Each month Gather by D'Amico invites a guest chef to bring their culinary magic to the guests of our restaurant. We have had many award winning chefs that have been nationally recognized for their creativity and ingenuity. Take a moment and peruse a bit of our culinary history.
Saul Chavez didn't know that his father's passing—when Saul was eleven years old—would foreshadow his future career in the United States.
After his mother joined the work force to support six children, Saul took over familial cooking duties for his family—each of his siblings having declined the position of "chef."
Saul cooked regional Mexican staples and specialties for his family in Morelia, a mid-sized city in central Mexico's Michoachan state for nine years before moving to the US in 1986, at nineteen, searching for a better life.
Chavez landed a job in Chicago, quickly realizing he was unhappy cleaning industrial equipment, switching flavors from grape to cherry and back again at a Kool-Aid factory. Chavez instead opted to follow his brother who had moved to Minneapolis looking for work. He wanted to go to school, but couldn't afford it and spoke little English at the time.
Upon arriving in Minneapolis, Chavez landed a job as a dishwasher at the then trendy, now defunct, Coccolazone. He worked there as a dishwasher from 1986 until 1992, when prolonged road construction forced Cocolazone to close, leaving him unemployed.
Chavez spent four years as a line cook, learning the ropes while working at the Sydney's, but left after realizing he wanted a change of venue. After spending a year as Chef at Ciao Bella, he landed with D'Amico, becoming Sous Chef at Campiello in 2002.
Whether working in the restaurant, traveling, researching food concepts or testing recipes, Chavez always carries his signature notepad, continually learning, taking notes and refining his craft.
Upon returning from a holiday trip to Mexico in December 2004, Chavez was called in to Executive Chef Jay Spark's office at D'Amico & Partners, and learned he was being tapped by the D'Amico's to run the latest venture in their restaurant empire – MASA, a high-end Mexican restaurant featuring regional Mexican cuisine.
Chavez lives in Hopkins with his wife Sarah, also from Mexico, who he met in Minnesota and their two children.
The Chavez family eats primarily Mexican cuisine at home.
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