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Chef Spotlight: Jordan Hayes, Executive Chef of Rosewild

Meet the Executive Chef of Rosewild!

The Fargo-MoorheadWest Fargo community is full of talent, especially in the culinary industry. They come from all over with different and unique backgrounds, bringing their skills and passion to our area. We want to give you the inside scoop with these culinary masterminds. Let’s meet our community’s chefs in our Chef Spotlight!

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Chef’s Choice

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Chef is very excited to flex his creativity on Rosewild’s Chef’s Choice menu, an ever-changing six-course dining experience that highlights seasonal ingredients and flavors. One item currently featured on this menu is Onion Glazed Pickled Hiramasa with smoked mayonnaise, smoked trumpet mushrooms, radish and olive oil.

Q: In your opinion, what makes a great meal?

A: The meal itself needs to be wellrounded for me in several ways. I need good textures represented throughout the whole meal, not just all soft or chewy. I want crunch, crisp, snap, things that you have to pull from, lots of different well-treated ingredients. Then, there’s flavor balance like sweet and salty or sour and salty and heavy umami flavor. I also really like hot and cold contrasts in the meal.

After that, it’s probably the way you eat it that makes the most impact. Having small plates—and a lot of them—that all go together or need each other to bring a complete meal together will get you there. I think staying away from diminishing returns is important to have a good experience with even the best meal.

All those ideas together make a pretty good meal, but I think good company and evoked nostalgia are what make a great meal.

Q: When did you start working at the restaurant and how did you find this opportunity?

A: I’m from Missouri, the Kansas City area. Where I grew up certainly does have an impact on my role as a chef. Growing up in the Central Midwest has had a huge impact on my tastes and the way I look at food.

Q: Do you have unique education, background or mentor experience that helped you get to where you are now?

A: I was really fortunate to have some great professors in culinary school who I’m lucky enough to call friends now. They took time early on to help me make some good choices in my career path. I was lucky enough to make it into the restaurant, The American, while I was just starting culinary school in Kansas City. It was at the time arguably the best restaurant in Kansas City, and also James Beard’s first restaurant designed by Frank Lloyd Wright in ‘64. It was a tough place to get into.

Q: What dishes/foods/cooking styles do you specialize in?

A: I have a large stake in preservation styles like fermenting, smoking, curing, pickling etc. All the things you take for granted growing up where seasonality is a big part of life and the way you eat. This actually makes Fargo a great fit for me—a place where it is essential to find ways to preserve the harvest bounty so it can be used all year round, even in the dead of winter.

Q: How did you learn to cook?

A: I was a latchkey kid so I was home alone a lot at a young age. I cooked a lot of soup. When I wasn’t home alone, I was with my Grandma Marion, who is responsible for teaching me how to cook. The very first thing I remember cooking, she called, “bird in a nest.” It’s toast with a hole cut out with a glass and you cook an egg in it. That was probably when I was about seven or eight because I remember getting a salad shooter (this vegetable processor from the early 90s) and a grilled cheese maker when I was nine for my birthday. As cliche as it sounds, it all started really early with my grandma, as it usually does.

Q: Are you working on or have you worked on any special dishes at Rosewild that you are proud of?

A: I’m in love with the wood-fired hearth we have here at Rosewild. Ember flavors are tremendous and have a huge depth to them, so celebrating that has been my main focus while also focusing on Nordic inspirations and local agriculture. Currently, I have a 21-day dry-aged ribeye with a smoked mackerel flaked into a charred onion veloute, then there’s Jimmy Nardello peppers and dill-brined tomatoes on the plate. It’s a dish that brings out char and smoke, but also stays subtle with clean fish flavors, huge savory notes from the Jimmys, and bright acidic pops from the dill-brined tomatoes to counter all the richness. It’s an evoked form of a classic Steak Oscar. I like things to seem avant-garde, but taste and feel approachable. What might seem unusual should come across as surprisingly familiar.


215 Broadway N, Fargo
(701) 532-5170

Written by Geneva Nodland

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