From his Midwestern roots in Minnesota, Jim Christiansen’s passion for food started in his own parent’s kitchen. Here he learned the valuable lessons of seasonality, nutrition, and love which one must put forth in their own cooking. After graduating from high school, Jim landed a coveted internship with local chef Tim McKee at the critically acclaimed restaurant La Belle Vie in Stillwater where his passion for food grew further. Here he was able to fine tune his craft by learning the classic techniques of French and Mediterranean cooking as well as the operational aspects of a fine dining restaurant.
Working his way through the brigade ranks, Jim moved forward with several other award winning restaurants in Minneapolis including Solera and Il Gatto with Tim McKee and Sea Change with Erik Anderson. During these tenures he was able to further his knowledge with Spanish and Italian cuisine, in addition to creating with sustainably sourced seafood.
For the next step in Jim’s career, he wanted to explore a style of cuisine not found in the Midwest. Jim ventured to Copenhagen to perform a short stage at Noma and thereafter enjoyed traveling throughout Scandinavia where he was able to fully understand the benefits of foraging for the freshest and highest quality local produce. While oversees, he discovered a new twist on the fine dining attitude and this solidified his desire to express his own interpretation of this idea in his own restaurant.
Working closely with his team he was able to establish Heyday as a multiple award winning restaurant in their first year of operation. Jim was a James Beard nominee for Best Chef Midwest (2015) and was also recognized as a Food & Wine Best New Chef (2015). Through hard work and dedication Jim continues to connect with Minnesota diners and further the idea of what a healthy, sustainable restaurant has the ability to be.