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Gavin Kaysen named Best Chef: Midwest at the James Beard Awards

The chef won for his Spoon and Stable restaurant.

The James Beard Foundation on Monday evening crowned Gavin Kaysen the best chef in the Midwest.

The chef, who last year opened his second Minnesota restaurant, Bellecour in Wayzata, won his second James Beard Award for his acclaimed Minneapolis restaurant, Spoon and Stable.

He got the nod in the Best Chef: Midwest category over four other chefs, including Steven Brown of Tilia and Ann Kim of Young Joni, both in Minneapolis.

Kaysen was congratulated on the night by, among others, his friend and Minnesota celebrity chef Andrew Zimmern at the lavish ceremony in Chicago's Civic Opera House.

It's his second James Beard Award, known as the "Oscars of the food world," having won the Rising Star Chef of the Year in 2008 while working in New York. 

In his acceptance speech live-streamed by the James Beard Foundation, the Bloomington native paid tribute to his family, who he says was the main reason he moved back to Minnesota to open Spoon and Stable in 2014.

"I can honestly say to you it makes our day brighter every day when you eat in our restaurants," he added on Instagram. "What a night, what a journey..."


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Previous Minnesota winners of the Best Chef: Midwest award include Tim McKee (then of La Belle Vie), Alex Roberts (Restaurant Alma), Isaac Becker (112 Eatery) and Paul Berglund (then of the Bachelor Farmer).

Diane Yang, Kaysen's pastry chef at Spoon and Stable, was a finalist in the national Outstanding Pastry Chef category, but lost out to a chef from Alabama.

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