But we’re talking about multi-tasking Kaysen, who clearly thrives with numerous ongoing projects (think Bocuse d’Or, as the prime example).
This week he showed off the restaurant’s new publication, “Spoon Collection,” which he announced via Instagram. The 16-page glossy, beautifully photographed, includes articles about the restaurant, with stories about some of its producers and staff members.
There’s a Q-and-A with sous-chef Sam Daigle and cook Tyler Prieve about their foraging for ingredients (hen-of-the-woods mushrooms, for example). We hear about Matthew Tefft, an “expeditor” at the restaurant, who also experiments with growing micro-farming items for the menu.
Then there’s a look at the pastry kitchen where Diane Yang is in charge, with Alexandra Motz working at her side (and a recipe for Pear Almond Cake With Pear Chips and Honey), among other stories from the restaurant. Peterson Limousin Beef and Wild Acres, both suppliers, get a shoutout, too.
Kaysen also tells the story behind his Synergy Series (bringing in four chefs from around the country to cook at the restaurant, with 25 percent of the proceeds from each dinner benefitting a different charity).
(On schedule for the 2017 series: Grant Achatz of Alinea, Next and The Aviary on April 13-14; Sean Brock of Husk on June 29-30; Christopher Kostow of The Restaurant at Meadowood on Sept. 28-29; and Dominique Crenn of Atelier Crenn and Petit Crenn on Dec 7-8.) Find more details at spoonandstable.com.)
“It’s kind of nice to tell our own stories,” said Kaysen. “In restaurants we get so many creative people who work for us. It’s a cool way to tap into their other brain and say, ‘so help us build a magazine’.”
Kaysen has several thousand free copies that are available at the restaurant and at Williams-Sonoma stores, which advertised in his publication.
“It’s kind of a fun way to market the restaurant,” he said. “It’s a great way to highlight other people in our restaurant who people don’t know.”
The second edition, in about six months, will tell stories behind the design and build out of the new restaurant.
And there’s more (of course there’s more): Kaysen has the details behind his cookbook contract with Abrams Publishing, which will be out in fall 2018 (also announced by Instagram). The working title of the 120-recipe book is “Pulling From My Roots,” and it’s intended for home cooks -- and definitely not a how-to cook like Spoon-and-Stable chefs.
“Before Spoon and Stable, and during the process, I did a journal on what it meant to go through that experience and what it meant to go back home and how that has changed my food,” said Kaysen. “So we’re documenting that whole process.”
Kaysen is developing the recipes; Rachel Holtman of Chicago is the writer and Eliesa Johnson of Minneapolis is the photographer.
Anything else to keep him busy?
“We have enough on our plate right now. The big focus is on Bellecour and getting that up and running and keeping standards set at Spoon and Stable.”
As for the book, “It’s always been the dream,” said Kaysen.
“I can go to my English teacher and say, ‘Look, I’m an author’.”