Aaron Hagerdorn

Aaron Hagerdorn is the Executive Chef at the Hyatt Regency Minneapolis on Nicollet Mall. Originally from Columbus, Ohio, he graduated from The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY in 2000. Aaron continued his education by apprenticing under Certified Master Chef Hartmut Handke at his 3 star, 4 diamond restaurant in Columbus.

Aaron's career has consisted of working in upscale free standing restaurants, hotels, and resorts all over the eastern United States. In 2007 he joined the Hyatt Hotel Corporation as an Executive Sous Chef in Cincinnati, OH and in 2008 was promoted to Executive Chef of that hotel.
Aaron has been in Minneapolis since October of 2011 and oversees all of the culinary operations for the Hyatt. This includes Prairie Kitchen and Bar, Market MLPS, and over one-hundred thousand square feet of banquet facilities.

Market MLPS is the hotel’s grab and go which consists of house made breakfast, lunch, and dinner items that support local farms and businesses. It also carries locally produced items such as Izzy’s Ice Cream, Red Wing Pottery, and St. Croix chocolates.

Prairie Kitchen and Bar is a casual dining restaurant located in the lobby of the hotel. Prairie focuses on Midwestern cuisine with a nod to the areas Scandinavian heritage. Prairie also prides itself on its support and usage of local Minnesota products and companies such as Thousand Hills Cattle, Prairie Pride Pork, and Wild Acres Chicken.

The Hyatt’s Banquet facility consists of 4 ballrooms, an exhibition hall, a kosher kitchen, and numerous other meeting rooms and event spaces. The banquet menu also focuses on the best that Minnesota has to offer with a mix of American regional and some international flair incorporated.

JD Fratzke

JD Fratzke is the Executive Chef at The Strip Club Meat and Fish in St. Paul, MN. JD's flourishing career started off by working in nightclub kitchens, delis, and pizza parlors throughout Minneapolis. He realized his true calling when working in the kitchen at the former Parasole’s Pronto Ristorante. Eventually, JD partnered with a close friend, Tim Niver, to start up their current restaurant, The Strip Club Meat & Fish where local foods and flavors are the celebrated feature.

How and when you discovered and started using 100% grass-fed beef
JD discovered and connected with Thousand Hills Cattle Company products through the SE Minnesota Food Network when Todd Lein of Thousand Hills introduced the product to him.
How he uses THCC product
JD’s focus on using Thousand Hills products is to make it taste like Minnesota. He likes that he doesn’t have to do much to the beef because of the flavor it already holds. He wants the beef to represent local culture in addition to all of the side dish accompaniments.

Favorite cut/dish/meal using THCC
The short ribs and the hanger steak. Currently, JD's been rubbing down the short ribs with pastrami spices, then marinating it, and serving with sauerkraut and other trimmings. JD describes it as a torn apart and put back together again Rueben sandwich.