LEFT TO RIGHT: Best Chef Gavin Kaysen plating; Day Boat Scallop Crudo -
green apple, shiso, chilies, scallion vinaigrette
The significance behind Best Chef Gavin Kaysen’s newest venture, Spoon and Stable, is quite literal: his obsession with spoons, combined with the fact that the restaurant was built in a horse stable dating back to 1906, drew inspiration for the name. After working with Best Chef Daniel Boulud the last seven years, Chef Gavin returned home to Minneapolis to open his dream restaurant in the North Loop Neighborhood this past November. He was inspired by the cuisine of his past, specializing in the type of dishes that he enjoyed during his childhood. Gavin explains that the idea behind the food and focus is “really for us to cook delicious food on a consistent basis,” such as the first confirmed menu item, Day Boat Scallop Crudo with Green Apple, Shiso, Chilies and Scallion Vinaigrette. Chef Gavin describes, “the crunchiness of the garlic against the silky smooth scallop with the enriched flavor from bitter charred scallion, heat from chilies and lots of acidity added,” made the dish an “absolute home run.”
Chef Gavin is rewarded with confidence knowing that “people are just as excited as you are” about the opening of Spoon and Stable. The restaurant itself reflects the city’s personality that the patrons of Minneapolis have created over the past five years: “the clientele are very well traveled, allowing chefs in the area, [like] Alexander Roberts and Doug Flicker, to cook this way.” Opening Spoon and Stable is a way for Chef Gavin to give back to the Minneapolis community, “the reality is when you open up a restaurant you are giving back to the community and it’s your responsibility to make sure it stays in line.”
Spoon and Stable is only considered a neighborhood restaurant “location wise,” as the concept is far more unique. For the restaurant’s decor, Chef Gavin used local glass maker Jackson Schwartz to design the restaurant’s light fixtures and local business Wood from the Hood to create “one kitchen counter from one long walnut tree trunk and the restaurant’s bar stools.” Before Spoon and Stable opened, Chef Gavin developed his staff by focusing on an 80-page document specifically concentrated on the importance of service. The whole staff “worked on the culture and what that meant” and discussed details such as, “what the neighborhood is known for historically; who makes the coffee and tea.” He promoted the idea of having no “Back of House” or “Front of House” and created an environment where everyone is working toward the same goal: “please the guest and be better as a team.”
Duck Meatloaf Sliders
foie gras, caramelized tamarind glaze, celery, brioche
I asked Chef Gavin, if you could choose a chef to cook for you, your family, and friends, who would it be?
Chef Gavin replies, “I don’t think I would want a chef to cook for me, because, well, I probably would want to [cook] with them. I would want to cook with Paul Bocuse…such an amazing man, a legend; he has cooked for me many times before, and actually sent me beautiful spoon the other day.”
How many spoons do you have to this date?
“Around 500, the last 200 have been gifts.”
By: Alex Pioggia