Join us for an evening of gourmet cuisine paired with an amazing selection of red wines from around the globe. This memorable evening will be hosted by James Beard Award-winning Parasole Chef Tim McKee, VP of Culinary Development, who'll be joined by the entire Parasole executive culinary team to deliver an exceptional menu and wine list for your enjoyment.
All attendees receive a complimentary Riedel wine glass!
Turkey and Wild Rice Meatballs with Wild Mushrooms and Fontina Cheese
Spring Valley Vinyard Katherine Corkrum
2009 Cabernet Franc, Walla Walla Valley, WA
Steak and Foie Gras Tartare with Black Truffle and Porcini Cornet
2010 Domaine Gayda Freestyle Rouge, France
Homemade Pappardelle Bolognese
2010 Antinori Tignanello, Toscano, Italy
Braised Beef Tamale with Red Mole
Burgess Haymaker Vineyard Syrah
Dry Aged NY Strip
2010 Stags' Leap Cabernet Sauvignon
Braised Short Rib with Parsnip Puree
and Red Wine Gastrique
Duck Confit with Duck Liver Strudel, Poached Pear and Red Wine Reduction
2011 Robert Hall Paso Robles Merlot
House-Made Pork Sausage, Smoked Tomato Jam and Fennel
2006 Haras de Pirque Albis Red, Maipo Valley, Chile
Mini Burgers with Red Wine-Bacon Jam, Black Pepper and Brie
2011 Hedges Red Mountain
Smoked Chocolate and Curry Tart, Oven Roasted Pear and Hazelnut Powder
Summers Estate Zinfandel
Alfredo Torres always liked to cook, and he honed his talents over the years at restaurants including Major’s Sports Café and Buca di Beppo before joining the Parasole family of restaurants. What makes him such an asset at Burger Jones is the breadth of his skills. “As I progressed in my career, I discovered that my passion for management matches my love of cooking” he says. “The strong value Burger Jones places on teamwork, combined with the creative freedom I have to shape our menu with new specials, makes this a great place to work. Every day, I’m able to exercise my skills, express my passions, and continuously develop my abilities.”
Whether serving up the perfect Steak Frites or taking his guests on a culinary tour of French game dishes, Anthony Leonhardi brings focus, flair and a discerning palate to the kitchen of Salut Bar Américain in St. Paul. He honed his skills first as a culinary student at The Art Institutes International in Minneapolis, then at the highly regarded Lucia’s Restaurant, where despite his relative inexperience he quickly established himself as a consummate utility player—able to work all the stations as needs dictated. Subsequently Anthony held positions at restaurants including Oddfellows, under Executive Chef Matt Williams; Opus Lounge; North Coast Restaurant; and Via Café. He joined Salut Américain as a sous chef in 2008, and was promoted to Executive Chef in 2010.
Heather’s grandmother wasn’t always around to share cooking secrets with her granddaughter. But that was okay, because Heather’s other grandmother had her own trove of recipes and techniques to pass down to the curious learner tugging at her apron strings. Consequently, Heather was already an accomplished home cook when she enrolled at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY. Upon graduation she went to work for Chef Hartmut Handke at his eponymous restaurant in Columbus, Ohio. During her tenure there, she participated in the 2003 Bocuse d’Or Competition in Lyon France, where Team Handke became the first Americans ever to win first place. Heather’s accomplishments in France also led her to become the youngest chef ever to win the American Culinary Federation’s Presidential Medal at the National ACF Conference. In the years since, Heather has participated in competition BBQ teams at the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo, provided relief cooking services for cleanup workers in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina, and helped to open Kaminski Bros. Chophouse at the Wisconsin Dells’ Chula Vista resort. In 2008 she moved to the Twin Cities to work for Parasole, where before taking the helm at Mozza Mia, Heather lent her expertise to Salut, Manny’s, and the W Hotel banquets team.
Chef Chester Dyrud was born and raised in Brazil, and after graduating from high school he came to the Twin Cities to attend culinary school. Though he has been with Parasole for 13 years—first at Chino Latino and now as Executive Chef at Good Earth in Roseville—Chester has never left Brazil behind. “I was exposed to different cultures and foods from the very beginning. In that environment, most everything we ate was locally grown and sustainable, and the flavors were incredible,” he says. “I bring that same passion to Good Earth, where I love cooking with great ingredients and adding to my knowledge of them. There’s a real bounty of sustainable, organic, locally abundant foods here. For me, having the opportunity to cook great food and learn so many new things makes the Good Earth a wonderful place to work—and a delicious place to eat.”
Some kids take their mom’s cooking for granted, but for Choney Diaz that was impossible. It was just too good. “Everything my mother made tasted great,” he says. “I knew her cooking was special, and it inspired me to learn how she did it so that I could be just as good a cook.” That was all the inspiration—and education—Choney needed to rise through the culinary ranks, first as a line cook at Tex Mex restaurant in Minneapolis, subsequently at Figlio and now as Executive Chef at Burger Jones in Minneapolis. “The key to success in this field is to keep learning and doing. My mother gave me the foundation I needed to cook for a living, and from then on I learned from the professionals who surrounded me,” Choney explains. “Talent is everywhere. You just have to be a good enough student to take advantage of it.”
From his French small plates menu to Salut Bar Américain’s family-style “Grande Boeuf” feasts, every aspect of Edina’s “Brasserie Down the Block” reflects Chef CJ Van Proosdy’s passion for the French culinary canon. “I’ve always been an avid cook, but I never truly envisioned a career as a chef until I was introduced to French cooking,” he explains. A native of Madison, Wisconsin, CJ began working with Parasole at Figlio and Muffuletta Café. The pivotal moment, however, came when he was appointed to the position of sous chef at Salut in St. Paul. “That ignited my passion,” he explains, “and taking the helm as Executive Chef at Salut in Edina gives me the perfect platform to introduce others to the world’s greatest cuisine.”
Garrett Hess’s grandfather may not have envisioned him becoming Good Earth’s executive chef, but he certainly planted the seeds. “As a seven-year-old, I’d help him pick vegetables in his large garden and together we’d cook with them,” Garrett says. “Our tomatoes, cucumbers and green beans were so good, they gave me an appreciation for the good earth long before I came to Good Earth.” Garrett steadily added to his repertoire of cooking and baking skills, but never considered becoming a chef until prompted by others. It was good advice. The moment he enrolled at the Art Institutes International culinary program, he knew he’d found his calling. Garrett had the same feeling when he joined Good Earth as a sous chef. “I was raised with a love of high quality ingredients, and that’s what this restaurant was founded on,” he says. “Running my own kitchen had long been my goal, and here I’m able to do that while continuing to cook for my friends and family—and carry on my grandfather’s tradition of gardening.”
A native of Hilo, Hawaii, Josh grew up in a rich and diverse food culture that set him on his culinary journey from an early age. Eventually that path took him to Minneapolis, where he brought his farm-to-table principles to the acclaimed Goodfellows restaurant, and then went on to open Cosmos, lauded by Food & Wine magazine as one of America’s top ten hotel restaurants. After representing Cosmos at the James Beard House in New York and in Hawaii for Food & Wine, he opened the Red Stag Supper Club, the Midwest’s first L.E.E.D. certified restaurant. In March of 2008, Josh took a working tour of Hong Kong, furthering his knowledge of both Asian and Western cuisines, and upon his return joined Parasole as the Executive Chef of Manny’s Steakhouse at the W Hotel—The Foshay. In his spare time, he enjoys contributing to local charitable events and organizations such as Share Our Strength, Real Food Initiatives and the James Beard Foundation.
A 2005 graduate of Le Cordon Bleu, Matthew Ellison began his culinary career at some of the region’s best known restaurants, including Campiello in Uptown, the historic Naniboujou Lodge in Grand Marais, the iconic W.A. Frost restaurant in St. Paul, and The Happy Gnome gastropub, before joining Parasole at Salut Bar Américain in Edina. Distinguishing himself as a versatile culinarian, undaunted by even the most complicated dishes in the French tradition, Matthew was named Executive Chef at Muffuletta. His respect for tradition combined with a playfulness expressed in offerings ranging from Mediterranean comfort food to boundary-pushing Mexican cuisine has won him an enthusiastic following. “Muffuletta is a really special place,” he says. “The combination of a quality team and such loyal guests gives me tremendous freedom, both to indulge my love of the classics and push myself creatively.”
Miguel Urrutia was just a teenager when he moved to the United States and enrolled in culinary school, but he had long since learned how to command a kitchen, having worked at this father’s restaurant in Irapuato Guanajuato, Mexico since he was a child. After graduation he worked at St. Anthony’s restaurant in Pasadena, California, and then moved with his family to Minneapolis, where he played a lead role in opening Rainforest Café in the Mall of America. Miguel joined Parasole’s chef team in 2007, opening Pittsburgh Blue in Maple Grove. He has been Executive Chef ever since, presiding over one of the Twin Cities’ most successful restaurants and evolving along with it; in recent years introducing new bar fare in the Blue Tavern, hosting an ambitious series of wine dinners, refining the restaurant’s popular group dining offerings, and introducing guests to a steady stream of seasonal menu specials.
If you can’t stand the smoke, get out of the kitchen. It’s a lesson Jason Smith learned as a 14-year-old working the line at a Kansas City barbeque restaurant. Yet Jason’s culinary training actually began long before that, at the side of his grandfather, an accomplished cook who involved him in the kitchen from an early age. Consequently, no one was surprised when Jason announced his intention to cook professionally, or when he rapidly worked his way up to the position of Executive Chef at Tellers Restaurants in Lawrence, Kansas. Three years later, in 2007, Jason moved with his wife to Minnesota and went to work for Morrissey Hospitality at the St. Paul Grill. In 2010, Jason joined Parasole Restaurants as chef at Il Gatto Restaurant, in Uptown, Minneapolis. A year later, Jason took the helm of Pittsburgh Blue at the Galleria in Edina, where he serves as Executive Chef.
“We scored a major coup in landing Tyge for Chino Latino restaurant,” says Parasole’s James Beard Award-winning head of culinary development, Tim McKee. “I know, because we’ve worked together for years.” Tyge first met Tim in the year 2000 when he began work at McKee’s acclaimed restaurant, La Belle Vie. Tyge displayed both a keen culinary sensibility and strong operational and managerial skills, helping move the restaurant from Stillwater to Minneapolis without skipping a beat. So impressed was McKee that he promoted Tyge to the position of executive chef at the much-lauded Solera restaurant, and subsequently Barrio Tequila Bar in St. Paul. After a stint at The Inn in down Minneapolis, Tyge took the helm at Chino Latino. “I’ve been fortunate to work in dramatically different genres,” he says. “From the haute Provencal style of La Belle Vie, to Solera’s vast palate of flavors, to the lustiness of Barrio, every day has been an adventure. But Chino Latino takes the creative opportunities to a whole new realm. Here I have the entire Tropics to mine for inspiration, from Latin America and the Caribbean to Polynesia, Asia and Africa.”
A graduate of the Art Institutes International who has been working in restaurants since the age of 14, Chef Steve Hesse came to Uptown Cafeteria with a vast range of experience under his belt. “I’m only in my mid-thirties,” he says, “but I already have a 20-year history thanks to my mom, who owns a restaurant and put me to work early.” Over the course of his career he has contributed to some of the region’s most notable restaurant and culinary operations, including the St. Paul Grill, Stella’s Fish Café, Macy’s Foods division, and Masu Sushi & Robata, where he held the position of Corporate Executive Chef. He has put the diversity of his experiences to good use at Uptown Cafeteria. “The beauty of this restaurant is its flexibility,” he explains. “It’s not about this or that cuisine; it’s more about the way our offerings come together to create a really satisfying eating and drinking experience with very few boundaries.”
Adrienne Odom began her pastry career 22 years ago in New York City, where she trained under such acclaimed chefs as Alfred Portale and Marcus Samuelsson at venues including Palio, Omni Hotel Berkshire Place, Gotham Bar & Grill and Aquavit. In 1998, she moved to the Twin Cities to open Aquavit in the IDS Center, and in 2003 was recruited by Chef Tim McKee to open Solera Restaurant and Event Center. Two years after that, Adrienne was appointed Executive Pastry Chef of both Solera and La Belle Vie. Many awards and accolades followed for her unique flavors and beautiful plates. 2007 brought Adrienne back to New York City to assist Marcus Samuelsson with opening a pastry commissary for his stable of restaurants, serving thousands of diners a year. In 2008, she moved back to the Twin Cities for the quality of life and the unique culinary atmosphere that thrives here. Today Chef Odom heads the pastry department for Parasole Restaurants, creating menus, designing execution, training and mentoring new employees for 14 restaurants in the Twin Cities.