Gavin Kaysen, the executive chef of one-star Michelin restaurant Café Boulud in New York City, will be moving back to Minneapolis and opening a restaurant here, according to a Tweet from Minnesota food writer and personality Andrew Zimmern. The restaurant, named Merchant, is slated to open in the North Loop in late 2014.
Originally from Bloomington, Kaysen has been the executive chef at Café Boulud since November 2007. That year, he was named one of Food & Wine's ten best new chefs; in 2008, he was named Rising Star Chef of the Year by the James Beard Foundation. He has also served as the head coach for the Bocuse d'Or USA Foundation, which competes in the prestigious Bocuse d'Or competition held in Lyon, France every two years.
UPDATE: In a statement, Daniel Boulud confirms Kaysen's departure. From the announcement:
Gavin has been an integral part of our family of chefs and always understood well what Café Boulud represented for me - the importance of blending the French tradition with creative ethnic inspiration.
It is with pride and excitement that I wish him much success in his hometown comeback. After knowing each other for almost 10 years, we have developed a very close relationship that is very truthful, loyal and respectful.