Today I’m peering into mine, and based on my precognitive, Kreskinesque track record, you should be listening.
Several weeks ago, I told one of my editors that if I was Steven Brown or Doug Flicker, I would try to strike a partnership with one of the front runners for MSP’s 2007 Restaurateur of the Year award (that would be next year’s winner, kids). And if I was Anoush Ansari or Tim and Aaron from Town Talk, I would want to talk to Steven and Doug. Why? Because these restaurateurs (groups, companies, whatever you want to call them) are poised to make some real noise in 2007, and Steven and Doug are two of the best chefs in the Upper Midwest.
Well, the early bird has caught the worm. Doug Flicker has indeed been hired by Anoush’s company, Hemisphere Restaurant Partners, and will be the next chef at Mission. He’ll also be helping out with their new France Avenue restaurant, Via. Who will be the chef at Via? The current chef at Mission. Ansari now has a deep bench.
Since I view the best chefs in town the way most pro sports GMs view free agents, I have a few questions for you . . .
Should Doug Anderson (Nick and Eddies, A Rebours) try to strike a deal with Steven Brown? Oh wait, he hired Steve Vranian to run his kitchen. If I’m Anderson, I would hire Brown to remake A Rebours into the best restaurant in St. Paul. Small, casual, and chic . . . and one mile from my house! Touchdown.
Or perhaps the Town Talk guys will hire him, as I posited a few weeks ago. I still think that’s a good match and saves Brown the trouble of finding a location, raising dough, etc. to create his own space. Or maybe they have chatted and both felt it wasn’t the right fit? Who knows, but someone has to do the cooking at the new Niver-Johnson venture, right?
Michael Morse at Landmarc needs a chef if he wants to make that concept work, and if he hires a good one, he’ll have a shot at making a go of things in his new space. Any takers?
Tom Pham just got buried by Dara in last week’s City Pages. Perhaps he needs someone to help organize and grow the food side of his company. With two to three new concepts percolating in Pham’s head, it would be in his best interest to get a food guy on board ASAP to help make some decisions for his kitchens.
So what do you think, smarty-pants? Who ends up where, with what, and for how long?