Jim Kyndberg and JP Samuelson are working for CRAVE according to one of my pals at our magazine. Good for Crave for bringing some talented chefs on board. To me that is a great sign that they want to take their food program more seriously. Or maybe they are simply paying that idea lip service. Time will tell. There’s a time honored tradition in the restaurant world of restaurants surveying the playing field, seeing what chefs are out there—provisionally, without stoves—and roping them in to help their empires. Crave is growing fast and the concept has really taken off with most diners. How long those chefs stay with that company and what level of finish the company allows those chefs to execute to will say a lot about our local food scene moving forward.
More great news: Heidi’s version 2.0 is open as of Tuesday evening, January 11. Congrats to Heidi and Stewart Woodman, who have consistently stood for excellence and vision when it comes to their food. He is a F&W 10 best winner and the author of a killer new cookbook, so all eyes are on Shefzilla as he rolls out his latest concept. I am travelling a lot, so I wont get in for a month or so, but I desperately want to be in the room when Lenny Russo dines there. Don’t you? Friends who went to test dinners over the weekend reported back that the food was insanely good.
Shameless "Get Rich Quick" scheme: Just kidding, but since it’s so cold out I wanted to alert you to get the kids talking now about Lemonade Day! Check out lemonadeday.org, a national organization that teaches kids about entrepreneurship and helps grow communities. Nothing beats the winter blues like getting your lemonheads thinking early about the big day. I love this idea and if you aren’t involved, you should be.
Shameless act of self-promotion: Please log onto shortyawards.com and vote for me in the Food Category. If we do well in their rankings, we will donate $500 to a scholarship fund on behalf of the Shorty Awards. And for all of you who vote, go to The Retreat to help those in need of financial aid for a residential treatment for chemical dependency and alcoholism right here in Minnesota. Help us make a difference, won’t you?
Shameless act of generosity: Get a great South American trip and get a killer discount by being a friend and fan of “Rudy Maxa’s World,” as I am. Rudy put together a fabulous, 11-day trip called “Wine & Wonders of South America” from March 9-19, 2011. Chile and Argentina are the stops, and you can find specific details by visiting here. That site will give you a special code that will give you a five percent discount on all ground and air components of the tour. I would go in half a heartbeat but I am working then. Oy vey.