Dakota has named a new executive chef. Asher Larson is taking the culinary hand-off from Remy Pettus, becoming the sixth executive chef in Dakota’s almost 40-year history. He officially takes the culinary reins from Executive Chef Pettus in early July when Pettus relocates to the Carolinas to return to school and be closer to family.
Chef Larson has served as sous chef under Pettus since Dakota reopened in 2021 following the pandemic shutdown and was Pettus’s personal pick for the role.
“Asher has the perfect combination of talents to take on this role,” said Pettus. “He has the rare intangibles that make a great chef and leader. He’s curious, creative and has a great palate. He’s constantly seeking to both learn and share his knowledge, which is a quality I think you see in all the best chefs. He’s also at the right stage of his career to step into a higher profile role.”
Larson has been cooking professionally since he was 16 and has made a point of seeking out chefs and kitchens where he could hone and challenge both his culinary skills and creativity. He’s previously worked with many other well-respected chefs and restaurants across the Twin Cities including Chef Blake Meier at Fika, Chef Adam Lerner (né Eaton) at Meyvn, and Peter Campbell at Red Wagon Pizza Co. He also was one of the opening chefs at Hi Lo Diner working under Heidi Marsh before being promoted to executive chef in 2017.
“I love the creativity inherent in cooking, especially the challenge of coming up with new dishes, working with new ingredients and finding the best way to showcase them,” noted Larson. “And cooking at Dakota is unique. At Dakota, I see food as an accouterment to what’s on stage something that enhances and complements the overall experience for the guest.”
“I grew up surrounded by art, music and food,” added Larson, whose father is an artist. “My career required I take a hiatus from art and music for several years. It feels really good to be surrounded by this kind of energy again.”
Since opening in 1985, Dakota has built a reputation for its ability to offer up both world-class music and cuisine.
“Great food and music have been at the heart and soul of the Dakota for 38 years,” said Lowell Pickett, Dakota’s founder and co-partner. “We’re looking forward to Asher helping us continue that legacy.”
Photo by Travis Anderson Photo