Meet Minneapolis recently awarded Jim Kyndberg, executive chef for Radisson Blu Minneapolis Downtown, with its Hospitality Hero award. The award recognizes a company or individual who has contributed significantly to the public image of Minneapolis through outstanding hospitality and service.
Kyndberg was nominated by Al Giraud-Isaacson, director of human resources at Radisson Blu Minneapolis Downtown. It was Kyndberg’s trend-setting farm to table approach that impressed Giraud-Isaacson.
“He has a true commitment to support our local farmers who care as much about what they are producing as [much as] we care about what we are creating,” said Giraud-Isaacson.
We reached out to Kyndberg to hear all about his reaction to the honor, his goals for the future, and his favorite things about Minneapolis.
- What does this award mean to you?
Our food scene in Mpls. has grown so much over the past couple of years that sometimes it feels like you can get lost in the shadows so easily. So I guess I would have to answer by saying this award really meant a lot to me by showing me that my efforts and contributions are appreciated and did not go on unnoticed.
- What goals do you have in mind for the hotel for this year and farther down the line?
Continue to explore and test the boundaries of what a MN inspired menu can mean and expand to. Yes, we source locally whenever possible, sustainable food practices are very important to us and it is easy for me as a chef to find inspiration by our defined seasons. But my challenge and my goal is to create what is our taste of place. We have such a diverse culture living and working in our state. I find it only natural to embrace these influences and find new ways to incorporate into menu offerings, both in our banquets and catering and especially in FireLake.
- You’ve now been honored as a Hospitality Hero. Who are a few of your personal heroes?
If this question was based on my food heroes I would have to say Alice Waters and Charlie Trotter. I would consider them my first real food heroes. My mind was blown when I dined in their restaurants and it really ignited a fire in my culinary career. For real life heroes, I know it sounds cliché but I have to say my wife. With all the crazy hours and time away from home somehow we have managed to raise a beautiful family. It would not have been possible without her. She is my true hero.
- What do you enjoy most about working at The Radisson Blu?
Every day is a new challenge. You never really know what you might face throughout any given day. One of the advantages of working in a hotel is that you have so many resources built right into your property. Sometimes the hotel itself almost feels like our own little city.
- If you could give advice to yourself when you were just starting out in the industry, what would that advice be?
Listen more and don’t be in such a hurry.
- Besides The Radisson Blu, where is your favorite place to dine in the city?
So many to choose from and this is really a hard question for me since I don’t get out nearly as much as I should. I would have to say the patio at Butcher and the Boar. It’s close and always good!
- What are your top three favorite things about Minneapolis?
Love being a part of the urban scene. I live in a small town approx 30 miles outside the city so in a weird kind of way helps me feel balanced living and working in two such opposite environments. I love the culture and diversity of Minneapolis. Having lived in different cities I feel our dedication to music and the arts is unsurpassed and to be able to enjoy this with so many great parks and trail systems throughout the city is very unique. And last but definitely not least our local food scene. We’ve come a long way baby!!
- If you could describe Minneapolis to someone using just one word, what would that word be?