At this point, the name Gavin Kaysen is synonymous with the standout Twin Cities dining scene. The acclaimed chef behind beloved eateries Spoon and Stable, Demi, and the gone-too-soon Bellecour (RIP) is set to open another eatery in his beloved downtown Minneapolis, this time in the highly anticipated Four Seasons Hotel and Private Residences Minneapolis, which will also boast the city’s only five-star hotel and a limited number of exclusive residences. We chatted with Kaysen about what foodies can expect from his forthcoming restaurant, why he loves downtown Minneapolis and more.
What does it mean to you to bring yet another restaurant to the Minneapolis dining scene?
We are building one restaurant and one cafe. The restaurant will be full-service including a bar, while the cafe will be a lobby grab-and-go option that’s accessible to guests and the public. Opening a restaurant is very personal for me because we spend a lot of time evaluating the process of why we would say “yes” to doing this work. It means so much to me to be able to have the support from our guests, our team, and my partners at Four Seasons and United Properties. They have given us a lot of trust to create something that will be approachable, beautiful and meaningful.
You see this project as an opportunity to uplift our community. Why is that important to you?
I believe building restaurants and allowing them to live in our community will always be an uplifting experience. It is important for me to create spaces that are inviting so people can sit down and break bread together. I have had the pleasure of having some great meals in my life, and what I take away is not always what I ate or where I was, but instead who I had that meal with and why that space was created in that moment.
What do you love most about downtown Minneapolis?
I love being downtown. It has great pockets of neighborhoods, and growing up here, it was always such a big city to me. But in truth, it is a small, vibrant community that I have the pleasure of calling home to my businesses.
How do you hope this project changes the Twin Cities dining landscape?
I’m not sure I can answer that but I can say that bringing a hotel like the Four Seasons to Minneapolis will be a wonderful addition to our hotel community and will offer a new perspective of hospitality.
This partnership with Four Seasons is a full-circle moment for you. Can you talk more about that?
When I was in New York City, I was the executive chef and culinary director for the Café Boulud brand. We had one in New York City, one in Palm Beach and one in Toronto at Four Seasons. Toronto is where the Four Seasons brand was founded and established, so you could say I saw this brand from where it came from. I was tasked with running that restaurant alongside Daniel Boulud. It was fun, difficult, rewarding and everything in between.
This is a full-circle moment for me in so many ways to partner with Four Seasons again, and this time, it is my namesake restaurant. I loved working for Daniel — he and his team taught me so much — and I’m grateful to have this opportunity now. I believe having that time with him prepared me for this time now.
Are you approaching this restaurant any differently than your existing acclaimed eateries?
Restaurants are like children — they all have different personalities. So while it will have its own way of being here, it will be designed and thought about in the same vein as all of my other places, with genuine hospitality and delicious food in a beautiful space. We spend a year dreaming about what we want to create. From there, we have a very detailed schedule of events to be executed, from menu planning to training to picking out everything that will be in the space, from the plates to the flowers.
Looking back on your career and your Minneapolis homecoming, what does this opportunity mean to you?
I believe in positive thinking and manifesting your dreams, your goals and what you want to achieve. I always dreamed of building more than one restaurant here, and we are not done yet. We have more ideas, dreams and goals. However, none of this would have been possible had we not been so lucky to have such incredible chefs and hospitality professionals as well as the support from our guests. They keep me on my toes — striving to be better and always searching for the right mix of food, service, design, etc.
Can you give foodies a sneak peek as to what they can expect with this new restaurant?
They can expect craveable and delicious food! We have started all of our research and development, and we are excited to bring a touch of what we are dreaming of to our hometown.