Chefs Thomas Kavanaugh & Tim McCarty

Chef Thomas Kavanaugh

Chef Thomas Kavanaugh grew up cooking at the family restaurant, Kavanaugh’s in Brainerd, Minnesota. He began working alongside his mother, Mae Kavanaugh at the early age of ten, quickly taking on her passion for food. By the age of nineteen Chef Kavanaugh was running much of the food service at Kavanaugh’s and during this time continued his education under such renowned food personalities as Anne Willin, Hartmut Handke and Jean Louis Palladin as well as continuing his culinary education at the Greenbrier Resort and the American Culinary Institute in the Napa Valley.

Chef Kavanaugh has been an active member of the American Culinary Federation and was twice named a Chapter Chef of the Year. Chef Kavanaugh has competed or judged over 190 culinary competitions over his career and most recently competed in November 2016 and 2017 in the World Food Championships in Orange Beach, Alabama with his good friend, Chef Timothy McCarty; with this team taking 5th place and 9th place in the sandwich division.

Over the past 25 years, Chef Kavanaugh has taught over 300 cooking classes that have covered over 30 different cuisines. The famed Kavanaugh’s Restaurant closed in 2005 as the family expanded their resort, however, Chef Kavanaugh stays very involved in the world of food, teaching cooking classes, working as a personal chef, taking groups on culinary tours in Italy, and working as a restaurant consultant with numerous properties. He also dedicates much time to his passion of bringing young, prospective chefs into the industry by being very involved in the National Restaurant Associations High School Pro-Start program, mentoring many students and has also appeared in his own local cooking show, Market Fresh Cooking.

Chef Kavanaugh continues to own and operate Kavanaugh’s Sylvan Lake Resort along with three of his brothers and makes his home in East Gull Lake, Minnesota along with his wife Jennifer. Tom and his wife Jennie have two daughters, Kelley Eklund (Cole) and Heather Kadus (Zack) as well as three lovely grandchildren, Liam, Amelia and Charlotte.

Chef Tim McCarty

Tim McCarty has been the Executive Chef at the Mayo Clinic Foundation House in Rochester, Minnesota for 21 years. The Mayo Clinic Foundation House is the former home of William Mayo, one of the founders of the world-renowned Mayo Clinic. The Foundation House hosts Mayo Clinic staff and guests for unparalleled dining experiences along with preserving the history of the Mayo family.

Chef McCarty has 38 years of culinary background and is the 2006 Celebrated Chef for the National Pork Board. He is also very active with the Minnesota and South Dakota Pork Board. Tim has led many seminars, cooking demonstrations and has judged for The Taste of Elegance. He was awarded the ACF Chef of the year for southeastern Minnesota in 1993 and 1998.

Chef McCarty has participated in many charity events with different organizations such as We Can Ride, March of Dimes, Boys and Girls Club, and Gift of Life Transplant House. In 2016, Chef McCarty won a Golden Ticket to the World Food Championship in the sandwich category, finishing 5th in the world.

Guest chefs Tim McCarty and Tom Kavanaugh will be at Lutsen Resort's Spring Wine Dinner

Guest chefs Tom Kavanaugh and Tim McCarty

About the Event

Twice a year we hold a food and wine dinner. One in the spring and one in the fall. The events span two days and we invite guest chefs to join our culinary team to develop unique, one-of-a-kind menus for guests. Attendees can register for both dinners or just one. The meals are paired with complementary wines.

To register for the upcoming 2018 spring event, visit our dining page.