Longtime executive chef of NYC's Cafe Boulud Gavin Kaysen is stepping down to open his first restaurant in his hometown of Minneapolis, MN. Minneapolis chef and TV personalist Andrew Zimmern initially broke the news via Twitter, and now Eater NY has received confirmation from Daniel Boulud that Kaysen will be stepping down this Summer. He will be replaced by current chef de duisine Aaron Bludorn.
There aren't many confirmed details on Kaysen's Minneapolis project at this point. Zimmern says the restaurant will be called Merchant and will be located in the North Loop. Per Zimmern, the restaurant is slated for late 2014, though if Kaysen is leaving NYC in the Summer that might be a tight turnaround. Also unclear is whether Kaysen will continue his commitment as the coach of Team USA for the 2015 Bocuse d'Or. Daniel Boulud is the chairman of the Bocuse d'Or USA Foundation and Kaysen is former competitor and member of the Foundation's Culinary Council. Below, the full statement from Daniel Boulud:
After seven years of loyal and successful collaboration at Café Boulud, Chef Gavin Kaysen, will be leaving his position of Executive Chef of Café Boulud NY in the early summer to pursue his dream to open his first restaurant in his hometown, Minneapolis.
While being based in NY, Gavin also assumed the position in the Dinex Group of director of Culinary Operations for Café Boulud Palm Beach and Café Boulud Toronto.
In 2007, Gavin was selected as a Food & Wine Best New Chef and in 2008, during his second year at Café Boulud, he received the James Beard Foundation Rising Star Chef of the Year award. Additionally, Chef Gavin Kaysen has served as the Head Coach for the Bocuse d'Or USA Foundation, on whose board Daniel Boulud serves as Chairman.
Gavin has always been consumed and passionate about French cuisine. In 2007, he led the US team at the Bocuse d'Or USA in Lyon. I was very impressed by his professionalism, discipline and dedication. Soon after, I offered him to join us at Café Boulud in NY. It has been a wonderful journey as a Chef to have him along in my team. He has been a great mentor and a manager of Café Boulud.
Gavin has been an integral part of our family of chefs and always understood well what Café Boulud represented for me - the importance of blending the French tradition with creative ethnic inspiration.
It is with pride and excitement that I wish him much success in his hometown comeback. After knowing each other for almost 10 years, we have developed a very close relationship that is very truthful, loyal and respectful.
Gavin and I have planned a very smooth transition for a while and we have appointed Aaron Bludorn, Chef de Cuisine at Café Boulud to Executive Chef to replace Gavin after his departure.
Chef Aaron is 29 years old, originally from Seattle, has worked in California and has been with us for the last 6 years from Chef de Partie to Chef de Cuisine to now Executive Chef. We are very proud and committed to perpetuate the excellence, the creativity and the tradition at Café Boulud and welcome Aaron in his future role on 76th street. We wish him much success!
[Photo: Gavin Kaysen/Facebook]