Skip to main content
The Official Site of the Minnesota Wild

February 7 • Pajarito - Tyge Nelson

February 24 • Pajarito - Stephan Hesse

To make a reservation simply click the reservation button or call 651-726-8400.

Book your Jack Daniels Old #7 Club reservation on Resy

Chef takeover price is $46.95 per person. Please note that the price listed is per person for that evening's chef's takeover.

Pajarito Chef's Table
A 6-person chef's table is available for this takeover for $125 per person. Please call 651-726-8400 to reserve the chef's table on February 7 or February 24.

Stephan Hesse
Parajito is a dream fulfilled for Stephan Hesse. Known for his rare combination of culinary artistry and business savvy, for years Stephan had been thinking about opening a neighborhood restaurant - bringing dining with character and originality to a community more typically home to chains and fast food. And, it would appear that Stephan was destined to open his own place - few chefs have racked up more than 25 years of culinary experience while still years shy of hitting 40.

Stephan started working in the restaurant industry at the tender age of 13 at his mother's Maplewood Perkin's restaurant and never stopped. After high school the St. Paul native took a job in executive dining at 3M; and it was there one of the chefs noticed Stephan's talent and suggested he pursue a culinary career.

That decision quickly led Stephan to the Art Institutes International of Minnesota where he enrolled in the Culinary program. Upon graduation, Stephan's early career was filled with work at the prestigious four-star St. Paul Hotel and St. Paul Grill as well as at Premier Restaurant Management where he was instrumental in opening such Minneapolis crowd-pleasers as Stella's Fish Café and Prestige Oyster Bar, Tonic of Uptown and Major's Sports Cafés.

For Stephan, Pajarito's vision is to be a great neighborhood hangout with superb Mexican food:

"We want to push the envelope on traditional Mexican fare with modern touches and fresh, vibrant flavors. Tyge and I will both be building on our passions and strengths. I'll be playing up my skills in in-house butchery and charcuterie, while Tyge will be playing up his extensive knowledge of the differences and subtleties between various Latin American and Mexican regional cuisines in his use of chili peppers and seasonings.

Tyge Nelson

To quote Star Tribune restaurant critic, Rick Nelson, when describing Chef Tyge Nelson, "Talented chefs beget talented chefs."

Tyge's interest in food traces back to childhood memories of watching his grandmother canning and baking, and trips with his grandfather to buy fresh milk from nearby dairy farms. However, his culinary destiny was not a foregone conclusion.

Like many other chefs, Tyge discovered his own interest in food only after pursuing other potential career paths. "I'd been going to school for awhile (at the University of Minnesota) and nothing really drew me." But when he thought about becoming a chef, it just "felt right." So, in 1999 he quit the University of Minnesota and enrolled at Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts, Mendota Heights, graduating in 2000.

Upon graduation Tyge won a coveted internship working for uber-talented Chef Tim McKee at then just two-year old La Belle Vie, which was still located in Stillwater, Minn. Tyge was quickly promoted to sous chef. When Tim brought in Jack Riebel to serve as La Belle Vie's executive chef as he began splitting his attention between the two restaurants, it created new opportunities for Tyge to learn from yet another talented chef.

Pajarito is an opportunity for Tyge to showcase his depth of expertise as well as his love of Mexican food and culture.

"With attention to detail, technique, and ingredients you quickly elevate the dining experience into something extraordinary. For example, a salsa can be a simple dish, but it becomes great when you put thought and effort into every aspect: the selection of the vegetables, how they're roasted, type of heat you introduce, the amount of acidity. The end result still looks simple on the plate, but the effort elevates the final result and the overall experience."


March 11 • Pearl and the Thief - Justin Sutherland

To make a reservation simply click the reservation button or call 651-726-8400.

Book your Jack Daniels Old #7 Club reservation on Resy

Chef takeover price is $54.95 per person. Please note that the price listed is per person for that evening's chef's takeover.

Pearly and the Thief Chef's Table
A 6-person chef's table is available for this takeover for $125 per person. Please call 651-726-8400 to reserve the chef's table on March 11.

Justin Sutherland - Chef, Lowertown's Handsome Hog and Stillwater's Pearl & the Thief

Like so many other incredible chefs, Sutherland began his culinary education in his grandmothers' kitchens. His grandmother in Mississippi influenced his love of food with her traditional Sunday suppers. Despite his initial success as a head chef early in his career, Sutherland applied for a line cook's job at Meritage, a fine-dining French restaurant with a stellar reputation. He wanted to learn all he could from the chef and owner, Russell Klein, whose high standards he admired. The years at Meritage taught him how to work under high-stress situations and more. "It taught me about having thick skin and not taking things too personally," says Sutherland. "I learned how to always strive for perfection and try to make things the best. Nothing is perfect until it's perfect." Achieving perfection these days means cooking on the line at both restaurants where he is executive chef at least once a week. He does all the menu development, manages the staffs and oversees the administrative duties. Sutherland uses the classic French techniques and fine-dining skills he acquired at Meritage to give the comfort food and barbecue at Handsome Hog a modern makeover. The most popular dishes, however, are the smoked beef brisket, chicken and waffles and shrimp jambalaya.

Sutherland owns Pearl and the Thief with his partner, Joseph Pirri. He is also a partner at Handsome Hog.
Iron Chef America- winner


March 25 • KZ ProVisioning - Gavin Kaysen/Andrew Zimmern

To make a reservation simply click the reservation button or call 651-726-8400.

Book your Jack Daniels Old #7 Club reservation on Resy

Chef takeover price is $54.95 per person. Please note that the price listed is per person for that evening's chef's takeover.

Gavin Kaysen - Chef

Kaysen is the chef/owner of Spoon and Stable in Minneapolis, MN and Bellecour in Wayzata, MN. The Minnesota native returned to his hometown of Minneapolis in 2014 after cooking in some of the world's most revered kitchens, including Domaine Chandon (Yountville, CA); L'Auberge de Lavaux (Switzerland); and L'Escargot (London), El Bizcocho (San Diego), and Café Boulud (New York City). His numerous awards include a spot on the Food & Wine Best Chef Chefs list, the James Beard Rising Star Chef award, and a Michelin star during his time leading the kitchen at Café Boulud.

Kaysen also helps lead the next generation of young culinarians with the mentor BKB Foundation. A competitor himself in 2007, he now helps Team USA prepare for the biennial Bocuse d'Or showcasing the world's best up-and-coming chefs. In 2015, he led Team USA to a Second Place victory, the first medal for the United States. In 2017, Team USA took home gold.

Andrew Zimmern - Chef

Andrew Zimmern is a four-time James Beard award-winning TV personality, chef, writer, teacher and social justice advocate. As the creator, executive producer and host of Travel Channel's Bizarre Foods franchise, Andrew Zimmern's Driven by Food, The Zimmern List, and Food Network's Big Food Truck Tip, he has explored cultures in more than 170 countries, promoting impactful ways to think about, create and live with food. He has written 4 books, appears monthly in Delta Sky Magazine, is a contributor at Food & Wine Magazine and an entrepreneur-in-residence at Babson College. Andrew is the founder and CEO of both Intuitive Content, a full-service television and digital production company, and Passport Hospitality, a restaurant and food service development company. He is devoted to his charitable endeavors and sits on the board of directors for Services for the UnderServed and Taste of the NFL. His life's work is about demonstrating and promoting cultural acceptance, tolerance and understanding through food.

Follow the Wild

Stay connected with the latest news and scores

    

Sign Up for E-News

10,000 Lakes Challenge

Sync schedule

Exclusive Audio

State of Hockey