Stories Behind the Menu is a culinary journey with a celebratory heart.

Alongside a series of inspiring chefs, we invite you to experience the stories of diverse cultures — creating conversations that feed understanding and nourish communities.

Presenting Cuisine

Drawing guests into an intimate, unique experience with food at the center.

Sharing Conversation

Getting to know people beyond one’s network and outside one’s circle.

Building Community

Breaking down barriers and building greater understanding of one another.


February 8th, 2024

Coming from a place of passion and experience, Ed Porter is a seasoned Celebrity Chef and Musician with over 29 years of experience accentuating the entertainment and luxury dining space. Chef Ed comes with a proven track record as an Executive who is just as creative in business as he is in the kitchen, finding new and innovative ways to grow business and protect margins. To date, Ed brings with him an extensive background involving elite menu creations that satisfy even the most critical of palates, concierge hospitality, and the art of forming dining experiences that are as fulfilling as they are memorable. Furthermore, he enjoys not only raising creative standards by drawing vast parallels in music and culinary but doing so all while demonstrating the appeals that can be formed when cultural compositing, synthesized flavors, and harmonic ambiances are bridged.

Chef Porter has starred in Netflix’s hit show Pressure Cooker and concurrently offers menu creation, hosts private chef events, Keynotes at various speaking engagements, and is both a brand influencer and product developer. Overall, Ed has a genuine passion for culinary and demonstrates that through his rich innovations that result in dishes that are valued beyond the flavor itself. That, along with his aesthetic presentations and longstanding credibility for translating visions into tasteful realities, is what can solidify your confidence that following him will not just meet your dining expectations but ultimately exceed them - especially after you take that first bite.


May 16th, 2024

Bringing together their separate heritages into one unique cultural cuisine, Rowan and Von opened their Jamaican-Asian restaurant, Spice & Rice, in 2022. Their unconventional food pairing has drawn a large demographic appeal, and they delight in offering fresh ingredients to their guests. Their restaurant offers a unique and comfortable in-person experience or you can choose their delivery option. Regardless of where you eat, they have become known for delivering a rich cultural experience you will not soon forget!


September 26th, 2024

Kamal Mohamed was ten years old, gazing out the window of his family’s new high-rise apartment in the East African immigrant enclave of Minneapolis’ Cedar-Riverside neighborhood. He had never seen so many lights. As his reality swiftly passed his wild imagination, he achieved many accomplishments even outside of the restaurant industry. His initial restaurant endeavor, Nashville Coop, started as a Food Truck and grew to a Brick & Mortar location. In 2021, Kamal birthed StepChld.

There’s no “i” in the name because no one person makes something good. But “Stepchld” also serves to remind the restaurant’s team and its diners that they should take nothing for granted when it comes to foodways. Kamal knows about food: “It’s never the origin you think it is,” as he has traveled to Italy to see pasta with sugo on the menu. He asked the chef, “How do you have sugo?" the man politely explained that his country almost colonized Ethiopia. While Kamal knows that such melding abounds in food culture, he remains inspired and energized by it. He believes, “it’s familiar but borrowed, and you have to respect where it came from, but the more adoption there is of something, the more it will live on. It’s like language. It’s important for survival.

StepChld runs on a “flat hierarchy.” There are no chefs—Kamal thinks of a dish, brings it to the entire team, and they collectively tweak it and work it out until they land on something. While he’s bringing stealthy Ethiopian stylings to the table—mitmita spiced aioli on the burger, beriberi in the birria, wagyu and sugo meatballs—everybody gets to chime in until it’s right.


December 12th, 2024

Born in Casablanca, Morocco, David moved to the US in 1982 and resides in Minnesota, where he has worked and owned some recognizable and award-winning restaurants: Louis XIII, Mpls cafe, and Fhima's, to name a few. His biggest influences remain his mother’s cooking and his father's prowess in butchering David's work as a restaurateur, Maître D, and Chef has taken him from renowned establishments such as Le Restaurant and L’Orangerie in Los Angeles as well as many other Relais and Chateaux’s in between.

Whether it is an appearance as a guest chef on a television show, teaching a cooking class or working with children at local schools, David’s philosophy has been, and continues to be, that “healthy” starts with whole ingredients. He believes in satisfying your cravings, a symbiotic relationship to the environment, moving your body, and feeding your senses. When asked, he’ll say that a little science, a little common sense, and some personal preferences with an emphasis on pleasure are the healthiest ways to shape everyone’s eating habits. David is currently staging all his efforts out of his newest venture, Fhimas Minneapolis.


Chaz Sandifer presents Stories Behind the Menu— a culinary journey through food and storytelling. By bringing people together to break bread and bridge the cultural divide among people of different backgrounds, races, religions. Sandifer, aims to promote racial health, equity and inclusion, and bring healing and restoration to communities and society as a whole. Utilizing the stories of how food traditions developed in various cultures creates a deeper understanding and respect for one another, allowing people to embrace our commonalities and celebrate our differences.

A shared experience celebrating culture and conversation.

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2909 South Wayzata Blvd. Mpls, MN 55405