Ladies and Gentlemen, Ben Mauk.
Quick bio, then my thoughts…
A Minneapolis native, Ben comes to Birdhouse after a circuitous journey that includes seven years on the West Coast, ten years on the East Coast, and various locales in between. Most recently, Ben was Executive Chef for Bon Appetit Management Company at Stanford University; with an emphasis on farm-to-fork, responsible food supply chain activism and industry-wide best practices.
Prior to that, Ben was chef-owner of critically-acclaimed Twist Restaurant in New York’s Hudson Valley. In 2004, Twist was named Best New Restaurant by Hudson Valley Magazine, and consistently received 26 and 27 ratings for food by Zagat.
Inspired by Chef Alfred Portale of Gotham Bar & Grill, Ben graduated first in his class from both the associates and bachelors degree programs at the Culinary Institute of America.
Ben lives in Southwest Minneapolis with his lifelong best friend, Michelle, and their dog, Terre.
Heidi and I were introduced to Ben a few months ago, and realized immediately that he would be a great choice to run the kitchen at Bh. Not everyone is cut out to be a chef, and certainly very few are cut out to be restaurant chefs. It takes a tenacious and steady mind to manage yourself and others in chaos. Being able to thrive under pressure, with little or no information as to what may happen in any given scenario, especially in an opening, is an essential quality that a chef must possess in order to be successful.
There will come a moment soon when we throw open the doors to the public. In that moment he will need to rise above it all, to shut out every noise, and think only of being in the moment, focus on the basics, and inspire the team to do the same.
We will introduce Ben to the media this afternoon, and other inquires by vendors and what not, should be directed to Birdhouse.
It’s a new name that we introduce to Minneapolis chefdom today, but based on what I have seen, and tasted thus far, it will not soon be forgotten.