Christina Nguyen started the Hola Arepa food truck in 2011 with her husband Birk, slinging arepas in the streets of the Twin Cities from their bright turquoise truck. After a couple years, they opened up a brick & mortar Hola Arepa in South Minneapolis where Christina is the Executive Chef, and they have a broader menu of arepas, Latin street food and a full bar featuring tropical craft cocktails. Though Christina’s origins aren’t Latin American, her Vietnamese upbringing gave her a love of fresh, vibrant, bold flavors and handmade foods prepared with care - something that Southeast Asian and Latin American cuisine have in common. Christina & Birk have traveled and enjoyed street food from around the world. Hola Arepa is an homage to that humble, but delicious street food and a nostalgia for the places where it’s served.
Chef Sara Johannes started as a Theater Major at the University of Minnesota - Twin Cities, before a redirection ultimately led her to culinary school. Falling in love with food at a young age, Sara could always be found diligently listening to the cooking shows on PBS on Saturday mornings and was inspired by her grandparents, who always let the season, mood, and occasion dictate their menu. Sara served as executive chef for Wolfgang Puck’s Five Sixty restaurant in Dallas and WP24 in Los Angeles at the Ritz Carlton before heading back to Minneapolis. Currently, Sara serves as the executive chef at Shoyu at the Minneapolis St. Paul Airport.
Northern Waters Smokehaus
of The Lexington
Featured women chefs and artisans
of the Twin Cities
Michelle Gayer is the most critically acclaimed pastry chef currently living in the Twin Cities and is recognized as one of the best in the country. In 2002 and 2010, she received a James Beard "Outstanding Pastry Chef" nomination and has been named "Best Pastry Chef" by the editors of Bon Appetite magazine.
Gayer gained fame as the Executive Pastry Chef for Charlie Trotter’s and Trotter’s To Go in Chicago, where she also partnered with Trotter to write, “Charlie Trotter’s Desserts.” In 2008, Gayer fulfilled her dream by opening her own bakery-Salty Tart in South Minneapolis in the Midtown Global Market.
Salty Tart features Gayer’s extraordinarily stylish to free-form rustic creations. Sweet to savory selections like creamy coconut macaroons, golden rosemary corn cakes, pastry cream filled brioche and savory puff pastry all perfectly compliment the custom desserts and breads made fresh daily. Gayer features the best in seasonal fruits, flavors and baking creativity.
Restaurateur Spoonriver, Founder of Mill City Farmers Market, Speaker, Culinary Teacher, Cookbook Author and Consultant, Senior Fellow at the U of M Center for Spirituality. Educate's people on the importance of eating a healthy diet and supporting sustainably raised food. We do this by serving delicious balanced meals at Spoonriver that nourish our bodies and protects us from serious illnesses. We are committed to help change our American diet to a much healthier one. Mill City Farmers Market inspires and nurtures a healthy community by building a local, sustainable and organic food economy in a vibrant, educational marketplace.
Carrie Summer & Lisa Carlson of Chef Shack
Sara Johannes of St. Paul College Culinary Arts
Sunday April 30th
Red Table Meats
Chef Sarah Master is a native of Northern Minnesota and is a graduate of the Delago Culinary Arts program in New Orleans. She worked for James Beard Award-winning Susan Spicer at Bayona, Returning to Minneapolis she spent time in the kitchens of Restaurant Alma, Spoonriver, Hotel Ivy and Barbette. In 2014 as a semi finalist, Chef Master was featured on The Taste with host Anthony Bourdain. Her Resort and Restaurant, Mr. Roberts was named one of the top 5 places in the state to visit in the fall by the New York Times. Chef Master's is now executive chef for Red Stag and The Bird.
Kim attended the University of Minnesota for way too long, and then opened Café Wyrd on Lake & Irving in Uptown in 1991 after having vowed to never work in a restaurant again. She still has yet had to don a cook’s uniform, so it’s sort of working out. She has re-imagined spaces in ‘difficult’ neighborhoods since 1991. Her commitment to community and the arts is manifest in Bryant Lake Bowl & Theater, opened in 1993. As an extension of her restaurants’ focus on local buying & sustainability, she opened Minnesota’s first LEED-CI certified restaurant, Red Stag Supperclub, in 2007. Her 7th and most recent project, Tiny Diner, takes these values further. The diner is producing energy with a patio/solar array and showcasing biointensive urban farming methods and efficient water use strategies through its edible gardens, pollinator habitats, and rainwater catchment systems. From its hardscape to its landscape, the Diner was designed to provide a renovated example of whole system design: low impact, educational, and tangibly tasty.
A worldwide traveler possessing a very full passport. Lisa Carlson’s career spans many cities collaborating with some of the worlds top chefs. Most recently with Daniel Humm when he commanded the Taj-Campton in San Francisco. Her New York city expertise also comprised of a lengthy tenure at the legendary Lespinasse in the St Regis hotel under Gray Kunz followed by Christian Delouvrier; where she was the only woman in the kitchen as the rotisseur. She also opened the Soho Grand hotel as a lead sous chef, and spent some time in the kitchen of Drew Nieporent’s acclaimed Layla restaurant for his Myriad group. Lisa also cooked abroad in London at the acclaimed L’Escargot. She is the consummate chef / educator teaching culinary inquisitives the vitures of great technique & ingredients.
A lifelong student & adult leader of 4-H & FFA, She has a long history with small scale agriculture, cooking, & ranching livestock; in which her brand now grows half of all produce & herbs for their restaurants. Carrie spent time in New York city at Jean-Georges company studying service & BOH, as well as Morimoto’s flagship New York post in the pastry department. Her passions include fine cooking & baking, plant sciences, rare cars, travel, photography, and fashion. In the #North they are known as the Godmothers of food trucking, and in 2012 Yahoo News named their brand one of the “Top 10 most creative food trucks in the nation”
of the Bartman Group: Red Stag Supper Club, Bryant Lake Bowl and so much more
Amy Brown and Heidi Andermack
Chowgirls Killer Catering
Michelle Gayer of Salty Tart
Sarah Master of
Red Stag Supper Club and The Bird
Lina Goh of Zen Box
Lina Goh has always been a people person. Whether it was selling shoes or serving food, she has always wanted to connect to people and have them connect with each other. She found out quickly in life that food was the "glue" that held all of us together. "We all have fond memories of food," she says, "It can give us a feeling of contentment." From growing up and living in Singapore and New Zealand to now living and working in the Twin Cities, she realized that those food memories are a huge tie to our home, wherever that may be. That led her to want to open restaurants with her husband, John.
Lina's preparation for operating a restaurant came from working in management at different companies. It was a path where she formed her style and belief that every position in her restaurant is valuable and that the managers need to work just as hard as the dishwasher to make sure they operate as a team.
Her team considers her as being quirky and sometimes goofy, something she attributes to a lack of sleep. She laughs when people tell her that it must be so "glamorous" being a restaurant owner, as she quickly explains that while it has always been her dream, it has taken hard work to get there.
Her idea of a dream vacation would be to eat her way across Japan exploring all of the variations of the ingredients they use to make their food, but she's really just as happy with a nice rib eye steak on the grill because she believes: "Good food should never be pretentious!
Christina Nguyen of Hola Arepa
With an eye for style and appreciation for seasonal ingredients, the proprietors of Chowgirls Killer Catering, one of the Midwest's leading catering companies, share their inspired ideas for delicious appetizers, small plates, and cocktails that are perfect for home entertaining. Amy Lynn Brown and Heidi Andermack were early adopters of the local, organic, sustainable, and seasonal approach to cooking; their ethos is clearly reflected in this cookbook, which offers fun, elegant, and yet easy-to-prepare recipes arranged by season that will be the hit of your next social gathering.
Louisa finds connections between her roles as baker and as a charcuterie maker. For her, the two skill sets are complimentary rather than incompatible. She has the highest level of respect for the animals that she butchers as well as for the fine ingredients that she uses in the pastry kitchen. Both roles require detailed knowledge and a need to be meticulous. Tasks are very repetitive. There’s no “winging it” or fixing a mistake on the fly like you can do on the line. She’s willing to work hard, to put in long hours. She is consumed with the desire to learn more and to be a better craftsman.
Brenda Langton of Spoon River
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