James Beard Award-successful chef to helm downtown Grand Rapids cafe

GRAND RAPIDS, MI — A prestigious chef is slated to helm the kitchen area of a downtown Grand Rapids cafe, and his arrival is getting touted as a “huge win” for the city’s cafe scene.

Paul Berglund, winner of the James Beard Foundation’s 2016 Greatest Midwest Chef Award, will debut in early 2021 as the new executive chef of Mertens Prime. The restaurant, which opened in 2017 and is found at 35 Oakes St. SW, rebranded in October from New Hotel Mertens.

“I was drawn to Grand Rapids in section by its dynamic and increasing foodstuff and beverage local community, which has made me sense welcomed right here,” Berglund stated in a assertion. “I am psyched to have the prospect to lead to the momentum the area spot has produced in latest years.”

Berglund won his James Beard Award, normally referred to as the Oscars of the food stuff world, in 2016 for his Northern European cuisine choices as executive chef at The Bachelor Farmer in Minneapolis.

In holding with the fare at Mertens, Berglund is concocting a menu that is aligned with French-centered delicacies but with his very own twists and fusions. The debut of Berglund’s menu is dependent on the lifting of in-particular person eating regulations in Michigan, Mertens Hospitality officers said.

Berglund will also oversee the menus of other venues at the Mertens creating, together with Mertens Rooftop, Café Mertens and 9th St. Steaks. Berglund’s new menu for Mertens Rooftop will debut in late spring 2021.

“We’re enthusiastic to have Paul share his culinary presents with the city of Grand Rapids,” mentioned Anthony Tangorra, taking care of member and restaurant director at Mertens Hospitality. “He is building a menu that is created to have him deliver out his individual expertise and creativity within just the expansive earth of French cuisine and high quality steaks and chops that is Mertens Key. We’re pleased to be the system for Paul’s next move in his culinary journey.”

Mayor Rosalynn Bliss called Berglund’s move to Grand Rapids a “huge win” for the city and cafe scene.

“The stand-out food stuff and beverage manufactured by our places to eat, breweries and distilleries in Grand Rapids has generated extraordinary gains for our city,” Bliss explained in a statement. “Adding a nationally acknowledged chef of Paul Berglund’s caliber to our already lively restaurant community is a huge earn for Grand Rapids. We welcome Paul with open up arms and glance forward to attracting people to Grand Rapids to examine his cooking among the quite a few outstanding places to eat in the course of our town.”

Berglund, as government chef, crafted the menu at The Bachelor Farmer when it opened in 2011. Bon Appétit Magazine named it amid its leading 10 ideal new dining places of 2012.

He still left The Bachelor Farmer in 2017 to be nearer to his wife, Tia Chakraborty, who was pursuing a neurology residency at the Mayo Clinic in close by Rochester, Minnesota.

Berglund and Chakraborty have been brought to Grand Rapids soon after Chakraborty was a short while ago appointed as a neurointensivist at Spectrum Wellness.

Prior to his time in Minnesota, Berglund founded his cooking competencies at the Oliveto Café and Cafe in Oakland, California. At the Italian-focused cafe, he rose to the rank of chef de delicacies.

Takeout support at Mertens Primary is currently discontinued as Berglund performs on the new menu. Café Mertens and 9th St. Steaks keep on to present takeout and supply beneath their current menus.

Reservations at Mertens Primary have been quickly halted, as well. The restaurant will announce when reservations will be accessible for scheduling in the around foreseeable future.

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