Some of the hottest stars in restaurants and bars in New Orleans, New York and London are touching down in the Twin Cities. Here are three chances to experience their culinary contributions, without having to leave the 612.
1. PROOF pop-up dinner
Less than six percent of head chefs in the U.S. are women, and a new scholarship is aiming to rectify that stark inequality. PROOF, a pop-up dinner Aug. 22-25, will promote the new Audi #DriveProgress Scholarship, which is a partnership between the car-maker and the James Beard Foundation.
The Audi Culinary Dinner series is stopping in four cities, and each dinner highlights the work of a renowned woman chef. The Minneapolis installment of PROOF will feature James Beard Award-winning New Orleans restaurateur (and “Top Chef” runner up) Nina Compton. Compton, chef and owner of New Orleans’ Compère Lapin and Bywater American Bistro, will be joined by local pastry chef Katy Gerdes (Angel Food Bakery), and Kansas City-based beverage director Caitlin Corcoran, both graduates of the James Beard Foundation’s Women’s Leadership Program. There is one seating per night, at 7 p.m., and the dinner is located at 609 Hennepin Av., Mpls. Reservations are at opentable.com. And it's free. (As a bonus, some guests can test drive a new Audi Q3 to the dinner.)
One female culinary student from each of the pop-up cities (the others are Nashville, Pittsburgh and Seattle), will receive a scholarship of at least $5,000 in 2020.
Compton has never been to Minneapolis and is looking forward to trying Gavin Kaysen’s restaurants, she said in an email. “I actually have reservations at Spoon and Stable and I’m very excited,” she said.
She’s teamed up with JBF and Audi for this event to help more women attain the heights she’s reached in the restaurant world, something she says would have been easier had she had an opportunity like this early in her career.
“Being given a scholarship is a tremendous leap into any industry,” Compton said. “It takes a lot out of you when you’re climbing your way up the ranks of the culinary industry and any type of outside resources are extremely helpful.”
It’s part of an evolution in an industry that is finally becoming more welcoming to female chefs. “Things are shifting," Compton said. "I think we will see more women running their own restaurants and businesses."
2. Death & Co. cocktail residency
The renowned Death & Co. in New York City is credited by many mixologists with jump-starting the modern-day cocktail renaissance.
There’s no better place, then, for Death & Co. to install itself for a two-night Minneapolis residency than at one of our own iconic cocktail bars. On Friday, Aug. 30 and Sat., Aug 31, Death & Co. takes over, Constantine (1115 2nd Av. S., Mpls., 612-353-6207, facebook.com/events/1659472967530277).
Bartenders Sam Johnson, from the original East Village bar, and Sam Penton, from Death & Co.’s Denver outpost, will be mixing up elixirs from a special event menu, while Death & Co.-inspired tunes play on the sound system. The 21+ event is first-come-first-served, and there is no cover.
3. Yotam Ottolenghi
Start saving up now. The Israel-born, London-based chef and cookbook author Yotam Ottolenghi (“Plenty,” “Jerusalem”) will lend his culinary stardom to the annual fundraiser for Temple Israel next May. Tickets for an intimate dinner with the chef are $25,000; a second dinner goes for $3,600 for two seats and a cocktail reception runs $500 for a pair of tickets.
But there’s a more affordable way to encounter the bestselling author. Ottolenghi will be the guest speaker at the synagogue’s VOICES event, on May 14, 2020, and tickets for the talk will start at $50. They go on sale at templeisrael.com starting in January.
Ottolenghi will discuss his biography, “his philosophy of food and how that plays a part in the region of the world that he is from,” said Temple Israel Rabbi, Marcia Zimmerman. And an included dessert reception to follow “might have some of his imprint.”