in Minneapolis through dessert in St.Peter.

Not free on Sunday? Be assured the show will reappear many times in the scheduling at TPT.

TPT films at Spanky's Stone Hearth in Frazee, Minn.

TPT films at Spanky's Stone Hearth in Frazee, Minn.

Canoeing for a cause

Posted by: Lee Svitak Dean Updated: September 17, 2013 - 9:22 AM
Photo of Team Dooley provided by Wilderness Inquiry

Photo of Team Dooley provided by Wilderness Inquiry

Who's that setting the pace for Team Dooley in the Great River Race Saturday on the Mississippi? That would be Lucia Watson, chef/owner of Lucia's restaurant in Uptown. She and 270 others paddled 27 canoes in the fundraiser for the Urban Wilderness Canoe Adventures outdoor program for kids. The fundraiser, which raised $75,000, was a collaboration with Wilderness Inquiry, the National Park Service and the Mississippi River Fund. UWCA has brought more than 35,000 youth to urban waterways.

Canoers raced between Hidden Falls, on the Mississippi, and Harriet Island. Team Dooley came in 10th out of 27 canoes. Mortenson Construction came in first.

What's with the Team Dooley name? The canoe was sponsored by Beth Dooley (who often writes for the Taste section and who is now communciations director at Wilderness Inquiry).

Find out more about Wilderness Inquiry, in an article by Neal St. Anthony.

Also seen in the canoes: Michael Keller, CEO of Pearson Candy Co. of St. Paul (which provided mini-Salted Nut Rolls for the participants), Chris Coleman, mayor of St. Paul, and Don Shelby, former anchor at WCCO. There may have been a food editor in the canoe, too.

Minneapolis Mayor R.T. Rybak stopped by, to remind the participants that the Mississippi River is our Central Park (of NYC status), and, in fact, is a national park.

Photo by Lee Svitak Dean

Photo by Lee Svitak Dean

Minnesota chef/writer debuts on Food Network

Posted by: Lee Svitak Dean Updated: September 11, 2013 - 2:48 PM
Amy Thielen

Amy Thielen

The Midwest will be getting the spotlight as our Minnesota writer Amy Thielen heads to the Food Network in a six-episode program,"Heartland Table." The show debuts on Sept. 14 at 9:30 a.m. (just following the network's "The Pioneer Woman."

Amy, whose stories in the Star Tribune Taste section won a James Beard award, also has a new cookbook, that will be published the end of September. "The New Midwestern Table," focuses on regional traditions, from fish frys to booyah and braunschweiger.

Find out more about both next week in Taste.

Update: Here's the interview with Amy that appeared in the Sept. 12 issue of the Star Tribune Taste section.


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