Christiansen made his bones on the line at La Belle Vie. He briefly left Minneapolis for a time and traveled. He staged inside the famed Noma kitchen and brought those skills back home. He was the opening chef at UNION in downtown Minneapolis and won raves for the creative menu he served there. He left after a short tenure there for the opportunity to open his first restaurant Heyday along with longtime friend (and one time La Belle Vie co-worker) Lorin Zinter and investor Michael Prickett. (Zinter left earlier this year to open the forthcoming Il Foro.)
Heyday was an instant success with a menu that eats like a like a culinary discovery. Devouring a dish of cold mussels was like uncovering spring from fast melting snow. Rabbit Royale, graced with a carrot caramel, contains all the delight of a Beatrix Potter tale.
Food & Wine Magazine writes, "Inspired by Noma in Copenhagen and Fäviken in rural Sweden, he’s embracing a hyperseasonal, close-to-home ingredient philosophy in the Midwest. The results are playful, gorgeous and exquisitely flavorful."
Other Minneapolis chefs to receive the Food & Wine recognition includes Jamie Malone (2013) and Erik Anderson (2012) of the forthcoming Brut who also once worked under La Belle Vie's James Beard Award winning chef Tim McKee. McKee was received the honor in 1997. Gavin Kaysen of Spoon and Stable was a Best New Chef in 2007. Stewart Woodman, who now runs UNION's Workshop was recognized as one of 2006's Best New Chef.