FireLake Grill House & Cocktail Bar (2100 Killebrew Dr.), led by Executive Chef Dinesh Jayawardena, announces a collaboration with 15-year-old rising culinary star, Excelsior-native, and MasterChef Junior finalist Ariana Feygin. With a pedigree including celebrity judge of the 2018 Super Bowl Healthy Snack Challenge and stints training under James Beard Award-Winning Chef Gavin Kaysen, Feygin brings her passion and creativity to FireLake’s Minnesota-inspired menu.
“We host a number of families at FireLake regularly, and we’ve found that our young guests have more mature palates than what you will find on a classic children’s menu,” says Jayawardena. “That’s what originally inspired this collaboration. Ariana provided an insightful perspective on what kids and young adults want from a restaurant experience today. Together, we were able to create elevated versions of kids’ menu items that appeal to a more refined palate, and we are thrilled with the final dishes.”
FireLake’s “Junior Chef’s Menu” is going to be available at the Bloomington location and includes Pan Seared Salmon with mashed potatoes and fresh corn; and Mini Fajitas featuring FireLake’s signature rotisserie chicken or beef, cotija cheese and served with salsa and lime-infused sour cream.
“This collaboration is so important to me because kids develop their palates and nutritional habits from a very young age, and restaurants have a tremendous opportunity help shape healthy eating habits in our future generations,” says Feygin. “My goal is to introduce kids to new flavors, textures, and ingredients that wouldn’t usually be found on a typical kids’ menu.”
In addition to working with Minnesota’s culinary community, Feygin is a full-time student and the co-founder of the Feygin Group, providing unique and personalized dining experiences, food consulting, culinary demonstrations, and education. With philanthropy being a core pillar of her organization, Feygin has helped raise over $500,000 for numerous local, national, and international non-profit organizations including the Pinky Swear Foundation, Children’s Hospital, Children’s Cancer Research Fund, Make-A-Wish Foundation, Children’s HeartLink, Newborn Foundation, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, ICA Food Shelf, Helping Paws, and Global Minnesota.
Feygin is the youngest honoree of Minnesota Business Magazine’s “2018 Women Who Lead” award and has spoken to audiences of over ten thousand people at numerous events such as the HyVee Exercise Your Character Event, National Charity League, and the Presidential Service Awards. She was recently a featured panelist at the Women Chefs & Restaurateurs National Conference.
“Ariana is a talented young chef and an incredible role model for the culinary community,” says Jayawardena. “I’m honored to be able to contribute to her culinary education and look forward to future collaborations.”
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