Gavin Kaysen has been chef de cuisine in New York, at chef Daniel Boulud’s Café Boulud, where the James Beard Foundation selected him as Best Rising Chef of 2007. He’s cooked in London (at L’Escargot) and Lausanne, Switzerland (L’Auberge de Lavaux). And when he manned the stoves at El Bizcocho, in San Diego, he was voted one of Food & Wine magazine’s Best New Chefs. But Minneapolis is home to Kaysen, and that’s where he opened his own restaurant, Spoon and Stable, in 2014.
So popular was Spoon and Stable when it opened its doors, that it was called by Minneapolis–St. Paul Magazine food critic Dara Moskowitz Grumndahl “hotter than the mighty and incorruptible sun.” Boulud’s influence is in Kaysen’s menu, and in his thinking about what a restaurant should be, but the food also is resonant of the place in which it is being made and in which Kaysen grew up. Great Lakes trout is served with lobster, kohlrabi, black garlic, shellfish nage, and sorrel. A pork chop is glazed with tamarind and served with spicy carrot-cucumber pickle, bok choy, tatsoi, and jus.
The James Beard Foundation agreed with critics, and Kaysen won its 2018 award for Best Chef: Midwest. A graduate of the New England Culinary Institute, Kaysen was U.S. representative in the Bocuse d’Or competition, and has gone on to coach the U.S. team in later competitions. As Boulud mentored him, Kaysen is also about giving back to the next generation of cooks.