Minnesota chef is a semifinalist on Zagat's best young foodies list

He's the only Minnesota chef on the list.

A Minnesota chef is in the running to be named to Zagat's 30 Under 30 list of top hospitality professionals in the country.

Nick Dugan, 29, is a chef at Bellecour – the popular Wayzata restaurant Gavin Kaysen opened back in March. He was named one of 45 semifinalists for Zagat's list, and is the only local chef on it.

To be eligible for the list, the person had to be under 30, currently working at a restaurant/cafe/bar/brewery/distillery/farm/bakery and have "undeniable awesomeness."

This is the first time Zagat's 30 Under 30 list has included people from across the country. The finalists will be announced in September.

More about Dugan

Dugan is from upstate New York, and grew up standing by his mother learning how to cook, Bellecour's website says. Once he was old enough, he started working in the food industry – first as a dishwasher, then made his way to line cook, and eventually attended the Culinary Institute of America.

Previously, Dugan worked at Bourbon Steak in Washington, D.C. and RN74 in Seattle. He moved to the Twin Cities to be part of the "booming food scene," and worked at Eastside in Minneapolis, before joining Kaysen's team at Bellecour as the chef de cuisine.

“There is something very beautiful about the straightforward attitude of the food we’re cooking. We’re not complicating things, just taking delicious, well-raised product, treating it with the utmost respect, and using classic technique. It takes serious restraint to get into that mindset," Dugan says on Bellecour's website.

Outside of cooking, Dugan likes camping, reading, grilling and visiting new restaurants.

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