Scott Pampuch, chef/owner of Corner Table restaurant in south Minneapolis, has taken a new position as executive chef of the Minnesota Valley Country Club in Bloomington, replacing Shane Maier (though websites at both locations do not yet reflect the change). He's been working at the country club for a week.
"This is the biggest step that's happened in my career in six years," Pampuch said in a press release. "I have the opportunity to introduce local, sustainable food to a new audience." Pampuch's goal is to gradually transition to local food at the country club, which will include using the same vendors from the restaurant. He plans to have a kitchen garden next year. His job also includes developing the kitchen- and front-of-room staff.
The country club, which has had a longtime connection with Audubon International (it's been a certified Audubon Cooperative Sanctuary since 1994), considers this staffing move as a continuation of its commitment to land, water and wildlife.
Scott was hired by Kurt Stangler, clubhouse manager at the Minnesota Valley Country Club, a Minnesota native who most recently had worked in New Orleans in the hospitality field. When Kurt returned to Minnesota in December to manage the country club, he made a point of checking out Corner Table, where he met Scott. "I did the Kitchen Table [the chef's table at Corner Table] and got to know him. When I had an opening at the country club, I called Scott to see if he knew of anyone for the position. He told me he wanted to throw his hat in," said Kurt in an interview.
"Scott is an excellent chef. We're taking our food to the next level. We want him to get as close to what he did at Corner Table as he possibly can. He's bringing his suppliers. We're hoping that this sets the stage not only for us but for the hospitality industry in general. We believe in what Scott's doing and we want to be the pioneer in the field.
"He is fully committed to us, and is transitioning out of Corner Table," Kurt said. "He has a game plan for it."
Corner Table, which opened in 2004, will continue to operate at 4257 Nicollet Av. in Minneapolis. Pampuch's interest in local food had led him to develop his Tour de Farm in 2009, a series of dining events at local farms. The next one is a 10 a.m. breakfast on July 31 at Riverbend Farm in Delano, MN.
Scott, who may be one of most voracious local food voices on Twitter, has yet to tweet a word on the new gig.
Update 7/06/11: Scott blogs about his new position at the Corner Table blog