MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) –This morning chefs across the nation found out if they made the cut to become finalists in the prestigious James Beard awards. They're like the Oscars of the food world.
Also for the first time, a Minnesota restaurant -- Spoon and Stable in Minneapolis -- has been nominated in the national category of Best New Restaurant.
Spoon and Stable
Nearly every seat has been filled every night since Spoon and Stable opened in late November in the North Loop. It's not unusual to see a line out the door.
Part of the appeal may be chef and owner Gavin Kaysen's open kitchen.
"We want the guest to realize that when they come in to eat at this restaurant, it is more than just coming in, ordering, being a transaction, and leaving," Kaysen said. "We want you feel like you can come here every night and as if it is an extension of my home or your home."
Kaysen grew up in Bloomington but spent the last several years working at a critically acclaimed restaurant in New York City.
Now he owns his own place, with food prepared his way.
"It is French-inspired in terms of the techniques that are used," he said. "We want to focus a lot on an American, global stance of it. What is American cuisine? is the big question. It's a melting pot."
The building was a stable for horses back in 1906.
The firm that converted it into a restaurant is nominated for its own James Beard award - Outstanding Restaurant Design. The nomination is a first for Shea Inc. of Minneapolis.
"When you think about how many restaurants open every single year around the country, to be recognized by such an elite group of people is really just a special honor," Kaysen said.
Spoon and Stable is competing with six other restaurants nationally.
WCCO's Jason DeRusha is thrilled about his "DeRusha Eats" nomination.
"I get to celebrate every week awesome restaurants and brilliant entrepreneurs who are coming out with new food-related products," he said.
In the segment, DeRusha travels on-site to restaurants all over the Twin Cities to learn more about the chefs and the food served there.
Local restaurants and chefs are featured for being new to the Twin Cities food scene, having an interesting back-story or bringing a innovative concept into the dining experience.
DeRusha said he is competing with a team from CBS This Morning and a local TV reporter in Chicago for the award. He'll find out if he won on April 24.
"DeRusha Eats" airs each week on WCCO Saturday Mornings from 8 to 9 a.m., WCCO Sunday Morning and then again on WCCO This Morning on Monday mornings.
The 2015 James Beard Award winners will be announced on Monday, May 4. The Book, Broadcast and Journalism Awards Dinner will be held on Friday, April 24 at New York City's Pier Sixty.
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