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Gavin Kaysen

Ingredient: Shrimp

About Chef

Gavin Kaysen gravitates most toward traditional heartland dishes—the kind he grew up eating and cooking. This passion beckoned him back home to Minneapolis to open Spoon and Stable, a 2015 James Beard Award Finalist for Best New Restaurant, in the North Loop neighborhood in fall 2014.  

After graduating in 2001 from the New England Culinary Institute in Montpelier, VT, Gavin worked at premier dining establishments throughout California, Switzerland, and London, before becoming executive chef at El Bizcocho in San Diego. There he was named one of Food & Wine magazine’s Best New Chefs. In late 2007, Gavin joined Chef Daniel Boulud as chef de cuisine of Café Boulud in New York City, where he later earned the James Beard Rising Star Chef award and a coveted Michelin star. Today, Gavin helps the next generation of young culinary artists refine their skills in the kitchen. He is one of the founding mentors of the nonprofit, ment’or BKB Foundation, and currently serves as Team USA Vice President, overseeing the United States’ preparation for the famed biennial culinary competition. Gavin proudly represented the US in the competition in 2007 and successfully led Team USA to a record-breaking second place victory in 2015. Gavin lives in Minneapolis with his wife and two sons. 

Why I Love The Shrimp

On one of my first dates with my wife, Linda, we cooked shrimp together. We were living in Switzerland at the time, and it was a beautiful summer night. Whenever I see shrimp I think of that night. With my wife.

Sugar Cane Grilled Shrimp with Peanut Sauce

Serves 4
Delicacies Chef's Table

Delicacies Chef’s Table

Apr 1 - July 31, 2016

Chef Gavin chose to support non-profit Appetite for Change (in Minneapolis) with a monetary donation (resulting from sales) from Delicacies in 2016.


Shrimp are widespread and abundant throughout the oceans of the world. They can lead a solitary existence or travel in schools, and they exist at the low end of the food chain. “Shrimp” is an insult, one half of a oxymoronic mouthful. You can’t think shrimp without cocktail, exactly half of a perfect combination. Meditate on what it means to be small, but not at all insignificant; integral, actually, to the larger ecosystem. The shrimp charm proffers humility and reminds us of the essential power of the collective; that we should spend more time serving others instead of ourselves. Allow yourself to be swallowed up by whales. Let go of your ego. The shrimp is a mascot for those who want perspective.
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