Gavin Kaysen

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Gavin Kaysen (born 1979 in Thousand Oaks, California) is executive chef and owner of Spoon and Stable Restaurant in Minneapolis, MN, and Bellecour in Wayzata, MN. He was, before that, the Executive Chef and Director of Culinary operations for Daniel Boulud in New York City, over seeing Cafe Boulud in Palm Beach, Toronto and New York City.[1]

He previously headed the kitchen at El Bizcocho in San Diego. In 2007, he represented U.S.A. at the Bocuse d'Or.[2] He was a competitor on The Next Iron Chef, eliminated during the third challenge, "Resourcefulness".


A graduate of the New England Culinary Institute, Kaysen was inspired to become a chef while working at a Subway in Bloomington, Minnesota:

In 2007, Kaysen was named one of the top 10 ‘Best New Chefs’ by Food & Wine.[3] Before becoming executive chef at Cafe Boulud, he worked at Domaine Chandon in Yountville, California, under Robert Curry, at Auberge de Lavaux in Lausanne, Switzerland, and under Marco Pierre White at L'Escargot in London, England.

Chef Kaysen was eliminated during the third episode of The Next Iron Chef due to his food being under-seasoned and under-salted, according to the judges. After the elimination, he explained to judge Michael Ruhlman that the problem had been that the food had been stored improperly by the tech crew of the show, and had become submerged in an ice water bath, leaching out the salt and seasonings. Ruhlman has stated that had he known of the technical glitch, he would likely have judged differently.[4]

In 2008, Chef Kaysen won a James Beard Foundation Award for Rising Star Chef of the Year.[5]

Kaysen has announced that he plans to open his own restaurant in 2014 in Minneapolis.[6]

Bocuse d'Or incident[edit]

The Bocuse d'Or is one of the world's most prestigious cooking competitions, held in France every two years, and is often referred to as the Olympics of cooking. Kaysen was the U.S. candidate for the 2007 finals. While other issues caused problems for Kaysen at the Bocuse d'Or, the main failing was caused by a dishwashing assistant. Kaysen prepared a wheel-shaped ballotine of chicken, inlaid with chicken liver, foie gras, and Louisiana crayfish. Two of the side dishes were missing. Mistaking two chicken wings intended for the platter as rejects, the dishwasher had eaten them. Kaysen placed fourteenth.[2]

Television appearances[edit]


  1. ^ The San Diego Union-Tribune (October 10, 2007). Chef Change: Kaysen Moves On
  2. ^ a b Smillie, Dirk, (June 5, 2007). French Toast
  3. ^ a b Food & Wine (2007). Best New Chefs - 2007 - Gavin Kaysen
  4. ^ Ruhlman, Michael, (October 23, 2007). Next Iron Chef Perspective
  5. ^ (June 9, 2008). 2008 James Beard Award Winners
  6. ^ Interview with The Chefs Connection (May 12, 2014). Gavin Kaysen at the Crossroads: The Journey That Started at Subway