There are new chefs on the menu at the Dakota Jazz Club and Restaurant in Minneapolis, as of Sept. 22. Derik Moran and Kristin Tyborski will share the executive chef position, says owner Lowell Pickett, who is clearly excited. "We've taken an unusual path. It seems like a fresh approach [to have duo chefs]. They will be producing wonderful food," Pickett said in an interview. "They're going to be a great team." He expects that, at a later date, they will settle on two positions: chef du cuisine and executive chef. For now, though, they will share the chef's hat.
"They bring knowledge and longevity in cooking," Pickett noted. "And they're both really good. We've been blown away by their food." Derik, right, has been cooking since he was 11, when he was flipping burgers at a beer joint. By 18, he was head chef at a resort in northern Wisconsin. After stints at Porter & Frye and Trattoria Tosca, he has led the kitchen of Nick and Eddie since 2010.
Kristin, left, has cooked her way through several local restaurants: La Belle Vie, Sea Change and Solera, as well as Porter & Frye, where she and Derik worked together. Most recently she's been with Mill City Cafe. She's also a newborn mother, with baby Albin now eight weeks old.
"Kristin and I are going to be a team, This is an opportunity for a great partnership. We are equals in this," said Derik in an interview. "It will be creatively dynamic, focused, exciting and fun. Working with a woman will create a more rounded, better spectrum of how to think in general. I know diners won't be disappointed."
Derik doesn't anticipate drastic changes. "Nothing brand new. We'll work with the environment and do what's needed. Tonight [Wednesday] is the first time we have really talked about things together," he said.
Kristin is equally thrilled about the partnership. "When we originally discussed this a month ago, it blew my mind. We're going to balance each other out," she said. Between the baby and her work at Mill City Cafe, she had been away from downtown Minneapolis for about 1 1/2 years. "I'm excited to get back to night life. It will be fun to see how our styles meld together."
The two replace Jack Riebel, who recently left the restaurant for a new project, after running the Dakota kitchen for six years.