After many years of cooking, Apolonia Nielsen has a well developed technical skill, and detailed knowledge of available foods. Prior to settling in her native Mpls, Apolonia worked in Seattleʼs Pike Place Market, where she learned the importance of fresh, local and sustainable foods. She spent time at Soho, Londonʼs French House studying classic technique, while having full access to Europeʼs variety of top quality food products. From London, it was on to New Zealand, where she spent time surﬁng, and learning the role of food in a healthy lifestyle and strong community. Between travels she has returned to Mpls for the opportunity to work with truly innovative and passionate chefs, dedicated to their local food scene. Apolonia is currently studying integrative nutrition, and is a certiﬁed holistic health counselor. Her focus in this ﬁeld is working with families on food and nutrition, to improve their health, and the health of the community. Apoloniaʼs food modo is donʼt just celebrate with food, but celebrate the food itself.
Sara Bloms, RD, LD is a Registered Dietitian specializing in the promotion of wellness through moving more and learning how to eat right. She believes eating right is the mindful approach of choosing foods that are wholesome, nutrient-dense and full of color. With her passion for inspiring the feel good power of food through healthy habits and without deprivation, Sara knows her true calling is to educate others on how real food can create dynamic meals that trigger the senses while meeting your nutritional needs.
Sara graduated with a degree in Nutrition from the University of Minnesota and completed the Sodexo Mid-Atlantic Dietetic Internship in Maryland and Washington DC. When not volunteering as a active member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and Minnesota Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, she enjoys cooking or trying out new local restaurants with her husband, friends, and family. She also found a new interest in making all-natural dog treats for her recently adopted Boston Terrier named Sea Salt.
Best Delicatessen by Citypages – 2008, 2009, 2011
Bon Appetit Magazine – 10 Best Sandwich Shop in USA
Matthew Bickford is a 30-year-old restaurant owner who has been cooking professionally for literally half his life. After gaining momentum during his first part-time cooking job in his teens, he has worked his way up through the ranks in various settings throughout the Twin Cities and beyond. His first restaurant chef position was with D’Amico and Sons, where his dreams of opening a gourmet deli first took shape. He saw the relationship between good food and casual atmosphere, where even the most humble meal deserved fresh ingredients and quality technique.
Matthew then spent three years as the chef de cuisine at Zander Café in St. Paul. He was able to hone in on his own style of cooking while working in this neighborhood hot spot. He had the freedom to create meals and experiment with the freshest ingredients, as well as appreciate the loyalty of the regular clientele. While at Zander Café, Matthew had been asked to work with Tim McKee and his crew at Solera Restaurant. Believing that it would be an incredible learning opportunity to work with the James Beard nominated chef, he switched gears and became the event chef in Solera’s fast paced setting. He ended his tenure at Solera as the executive chef of three years, where he experienced the adventure of running a large, complex operation.
Matthew never lost sight of opening his own eatery, and eventually stepped down as the chef of Solera in order to concentrate on his own endeavor. He worked at La Belle Vie in the meantime, where he had fun cooking fine dining French cuisine at night while planning his gourmet deli with Mike Ryan during the day. His dreams of opening a restaurant where a gourmet meal comes between two slices of bread has now become a reality.
2012 James Beard Award Semi Finalist
Best Chef Midwest
Steven Brown has been called “one of the biggest cooking talents this town has ever produced” by James Beard-award-winning food critic Dara Moskowitz Grumdahl. Minneapolis food scribe and Travel Channel host Andrew Zimmern has said Brown “makes the best food in town, dish-for-dish, pound-for-pound.” With Tilia, Brown adds the title of restaurateur to his estimable resume, which includes stints as executive chef at Levain and Porter & Frye. His experience also includes stints in New York City, Modena, Italy and the Yucatan peninsula of Mexico. Brown lives in Minneapolis with his wife, Stacey, his daughter, Sonia, and their border collie, Gnat.
Bio Coming Soon!
‘Not much has changed about Vincent since the beginning of his cooking career. He has prided himself on simplicity in his cooking style with a solid focus on using natural ingredients and working with the beauty in food. Vincent maintains that attaining the perfect texture to a dish and the p erfect sear on fish is just as important as the sauce that is drizzled around the plate. But, at the end of the day, Vincent is happy sharing good food with good friends.’
Chef Erick Harcey excelled during his education and training at Le Cordon Bleu Minnesota. After graduating, he landed a coveted job as pastry chef at Hotel Sofitel and then worked his way to Executive Chef at Nicollet Island Inn. Harcey has received accolades in multiple local publications and numerous awards including being named one of the “25 Top Chef” winners by Food Service News and selected as serving one of the “Favorite Dishes of 2011” by the James Beard Foundation. Harcey finds inspiration in head to tail cooking. He loves crafting the perfect coppa di testa as much as he does receiving the seasons’ finest tomatoes and local fresh produce. Chef Harcey is currently owner of Victory 44 and Victory 44 Coffee Bar & Provisions in North Minneapolis where he “forever changed Twin Cities dining “ D.Moskovitz, MN Monthly 2011.
Ann Kim is the Executive Chef and owner of Pizzeria Lola, a highly acclaimed wood fired pizzeria in Minneapolis that was named one of 2011′s Best New Restaurants by Minnesota Monthly and Mpls/St. Paul Magazine. Ann is also Consulting Chef for Vero, a wood fired pizza concept that is part of Delta’s multi-million dollar renovation of MSP International Airport. A Korean immigrant, Ann’s passion for cooking was inspired by her mother, who remains her culinary mentor, and her style is heavily influenced by Korean flavors and traditions. Kim holds a BA in English from Columbia University in New York. In her free time, she enjoys running around the chain of lakes with her business partner, Conrad and their beloved weimaraner, Lola
2010 Best New Restaurant – Minnesota Monthly
2010 Best Seafood Restaurant – Citypages
2011 Best Seafood Restaurant – Citypages
St. Paul native Jamie Malone became Chef de Cuisine in August. She’s a protégé of Executive Chef Tim McKee, having worked with him at La Belle Vie, Barrio and Sea Change. In promoting her to her current position, McKee said Jamie is clearing “the rising star” of a new generation of chefs in the Twin Cities and nationally.
Before receiving her culinary degree from Le Cordon Bleu, Chef Malone traveled extensively in Hong Kong, Vietnam and Europe, studying food and immersing herself in the nuances of each region’s cuisine. She developed her passion for cooking in high school as an avid listener of NPR’s “The Splendid Table,” which continues to inspire her to this day.
Malone tends to take a more gestalt approach to cooking than many of her male counterparts. She knows several female chefs who don’t just think about what’s going onto the plate, but they also visualize who will be eating it, who they might be with and how their entire dining experience will make them feel. “My short-term goals and my long-term ambitions are really the same: every day when I finish my work, I want to leave behind a dining room that still resonates with happy people.”
2005 Masters in the Marketplace Celebrity Chef Cook Off
2006 ACS national Chef’s Cook-Off winner
2010 Minnesota Monthly Best Chef
Best Delicatessen by Citypages – 2008, 2009, 2011
Bon Appetie(r) Magazine – 10 Best Sandwich Shop in USA
At age sixteen, Mike Ryan discovered a passion for restaurant work while busting suds behind a Hobart dishwasher. Ultimately he wanted to wield knives instead of suds, and therefore set out to work in a variety of different restaurant settings. He started out in a high production catering operation where he first began to form techniques of speed and organization. He moved on to working in hotel kitchens, a bed and breakfast, and a couple country clubs.
Eventually he learned that working for an independent restaurant with a more soulful cuisine was more what he was looking for. He then began gaining experience at many amazing restaurants with various talented chefs. Mike accepted a position at D’Amico Cucina with soon to be awarded Best New Chef from Food and Wine magazine, Tim McKee. While at Cucina Mike had the opportunity to work with some of the most exquisite foodstuffs on the planet.
From Cucina, Mike moved on to Restaurant Alma. He was able to refine his cooking talents even further while working with James Beard nominated Chef Alex Roberts. Since Restaurant Alma has been at the forefront of supporting local and sustainable farms, Mike was able to cultivate relationships with various farmers and foragers in the area, which galvanized his respect for fresh produce and meats.
In the subsequent years, he has embraced the tendency to use only the best ingredients. This affinity has been fostered in likeminded kitchens such as La Brea Bakery, Intelligent Nutrients, Crema Café, J.P’s and Clancey’s Meat Market. The culmination of Mike’s experiences resulted in the genesis of his own deli concept, where quality ingredients and great technique are essential.