Chef/Owner

Lenny Russo

Chef Lenny Russo originally hails from Hoboken, NJ. He is currently Chef/Proprietor of Heartland Restaurant & Farm Direct Market in the Lowertown neighborhood of downtown Saint Paul, Minnesota. Chef Russo has over thirty five years of experience in the food and beverage industry. He is a three time nominee for the James Beard Award Best Chef: Midwest. He is a member of the Minnesota Farmers Union, Chefs Collaborative, the Land Stewardship Project, the Minnesota Department of Agriculture Organic Advisory Task Force, the Saint Paul-Ramsey County Food and Nutrition Commission and the Board of Directors of the Saint Paul Area Chamber of Commerce. In 2012, Chef Russo received a Charlie Award for Lifetime Achievement.

What is your earliest food memory?
Mussels with red sauce at my grandparents house in Jersey City, NJ.

If you could cook James Beard one dish, what would it be?
Rabbit with farro and wild mushrooms.

Describe your worst kitchen screw-up:
I plunged a cleaver into my hand while butchering an elk just 60 minutes prior to a dining room buyout. I had to work the entire evening with one hand badly bandaged.
 


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