Chef Gavin Kaysen — who recently left his position as executive chef of Café Boulud in New York City to open Merchant in Minneapolis — has a thing for stealing spoons. Kaysen tells Food and Wine Magazine that he has a collection of "nearly 500 spoons, pinched from restaurants around the world," many of which will be on display at his new restaurant.
So where did he steal spoons from? The first spoon he swiped was when he was a 20-year-old pastry cook in Switzerland learning to make quenelles. Kaysen has also stolen spoons from legendary chef Paul Bocuse at his restaurant. There's one from Café Boulud when he dined there before he worked there and another from (chef David Myers' now-shuttered) Sona in Los Angeles. He even has a spoon commemorating the French Laundry receiving three Michelin stars (though he did not steal that one). Kaysen on why he takes spoons: "I take them from special places that inspire me. When I look at them, I remember the meal, the company, the wine."