Giulia, the new restaurant inside the under-construction Emery at 215 South 4th Street, has tapped Josh Hedquist to lead the kitchen. The chef specializes in Italian cuisine and has previously worked at The Copper Hen Kitchen & Cakery on Nicollet Avenue and Spasso out in Minnetonka. Giulia will be open from breakfast through dinner on the lobby-level of the hotel and will open the first week of April. The location was formerly The Hotel Minneapolis and Restaurant Max.
The chef, who has appeared on two Food Network competition shows, has a bombastic personality and a passion for ingredients that come from Minnesota’s collective backyard. “I’m a fuckin’ rebel. I like to be edgy and challenge boundaries,” said Hedquist. “You’re running a restaurant in a hotel; I’m ready to kick some ass. I’m allergic to SOP [standard operating procedures.] I was so excited to hear they cared about the food and they want it to be superb.”
One of the things the chef is most excited about is doing table side mozzarella. Available only at dinner, Hedquist will wheel a cart to the table and pull fresh cheese that will be served with rotating accompaniments. “I got to work with this guy where we developed this really cool program where we made tableside cheese. It was a hit. I want to bring that to Minnesota. Northern Italian is cheese. I’ll talk about the history of mozzarella and I’m going to make cheese for them. Everyone is going to know about Giulia because of this goddamn cheese.”
Other dishes that have Hedquist all fired up are a venison agnolotti, overstuffed with cheese in a ragu that are overstuffed so the pasta pockets explode in the mouth. There will be a Peterson Farms veal Milanese, cacio e peppe, and pizzas blistered in a wood-fired oven.
Designed by Studio Mai, the kitchen will be open with a mosiac covering the pizza oven.
Hedquist’s kitchen work is “in partnership” with Tilia and St. Genevieve’s Steven Brown. With his guidance the Italian wine served will boast the same breadth and depth as his two restaurants, which are known for fantastic wine selections.
The hotel and restaurant will open the first weekend in April.