The latest chef at acclaimed Travail Kitchen? A 13-year-old boy

Spencer Venancio is putting together a 13-course, pop-up meal for the restaurant.
Author:
Publish date:
Spencer Venancio with Travail chef/owner Bob Gerken.

Spencer Venancio with Travail chef/owner Bob Gerken.

Travail Kitchen & Amusements in Robbinsdale is known for being a hotbed for young cheffing talent, but not this young.

On Saturday, in charge of the kitchen at Travail will be 13-year-old Spencer Venancio, from Woodbury.

The precocious cook is leading a 13-course (geddit?) tasting menu of his own design in what is a pop-up event for 16 lucky diners around Traveil's U-shaped bar.

He'll be working alongside Travail supremos James Winberg, Bob Gerken, and Mike Brown to serve the menu, having had their help over the past few weeks to develop his menu.

Travail spokeswoman Megan Leafblad told BMTN that Venancio has done a number of stages (kitchen internships) around the Twin Cities, which brought him to the attention of the Travail Collective.

"He came in and we got to know him a bit and learned he had done a pop-up dinner at his home," she said.

"We invited him to come up with a concept and that we would help him produce a pop-up. We've done pop-ups with our own chefs and a number of other folks around town, so it's not totally new to us either."

Follow BMTN on Instagram

The $65-a-head tasting menu includes a beef ribeye taco, scallop crudo, butter poached lobster and foie gras.

There are still some tickets left for the 8:15 p.m. seating, which you can book here.

Here's the full menu:

1. Poached and marinated clam. Charred jalapeño and fermented turnip relish. Crispy ham and ham oil. Smoked Salmon Caviar possibly marinating in fermentation juice

2. Grilled wedge of watermelon. sweet spice. Cilantro. creme fraiche. radish. green onion. Micro cilantro. Konro grill

3. Scallop crudo. aguachile. Fresno Chile. gooseberries . Green onion. plating help

4. Corn pudding w/ smoked corn kernels. Bacon style pork tenderloin Bushi. Maple syrup gastric. cornbread crostini. Chive tips. 

5. Beef taco (ribeye). Corn tortilla. Fermented peppers. Pickled radishes. Cilantro aioli.

6. Grilled chanterelles. Crispy chicken skin. Pickled ramps. Cherrywood smoke.  

7. Duck roulade. seared cherries. polenta. Duck jus seasoned with cherry juice.

8. Butter poached lobster. Carrot purée. Turmeric tuile. Buttermilk. Watercress Vinaigrette. Micro carrots. Watercress.

9. Foie cashew crunch roll. Rhubarb jelly (quenelle). Fresh fig. Sherry gastric. Small sourdough boules

10. Soft cheese (Buche St. Maure). Cherry fluid gel. Clementine cells (nitro shattered). Pumpernickel bread crisps.

11. chai tea in small mug with a sphere of frozen chai cream. miniature cream puff filled with chai pastry cream.

12. Cryosicles. Raspberry cells. Blackberry foam. buttered pecan consommé.

13. Carbonated Miso ice cream. Miso caramel. Honeycomb candy

(Bonus to take away) – Mexican hot chocolate cookie.

Next Up

Related