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Scott Pampuch leaves Corner Table

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http://www.minnesotamonthly.com/media...

:(

Probably my favorite restaurant in MSP right now. I understand that he isn't doing a lot of the cooking, but this still bums me out.

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Corner Table
4257 Nicollet Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55409

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  1. Who owns Corner Table?

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    Corner Table
    4257 Nicollet Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55409

    1. Free golf on Mondays at a nice country club is a tough perk to pass up.

      1. Every time I have been to Corner Table Scott has been in the kitchen. I cannot for the life of me imagine how this place continues to operate at the level it has operated without him in the kitchen night in and night out.

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        Corner Table
        4257 Nicollet Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55409

        4 Replies
        1. re: kersie

          He's always in the kitchen, but he isn't always on the line. On one of my recent visits, he spent the majority of his time making sausages and the like.

          The rest of the kitchen staff are absolutely top notch. If the sourcing stays the same, I have confidence the food quality will as well.

          1. re: kersie

            Is it really that possible that Dan and Chad his sous chefs don't have the same ideals, the same commitment? They are there sweating it through a service with or without SP, putting their heart into it ... do people really think that the second SP turns his back that they go for a smoke break and start opening hidden tubs of Miracle Whip? Maybe we should stop listening to chef-obsessed press who need something juicy to talk about and start watching how kitchens work.

            1. re: sporkgirl

              It stands to reason the food media would be chef-obsessed, no? I think the issue is that this chef is so closely identified with his restaurant and his mission that it's hard to imagine Corner Table being the same without him.

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              Corner Table
              4257 Nicollet Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55409

              1. re: sporkgirl

                My expectation of a head chef is not that (s)he has the ability (or need) to crack the whip against the kitchen staff on a regular basis. But I do expect him (her) to display vision and direction. Who supplies that to Corner Table when Pampuch is gone? Certainly the existing staff can carry on as Pampuch would have. But when the resto audience changes or cooking techniques come into or out of favor, the choice will be another head chef (who will impose his [her] own influence) or not responding.

                I can't see a chef leaving "his" restaurant and that not leaving a long-term mark.

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                Corner Table
                4257 Nicollet Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55409

            2. This is a bummer as I was planning on having their tasting menu in a couple of weeks and I had heard that Scott is a very personable host. Plus, he used to do butchering classes as well...will those continue?

              I don't understand the move to Minnesota Valley for Scott...unless the members there offered him a large salary with benefits that he couldn't turn down. But banquet food??? barf.

              4 Replies
              1. re: PChannon

                I can't attest to this for sure, but your impression of country club dining might be a bit off. I belong to one of the smaller ones on the East side of the river.

                Most of them have actual restaurants. I'm not sure on Minnesota Valley, but most have a fine-dining room and then a more casual bar-grill. In some cases, there are even separate kitchens. I'm guessing Scott is going to be heading up those operations. He may consult on banquets, but most clubs actually have a separate staff that handles it. I know of a couple that actually have a banquet chef that handles all the food on that side of the equation.

                So you need not worry that Scott will only be making banquet food. You'll be able to get his take on fine-dining as well, as long as you get the invite. My wife and I will likely visit this fall once he gets his feet underneath him. The luxury of reciprocity with other clubs..... However, my question would be how Minnesota Valley is going to sustain this? Clubs have a limited amount of members. Can that limited amount of members support such an ambitious plan? That's what I'll be interested to see.

                1. re: Db Cooper

                  Db,

                  Thanks for your comments. I'm well aware of country club dining, having eaten many, many times at my club growing up as well as at various clubs around Chicago and Minneapolis.

                  Obviously Scott won't be cooking only banquet food, but most typical country club memberships...especially at clubs on the level of MV...don't want anything other than basic boring steaks, starches, sandwiches, and various other crap. Then again, a major issue facing country clubs is that while they were once the center of the neighborhood dining "scene" for our parents and grandparents, CC dining has been pushed aside for more visits to restaurants and for more interesting food.

                  Again, if he took the job for the money...all the power to him considering it's hard to become a "celebrity" chef in Minneapolis and there isn't a whole lot of money in the industry as a whole. Not to mention this job would probably give him much better hours and more family time.

                  However, from a creativity standpoint I don't get it at all.

                  1. re: PChannon

                    I somehow doubt this will be Scott's only job.

                    Also, managing multiple menus/kitchen at a private club is a much more family friendly job than managing a restaurant. With the exception of big events, it is a 9-5 job.

                    Also, if you look at the country club economics, banquets are the key profit driver. The competition for high-end wedding is fierce. If adding scott enables Minnesota Valley to secure 2-3 more wedding in a year, he will have more than paid for himself

                    1. re: DukeFan

                      I suspect that this was an opportunity to be with his family and also to gain more financial stability, not to mention a new challenge/experience.