4Bells, the restaurant with the fabulous rooftop patio overlooking Loring Park has new leadership in the kitchen. Local food champion Scott Pampuch has landed a new job leading the kitchen at the Southern-styled, triple-tiered restaurant. The Winona-raised chef tells the Star Tribune that he’ll use his Mississippi River roots to work with the river’s connection of cuisines, using our Northern location with the Southern cuisine at the restaurant. Pampuch was the founding chef/owner at Corner Table and a leader in forging relationships with area farms and foragers. He sold that restaurant to Nick Rancone and Thomas Boemer in 2011 before moving on to other projects.
Pampuch was most recently at McKinney Roe, just outside of downtown Minneapolis. That restaurant parted ways with the chef to downscale the massive eatery into an Irish pub.
Plotting to bring the fried chicken that was so popular when the restaurant first opened, Pampuch will bring back the dish for Restaurant Week, February 17-22.
—Another dramatic restaurant change is the makeover of Calhoun Square’s vegetarian/vegan restaurant Fig and Faro. Since its inception, where the plan was to train all staff in front and back of house, the eatery has pivoted to working with several chefs, with the kitchen now under the stewardship of Andrew Vuong. By all accounts the now entirely vegan restaurant has hit its stride. Rick Nelson of the Star Tribune writes that he first thought his dining experience at Fig & Faro was an “an unfathomable and unpalatable mystery.” Now he’s enjoying what’s coming out of the kitchen, declaring, “The cooking is now much more colorful, fresh and appealing.” He recommends hearty winter-weather dishes and visiting for brunch.
Correction: An earlier version of this story mid-identified the chef as Patrick Scott Moore who is no longer with the restaurant.