Project: Great Chefs

  • Who's behind the uptick in Twin Cities dining caliber? In this occasional series, we'll look at local chefs who are changing the direction of Minnesota restaurants.

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As executive chef at D’Amico and Partners, Jay Sparks oversees the kitchens at the company’s seven full-service restaurants, including Cafe Lurcat and Bar Lurcat on Loring Park in Minneapolis, above.

Marshall Paulsen of the Birchwood Cafe in Minneapolis.

Chef-owner John Kraus, of Patisserie 46.

Jamie Malone's sense of humor shows a little while taking her portrait.

Chef Shack co-owners Lisa Carlson, left, and Carrie Summer.

Sameh Wadi of Saffron is one of the state's top chefs.

The Travail team of chefs with the owners.

  • Great chefs: Travail has an element of surprise

    Article By: KIM ODE , Star Tribune Publish February 23, 2012 2:00 AM / Update April 25, 2012 10:15 AM

    Travail isn't where you might expect it to be, its young chefs are a little scruffy and its food pushes the envelope. Yet its chefs have earned national attention -- and the first spot in our Great Chefs series.

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Saffron co-owners Saed Wadi, left, and chef Sameh Wadi.

The Travail crew with owners

Chef Travis Stanfield takes care of the family table on a recent Wednesday.

  • What to expect at Travail

    Article By: KIM ODE , Publish February 23, 2012 2:00 AM / Update April 25, 2012 10:14 AM

    Three things to know about Travail: The chefs do it all, there are no reservations and it can be noisy.

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Sea scallops at Travail.

  • Review: At Travail, work is fun

    Article By: RICK NELSON , Star Tribune Publish October 28, 2010 2:00 AM / Update October 28, 2010 9:12 AM

    In downtown Robbinsdale, molecular gastronomy -- with a side of bar basics -- is sold at blue-collar prices. It's a remarkable, spirited enterprise.

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Sameh Wadi, Chef at Saffron

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Chris Riemenschneider reports from the South by Southwest Music Conference in Austin, Texas. Follow his tweets: @ChrisRstrib

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