Time: 5 - 8pm

Location: Dogpatch Urban Gardens

Featured Chef: Ken VanMilligan from St Kilda

Chef Bio: I Grew up in Dubuque before attending culinary school at Kendall College in Evanston, IL. After graduation I had the opportunity to be a commis (apprentice) for Grant Achatz who is considered one of the best chefs in the world. After 6 months of 80 hours a week for no pay I took a job at Plumpjack Cafe in San Francisco and off I went.

My next move was to NYC where I worked a few jobs over 4 years but primarily for David Burke where I got my first sous chef job.  After experiencing the grueling pace of survival in the Apple I needed a break and next thing I knew I found myself on the beaches of St. John, Virgin Islands. I lived and worked In the Caribbean for almost three years before moving back to reality. (A lot of great stories we can talk about at another time) When I moved back from the Caribbean I didn’t have much of a plan and found it hard to find a real home.  

I spent some time as a banquet chef in Madison, WI, a manager at Whole Foods in Minneapolis, and spent some time at some great restaurants in the twin cities including The Kenwood and Victory 44.

Finally around 2011 I met my beautiful wife and had our first child simultaneously with her getting accepted to medical school for her D.O.  This required us to relocate to Phoenix, AZ where I worked at Michael Mina's Bourbon Steak in the Scottsdale Princess resort. After a few years in AZ my wife’s school transferred us to Chicago and I found an executive chef position with Eurest Dining services in Naperville, IL and downtown Chicago. 

Finally my wife finished school and received her doctorate and took her residency here In Des Moines at Mercy hospital.  When we were in town for a marathon weekend of house hunting I miraculously stumbled on St. Kilda and knew I would work there before we finished our meal.  When Alex and I met it was an instant connection and we have been plotting and scheming ever since!

All of my past experiences combined, perfectly situate me for the opportunity I find myself in now with St. Kilda.  Having the ability to support and utilize local farmers is absolutely the cornerstone of what makes our restaurant great and will facilitate our ability to grow and be a positive force in the community for the times to come.