Popular St. Paul chef documents the birth of his restaurant

The musings of an inspired chef.

The musings of an inspired chef.

Chef J.D. Fratzke has always approached cooking with a poet's soul. 

While that may be true of many chefs and cooks, not every one of them has a penchant for the pen quite like Fratzke, chef of St. Paul steakhouse Strip Club, of Saint Dinette, and of the upcoming Bar Brigade.

The latter, his newest project situated in a gorgeous old St. Paul storefront, seems to be particularly inspiring. So he's starting a poetic blog to house his musings. Here's an excerpt from the introductory post: 

"This humble corner on be an avenue and homage to the muse. Bar Brigade was born of old soul and my pithy attempts here to tap out, from time to time, the origins and passions of our fare, to reveal that old soul, will, I pray, entertain, edify, and instill a desire to share our company." 

If you're the kind of person with more than a passing interest in the way restaurants run (and you must be, if you're reading this) then Fratzke's words will probably resonate with you. The following graph fills me with restaurant-opening envy.

"Every time I climbed the stairs last night to check on progress in the kitchen, a familiar rush flushed my chest.  The bravado of cook banter worked its way through stacking china, the grinding wave of a dish machine, humming cooler compressors and nine forms of metal moving like tectonic plates into new places, new homes, new mise en place…. the mix of ribbing and reliance that’s been the only real vocabulary I’ve known since the age of fifteen.

Few things give me greater joy than watching cooks make a new home; all of us – as we stack, scrub, shift, assess, twist, and arrange – allow ourselves to kick open doors of imagination wild with possibilities, victories and flavors we’ve no choice but to give to the big wide world.

If we can make it right, you’ll see what we can do before the month of March goes out like a lamb… braised… with baby vegetables, Sauce Robert and fried onions."

Let's keep up with his blog together and live the restaurant life vicariously through Fratzke, shall we? 

Bar Brigade opens this spring.
470 Cleveland Ave S., St. Paul