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Behind the Flames at the St. Paul Chef’s Experience

The best outdoor barbecue of the winter happened this week

Follow the dangling pineapples to fun
Rebecca Slater/Eater Twin Cities

The Great Northern is roaring around the Twin Cities in tandem with the Saint Paul Winter Carnival and the madness of the Super Bowl. Monday night a crew of chefs gathered in Lowertown over several roaring fires to cook up dinner as the Chef Experience. The event started last year when Adam Eaton of Saint Dinette teaming with Thomas Boemer of Corner Table and Revival. This year Tim McKee of the newly opened Octo Fishbar joined the crew along with Shane Oporto. Other chefs spotted on site were the Salty Tart’s Michelle Gayer making charred dessert magic with dangling pineapples plus the Handsome Hog’s Justin Sutherland and Gray Duck’s Donald Gonzalez were helping shave swordfish shawarma.

Guests checked in and were immediately offered hand warmers to fend of the single digit temperatures. Bars had been carved out of ice and were serving both cold and warm drinks like Saint Dinette’s famous Canadian Cold Press and a blueberry Hot Toddy. Beer experts from the Growler were on hand with just-above-freezing cold beer.

The St. Paul Farmer’s Market in Lowertown
Rebecca Slater/Eater Twin Cities
Hanging pineapples
Rebecca Slater/Eater Twin Cities
Firetop cassoulet
Rebecca Slater/Eater Twin Cities
Chef Tim McKee (right) mans the spits
Rebecca Slater/Eater Twin Cities
Genius knife storage
Rebecca Slater/Eater Twin Cities
Swordfish al pastor
Rebecca Slater/Eater Twin Cities
Bellying up to the ice bar
Rebecca Slater/Eater Twin Cities
The bundled crowds
Rebecca Slater/Eater Twin Cities
Bubbles in the VIP section
Rebecca Slater/Eater Twin Cities
Rebecca Slater/Eater Twin Cities

Octo Fishbar’s oyster selection
Rebecca Slater/Eater Twin Cities
Dan Mogol mans the fire
Rebecca Slater/Eater Twin Cities
Chef Michelle Gayer of the Salty Tart used the charred pineapples for a dessert
Rebecca Slater/Eater Twin Cities
Four scored and twenty pineapples ago...
Rebecca Slater/Eater Twin Cities
Prepping Corner Table’s chicken skewers
Rebecca Slater/Eater Twin Cities
Chef Thomas Boemer of Corner Table and Revival dons his best overalls for the occassion
Rebecca Slater/Eater Twin Cities
Chef Justin Sutherland of the Handsome Hog lent a helping hand at the event
Rebecca Slater/Eater Twin Cities
More oysters
Rebecca Slater/Eater Twin Cities
McKee was outside all night long beside this custom made contraption
Rebecca Slater/Eater Twin Cities
Nothing better than hot flames on a cold night
Rebecca Slater/Eater Twin Cities
Juniper gin and winter tonic by the Saint Dinette crew
Rebecca Slater/Eater Twin Cities
The brave and the bundled
Rebecca Slater/Eater Twin Cities
Joe Alton of the Growler pouring beer in a super sweet snowsuit
Rebecca Slater/Eater Twin Cities
Bad Weather Brewing bags
Rebecca Slater/Eater Twin Cities
There was no shortage of fur trim
Rebecca Slater/Eater Twin Cities

There’s another outdoor festival tonight with Surly’s Great Northern entry. More fires, more snow and cold with beer. Tickets are $35 and the event begins at 5 pm.

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289 5th Street East, , MN 55101 Visit Website

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