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Who is taking over for Seth @ Cosmos? [MSP]

As I assume everyone knows by now, Seth Bixby's last day at Cosmos was December 14th.

http://msp.blogs.com/chowandagain/200...

Does anyone have the scoop on who might be interviewing for this covetable job at the Graves? Andrew Zimmern made a half-hearted speculation in Stewart Woodman in the above article, but after the less than...good meals I had at Five, I can't say that prospect sounds delightful.

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  1. we went to Cosmos on Seth's last day - only to find out he had left that afternoon, thus wasn't at the kitchen that evening (sigh). So we talked to Håkan, Seth's sous-chef and loyal right-hand (he cooked with Seth to the James Beard House dinner, etc) and to Adel (sommelier?) and they say that "the Graves will take their time to find someone worthy of filling Seth's spot - no one has been identified so far". I wasn't impressed with Steward Woodman either (but i never ate at the "fancy" side of Five), and he seems to be leaving some ruffled feathers where he works, so i'm not sure the Graves will trust him with the amount of events/ corporate partners/ etc that Cosmos hosts every week.

    1. Any idea if Håkan is filling in the Exec spot for the time being? We have a large group of friends staying at the Graves next month for a bachelorette party and they have a rez @ Cosmos.

      I trust Håkan to carry the torch and would not hesitate having them keep that reservation were that the case.

      1. If you've dined @ Cosmos previously, there is about a 5% chance that Seth prepared your food, plus nobody's leaving, so keep your reservations. The Graves definitely want a chef with a big name & a national reputation who can help promote the place and move it beyond the HUGE shadow of Seth. They have a lot to offer as they are opening hotels in CHI & NYC within the next 2 years & the next Exec Chef will have a big hand in what they do there. If it was going to be Stuart Woodman, it would have happened by now...so I can only imagine that it's someone from another market, because the qualified big names here by-and-large own their own places. I wonder if that glamour-puss TV Star Zimmern could still find his knives!?!?!

        1. Rumor has it Stephen Trojahn has the gig. Unconfirmed at this point, but wow that was fast.

          1. Now that the cat's out of the bag...the word is that Stephen Trojahn (Club 21 in NYC, lotsa Ritz-Carltons) will be starting on Jan 8.

            1. I have eaten at 21 twice and both times were first-rate. I am excited to see what he does.

              I am more excited for the Bixby-Brown venture I am imagining in my head that will never happen in a million years.

              1. Cosmos was wonderful, on par with the best in Vegas, Chicago, or SF. A real gem.

                1. Cosmos still is wonderful. And the graves also just added an ace pastry chef. Khanh Tran, formerly of Auriga, Levain, Hotel Fontainbleu in Miami & the Ritz Escoffier Hotel in Paris. They're like the New York Yankees of the Minneapolis restaurant scene.

                  1. The Yankees? yuck... i understand the analogy about bringing top players to their roster, but can we use a less polarizing team? =)
                    Trojahn seems like a great match, down to the big-hotel experience – it’s definitely not a job for any chef, no matter how great they are.... it takes a certain personality.

                    Foureyes137, what's the "Bixby-Brown" venture in your dreams?

                    6 Replies
                    1. re: MariQ

                      It's called Rocksmos and it's Stephen Brown and Seth Bixby totally making food in the old Rockstar space including Stephen's tobacco-smoked tomato stew and Seth's braised veal cheaks. ;)

                      The space sucked, but Stephen did whatever he wanted in it.

                      1. re: Foureyes137

                        Rumor is that Brown is checking out Mill City Cafe as an option for himself

                        1. re: ChefD

                          Damn! That's some rumor!

                          While I can't say I would be disappointed in the least to have him up here in Nordeast, I think Mill City Cafe has some of the same issues that Levain did in it's distance from downtown's population radius, expense accounts and lunch diners.

                          I'm actually quite conflicted here...I really enjoy Steven Brown's food. I loved it at Rockstar and Levain, but I am not sure he will be setup to succeed at Mill City. Perhaps he cooks there in the interim, but I want the casual fine-dining experience of the last two restaurants...a feeling I haven't gotten in my single Sunday morning visit to Mill City. Maybe I am way-off in my scepticisim, but I'm not sure I see a good fit.

                          But hey, it'll be one hell of a brunch!

                          1. re: Foureyes137

                            I can't imagine the price points @ Mill City are anywhere near what they were @ Levain...and trying to bring them up there would be deadly for their business in that location. What's worked in NE are price sensitive indie-boho joints like Sample Room, Modern, Erte.

                            1. re: g rote

                              My point precisely. Either the quality of the food would be compromised for the sake of bringing down the price or the prices would reach level's unsustainable in the market.

                              1. re: Foureyes137

                                Yeah, I don't know how serious it is. I just heard it was one of the places he briefly mentioned on Andrew Zimmerns show last Saturday

                    2. Do you really agree with that comment about being as "on par" with the best in Vegas, Chicago, or SF also who else agrees with it? I mean I like cosmos fine but i think that to put them on such a hi piller you need more. Lets all remember Guy Savoy and Joel Robuchon BOLTH have restaurants in Vegas. Not on par with the best but trying to get close. Plus we have no idea how the new chef is going to do. How soon we forget about chefs from out-state. I wish him the best of luck. Now that Levan has closed and Harvy wants to open another bistro we need someone to come in and do what Steven was doing there and we need to get Steven back behind the stove so we can all enjoy his food cause he is one of the best we have.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: youngchef

                        I personally have not had the privilege to eat at any high scale places in Vegas, and very few in Chicago-NY. So I cannot comment if Cosmos is at par with “the best” in these cities. I do think Seth is a great chef, beyond the culinary knowledge and creativity – from his work with the hotel and events/ charities such as the Taste of the Nation/ SOS events, he has proven leadership. But when it comes to ranking him nationally... I’m not experienced enough for that.

                        1. re: youngchef

                          Now, Guy Savoy and Robuchon opened after I was last in Vegas, Sept 05. BUT...Cosmos was better than Nobhill, better than Fiamma. As good as Prime, Michael Mina, Bradley Ogden. I enjoyed Cosmos' ambience immensly as well, it is an escape.

                        2. Andrew Zimmern posted on his blog that he got a call from Ben Graves yesterday, confirming that Steven Trajahn is taking over. Khan Tran will be the pastry chef.

                          1. Chowhounders know their stuff. good scoop - any insight on when he'll be running the show?

                            1. Already is. From a culinary standpoint, Cosmos has a great thing going, so I'm guessing that the transition will be a slow & cautious one and he's not going to do anyhing too drastic just to put his stamp on it.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: g rote

                                You're probably right - although the "stamp" will eventually come - news of a new chef always revive a place, as people "remember" the old spot and go see what's going on.