clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Inside the Latest Celebrity Chef Dinner at Spoon and Stable

Two former competitors came together for the Synergy Series

Gavin Kaysen and Traci Des Jardins
Bonjwing Lee/Spoon and Stable

It was near the end of the Synergy Series dinner inside the North Loop’s Spoon and Stable when Gavin Kaysen started talking about how Traci Des Jardins had yelled at him. The two chefs, no strangers to food competition TV, had met on the set of Food Network’s Next Iron Chef. They were in the throes of the first episode’s major cooking competition when Des Jardins’ mixer wasn’t working and the award-winning chef was displeased. Kaysen was knee-deep in attempting to cook his own dish. Both of them were sweltering on a hot day, in a hot kitchen, under the glare of television lights and cameras.

“I’m not supposed to help anybody,” said Kaysen. Nevertheless, he noted a certain intimidation factor. Kaysen was still in his twenties and was in awe of Des Jardins’ impressive career. “I stopped and fixed her mixer. The producers were like, ‘you can’t help her! It’s a competition!’ Yeah, but, it’s Traci Des Jardins!”

Neither would go on to win that Next Iron Chef title, but the two would remain in touch throughout the years. Kaysen tapped Des Jardins to bring a small team from her restaurants to Minneapolis to cook in his third Synergy Series. Each year, celebrated chefs come to cook two ticketed dinner events at the North Loop restaurant with proceeds going to different charities. Des Jardins’ dinners benefited Angel Foundation, which assists families dealing with cancer.

The next dinners will take place October 4 and 5 with Ludo Lefebvre.

The kitchen team
Bonjwing Lee/Spoon and Stable
Diners pay a ticket price for a coursed meal and wine pairings
Bonjwing Lee/Spoon and Stable
Frenching
Bonjwing Lee/Spoon and Stable
Taters
Bonjwing Lee/Spoon and Stable
Halibut was served as a crudo served with green almond umeboshi, shiso and little dollops of avocado mousse
Bonjwing Lee/Spoon and Stable
Seared rack of lamb with herbs
Bonjwing Lee/Spoon and Stable
Toasted rice bread and dark cherries with foie gras
Bonjwing Lee/Spoon and Stable
Minnesota foraged Chanterelles and sweet corn
Bonjwing Lee/Spoon and Stable
The third course
Bonjwing Lee/Spoon and Stable
Des Jardins pulls together the lamb course
Bonjwing Lee/Spoon and Stable
Bonjwing Lee/Spoon and Stable
Ya gotta point. People love it when you point.
Bonjwing Lee/Spoon and Stable

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Eater Twin Cities newsletter

The freshest news from the local food world