After spending 13 years cooking in the Twin Cities at various restaurants (Heidi's, Birdhouse, Workshop at Union) Stewart Woodman, aka Shefzilla, announced he'd be leaving his latest gig at Kaskaid Hospitality and heading 85 miles south to Rochester to head up the Kahler Hotel Group restaurants. After just 2 months, Woodman and food and beverage director, Tyler Kase at the Kahler Grand restaurant, Lord Essex are excited to share details on the future.
This crowd is so international.
I remember distinctly... one of our big-name chefs came to me on the line and said, 'Listen, you can't serve foie in this town'.
I worked at Hôtel de Paris in Monaco. It's the same age as this and it feels like this when you walk around the hallways.
Woodman leads a team of tenured locals, one of whom has been a breakfast cook for 42 years at Kahler Grand. He's also brought on chef de cuisine Alexander Armour, formerly of Victory 44 and CoV, who relocated to the Rochester area to work with Woodman. To work in an internationally known hotel presents a world of opportunity for a young chef like Armour, according to Woodman. Knowing that building a good team is crucial, Woodman explained, "For someone like AJ (Armour) there's this different world from a resume perspective in the restaurant business. Now all of a sudden, you're in the hotel business and you do this for 2-3 years and your whole world has opened up. You have opportunities to travel and work anywhere in the world once you've proved this type of work."
Lord Essex at The Kahler Grand is just one of the Kahler properties getting Stew-ified. Other outlets include The Grand Grill, Crossings Bistro & Bar, and Salute Wine Bar.
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