Sea Change, the restaurant at the base of the Guthrie Theater has been a launching ground for chefs who have gone on to win international recognition and its newest chef is poised to carry on the tradition. Chef Donald Gonzalez worked with Thomas Keller at French Laundry, helped Jean-George Vongerichten open Chambers locally. Gonzales most recently opened Gray Duck in St. Paul’s Lowertown. The success of its global comfort food/bar snacks menu led, in part, to his inspiration for the Sea Change project.
“I’ve got a great group of guys coming in from all over the world for this,” Gonzalez said. In a way, he’s getting the band back together, cooks he’s known for years, but hasn’t had the right project to lure them to Minnesota. “We’ll be pulling in all of their experiences, these are guys I’ve worked with for years, and building a menu that’s influenced by everywhere the ocean touches.” He plans to lean heavily on the metaphor of the restaurant’s name. That means that the tradition of being a leader in sustainable sea food will continue, but the flavors are about to get amped up in a major way.
“Guests will find dishes that are familiar, but with one or two ingredients they’ve not experienced before, or prepared using a different technique,” the chef said.
Sea Change will still be overseen by chef Tim McKee, who was also the head chef while Erik Anderson (now of Coi in San Fransisco) and Jamie Malone (now of Grand Cafe in Minneapolis) worked and became Food & Wine best new chefs.
For theater-goers, the restaurant will still be able to churn out meals before showtime, but Gonzalez will also bring fresh life into the catering options available for events at the Guthrie and working on pulling in people for lunch and late night dining as well.
Expect to see changes after April 10.