On a brisk February morning, Stewart Woodman learned he’d been named a semifinalist for Best Chef: Midwest by the prestigious James Beard Foundation. That afternoon, a fire gutted his restaurant, Heidi’s, a southwest Minneapolis bistro whose inspired meals had garnered a passionate following among neighbors and travelers alike.
Undaunted, Woodman turned his time and energy to cooking on a smaller scale—at home, for family and friends. He learned to adjust his tools and ingredients but not his style, and the result is chef-quality fare suitable for the home kitchen. Known to local food enthusiasts as “Shefzilla” for his blog of the same name, Woodman offers his “ingredients-forward” philosophy in 150 recipes that will allow home cooks to create fabulous yet unpretentious dishes like Roasted Beet Salad with Soy “Sauce” and Napa Cabbage, Wild Rice and Cremini Mushroom Hot Dish, and Pink Peppercorn Ice Cream.
Woodman’s food and life lessons came under the tutelage of Alain Ducasse, Jean- Georges Vongerichten, Eric Ripert, Gray Kunz, and Michael Romano and in restaurant kitchens in Montreal, Vancouver, New York City, and Minneapolis. In Shefzilla, he presents decades of cooking knowledge in meal-sized bites that will inspire home cooks to expand their repertoire. Through tips and stories and carefully developed recipes accompanied by lush full-color photos, Shefzilla entertains and educates as he helps you conquer haute cuisine at home.
Stewart Woodman trained under some of the world’s most celebrated chefs before striking out on his own in Minneapolis. In 2006, Food&Wine named him one of America’s “Best New Chefs,” cheering his “flawless modern-American food.”