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Eating Well at Hotels in the Twin Cities

August 28, 2012

marriott hotel restaurant minnesotaInside the Kitchen at the Minneapolis Marriott Northwest

We believe you should be well, sleep well and eat well when you’re away from home. When you’re traveling it can be tough to try to do all of that – but it can be done.

Come inside our kitchen at the new Minneapolis Marriott Northwest and dig in!  We recently chatted with our Executive Chef Michael Harper about the food he loves, what you can expect at Wadsworth and at an event at the Marriott, and what he loves to cook for his family.

A little background on Chef Harper
Chef Harper joined the hotel in February but he’s been cooking for more than 42 years. He led the culinary team at Wildside Caterers in St. Paul for more than 10 years – feeding massive crowds at the 2004 NHL All Star Week and the 2008 Republican National Convention. Before coming to St. Paul, Chef Harper worked at four and five star hotels and premiere private resorts – providing guests with delicious food while they traveled.

Chef Harper was the first American graduate with a full European apprenticeship from Westminster Technical College in London, England, and was named one of Americas Top 10 Young Chefs in the National Restaurant News.

What is your approach to food?

My approach to food is:  Real food! Great food!! Food should be simple, food should be full of flavor, food should be fresh. Eating is a part of life and great cuisine enhances the soul. If it has a classical name it must be prepared using the classical recipe. No ifs ands or creative buts here. Cooking is a lifestyle.

What do you cook at home?
I love my grill at home so a great steak with grilled pizza dough brushed with garlic and herbs is one of my favorites. If you would ask my kids they would say fried chicken and mashed potatoes.

Beer, Wine or a Cocktail?
I love Newcastle and Newcastle summer ale but I also drink Kettle One Citron on the rocks with a twist.

What do you love about cooking and catering for large groups – especially in hotels?
Working with large groups of people is always a challenge – how do you keep all of that food hot and not overcooked? How do you get it to the table the way it looks in the kitchen? How do you get it done when every plate takes so much work? I personally love those challenges and catering large events.

What’s your favorite dish at the new restaurant at the Marriott?
I love the grilled cheese sliders and the porcini crusted New York strip steak.

Minneapolis Marriot New Restaurant Grilled Cheese Sliders

Grilled Cheese Sliders from Wadsworth

Minneapolis Marriott Northwest NY Strip Steak

NY Strip Steak at Wadsworth

The Minneapolis Marriott Northwest Hotel is an all-suite hotel in the Twin Cities. The 50,000 square feet conference facility is ideal for business, social events and weddings with 25 versatile rooms including three ballrooms and amphitheater. The hotel is close to a wide selection of shopping destinations including the Mall of America. It’s also a sports headquarters, near the National Sports Center, Target Field, Target Center and University of Minnesota.

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