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Chef Thomas Boemer Shares His Best Dishes

Celebrated Minneapolis St. Paul Chef Thomas Boemer comes by his grilling pedigree honestly. Though he was born in the Twin Cities, he grew up in North Carolina, where he was introduced to regional cooking techniques—pork BBQ, the art of frying the perfect chicken—and the warm embrace of southern cuisine that would later influence his career.

Today, Boemer is one of the Twin Cities most beloved chefs and his hospitality group (Twist Davis Group, owned by Boemer and partner Nick Rancone) owns two celebrated restaurants—Corner Table and Revival. This year, Twist Davis is planning its most ambitious project to date: a 40-stall marketplace and restaurant concept housed in the historic former brewery complex. Boemer’s beloved southern recipes have earned him cult-status locally, and he agreed to share a few of his favourites with HOSS Magazine.

Pimento Cheese Jucy Lucy

The Jucy Lucy is an institution in Minneapolis. We do a southern adaptation with pimento cheese for one of my all-time favourite burgers.

Yield: 4 burgers

2lb Ground beef 80/20

6oz Pimento cheese

4 Four-inch hamburger buns

Divide hamburger meat into 3.5 to 4 oz balls, working the meat in your hands a little to build up the protein. (This will help the burger stay together and keep the cheese from coming out.) Press each ball in a burger press about ¼ inch thick, Divvy up the pimento cheese into 4 pieces and form into flat disks.

Assemble beef/cheese/beef and crimp edges to make sure the two patties stay together. Rest the finished patties in the refrigerator for two to four hours before cooking.

Cook in a large, covered, cast iron skillet on an outdoor grill, for three to four minutes on each side or until meat is fully cooked.

Let the stuffed burgers rest while tented with aluminum foil.

Griddle buns, assemble and serve.

Porketta not Porchetta(Iron Range Style)

Iron range Porketta has become a northern tradition and speaks to the delicious contributions brought by the Italian immigrants of the time. This is a great way to feed a group of six to eight people.

Yield: 6 to 8 servings

3.5 to 4lb Boneless pork shoulder

1 ½ tbsp Kosher salt

1 tbsp Chili flakes

2 tbsp Granulated garlic

2 ½ tbspGround fennel seed

2 Large bulbs of fennel

1 bunch Flat leaf parsley

1 tbsp Red wine vinegar

2 tbsp Olive oil

3 cloves Garlic

1 cup Mayo

6-8 Italian hard rolls

Make Ahead

Fennel Slaw

Slice fennel as thin as possible—slicing horizontally, as the fennel grows, so you end up with long ribbons, not rounds. In a medium mixing bowl, combine the fennel, parsley leaves, vinegar, olive oil, seasoning with salt and pepper.


Grate garlic cloves with microplane and add to mayo.

Prepare and Grill Pork

Open pork shoulder into one sheet and place fat cap side down. Score the pork shoulder, going into the meat but not cutting through the bottom. Season with salt, fennel, chili flakes and granulated garlic. Reserve some of the seasoning for outside of the finished roast. Roll the shoulder up and secure with butchers string as needed.

Season the outside with reserved seasoning and place on grill using indirect cooking method. (Do this by building your coals far to one side of your charcoal grill and cooking on the cooler side.) You are looking for a sustained temperature of 275 to 325. Cook the porketta roast until it reaches an internal temp of 145 and let it rest, lightly covered in aluminum foil for about ¼ of its cooking time before slicing. Slice thinly, and assemble topped with the aioli and fennel slaw on hard Italian rolls.

Grilled Buttermilk Wingswith Endive and Tomato Curry Sauce

Served with light curry sauce, this grown-up version of a pub favourite is a taste sensation.

Yield: 3 to 4 servings

12 Full chicken wings

2 cups Buttermilk

6 ea Belgian endive

½ cup Golden raisins

2 tbsp Kosher salt

2 tbsp Brown sugar

1 tsp Paprika

1 tsp Garlic powder

1 tsp Onion powder

½ tsp Celery salt

½ tsp Cayenne pepper

½ tsp Cracked black pepper

1 cup Chicken stock

1 tsp Indian curry powder

1 Small tomato, peeled and diced

1 Clove garlic, sliced thinly

½ cup Coconut milk

1 tsp Brown sugar

10 Chopped scallions

Make Ahead

Seasoning Salt

Mix the salt, brown sugar, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, celery salt, cayenne, and cracked pepper to make a seasoning salt. Add 1 tbsp of seasoning salt to the buttermilk and pour over wings and marinate for six hours or overnight.

Curry Sauce

In a two-quart saucepan, mix chicken stock, coconut milk, curry, 1 tsp season salt, sliced garlic, diced tomato, 1 tsp brown sugar, and golden raisins. Cook over medium heat until flavours meld and you have attained a good sauce consistency.

Grill Time

When wings are fully marinated, drain buttermilk from wings and pat dry with paper towels. Grill wings until fully cooked. Grill Belgian endives until nice grill marks form but not too long as they can get bitter with too much cooking. When wings and endives are done, sprinkle with seasoning salt and arrange on plater with the curry sauce and garnish with chopped scallion. 

Food Photography By: Michelle Haddad