Open just four months, and there’s already a change at the top at Tullibee, the handsome restaurant in the new Hewing Hotel in Minneapolis’ North Loop neighborhood.
Chef Grae Nonas, recruited with some fanfare from Austin, Texas, to Minneapolis, is leaving the restaurant.
His replacement? It’s another out-of-towner. He’s Bradley Day, and he’s coming to town armed with an impressive and varied resume. A native Australian, Day trained at TAFE International Western Australia in Perth, then spent a half-dozen years in London, cooking for Jean-Georges Vongerichten and Gordon Ramsay before moving on to the London branch of Asia de Cuba.
In 2003, that gig brought him to the United States, and Day became executive chef of the New York City outpost of Asia de Cuba. He continued to work for restaurateur Jeffrey Chodorow and his China Grill Management, opening Center Cut (a contemporary steakhouse), Bar Basque (Spanish), Kutsher’s Tribeca (a “modern Jewish-American” deli) for the company (all have subsequently closed). In 2015, Day became executive chef of STK Downtown, the New York City outpost of an upscale steakhouse/lounge chain run by the One Group.
Day is drawn to Minneapolis by the “opportunity to work with the fresh and seasonally diverse ingredients provided by the city’s many nearby farmers, purveyors and freshwater fisherman,” according to a statement. And, yes, Tullibee’s Nordic sensibilities and cooking style will remain in place, said a Hewing spokeswoman.
Day (pictured, above, in a provided photo) is scheduled to arrive in Minneapolis next month.
As for Nonas, he remains at Tullibee “and is currently slated to stay through mid-April to assist with transition,” said the spokeswoman. “There are no confirmed plans for him currently but he will remain in Minneapolis.”
During his brief tenure at Tullibee, Nonas (a 2015 Food & Wine magazine Best New Chef) made quite a splash. Not only does he prepare what is easily the city’s tastiest lefse, but Nonas captured top honors at last month’s Cochon555, the annual competition that pits five of the region’s top chefs against one another in a heritage pork cook-off. He’ll compete with nine other regional finalists in the national Cochon555 in October in Chicago.