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Jul 15, 2011 08:21 PM

Top Chefs of the Twin Cities

Out of curiosity, and for fun, who would you nominate for Top Chef Masters of the Twin Cities. Looking for the opinions of real foodies, not just a rehash of the opinions of the local critics. Of course, the reputations of McKee, Becker, Woodman, Russo, Roberts, Wadi, Flicker and Klein (just to name a few) are all well-deserved. Again, this is just for fun.

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  1. It sounds to me like you've answered your own question.

    1. what about lucia watson, vincent, & raghavan iyer

      1 Reply
      1. I'd add...

        -Scott Pampuch
        -Asher Miller
        -Erick Harcey
        -Mike Brown

        1 Reply
        1. Me, I vote for Marcos Pinguil of Chimborazo. He's not doing fancy food, but he has the same magical touch as Alex Roberts or Vincent Francoual. There's no rule that says the top chef has to be at an expensive restaurant, is there?

          1. I vote for anybody collecting a paycheck as a chef as that is what these lists always become. I'm sorry, but this town doesn't have over 20 "Top" chefs.

            The five most creative and original are Tim, Alex, Doug, Steve Brown, and Isaac. You can argue for others, but I wouldn't put them in the "Top" discussion.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Db Cooper

              purely my own opinion: i read the op asking for "top chef masters" . . . the reason i put in lucia's name, for example, is that w/o her work & her restaurant, the restaurants & work of (for example) alex roberts and scott pampuch would not be possible, here in msp & at the current level. it can be argued that some of the younger/newer chefs, in the first years of their first restaurant, may be very exciting, or 'masters' in their own right, of a particular style or technique-- and of course these lists always open up to include everyone's favorite chef, and that's fine--but there are some OG chefs who paved/are paving the way for the newcomers, & these chefs still have impressive innovation and amazing skills, plus staying power-- i think that's what vincent proved when he surprised folks by winning the mn monthly local chef challenge,
              so that's why i put *his* name in, and then there are others who aren"t currently at a restaurant but who are educating and writing books and are acknowledged experts, like iyer.

              i certainly wouldn't mess w any of them, and if there were some sort of local chef's lifetime excellence award, i'd submit their names :)

              1. re: soupkitten

                I'd put Brenda Langton in the category of a trailblazer who still turns out imaginative and delicious food. Just think---she's been at this since she was 18 years old---about 34 years now! Because she has no pretensions to "fine dining," she often is overlooked, though you'll consistently get as good a meal at her restaurant as you will anywhere.