St. Paul | Meet Chef Brian Ingram

Meet the man behind the memorable, mouth-watering meals of Purpose Restaurants, Brian Ingram. With over 30 years in the industry, he has done it all. Before opening Hope Breakfast Bar in 2019 with his wife, Sarah, their mission was to cultivate a culture that prioritizes the well-being of workers.

Since then, their non-profit, Give Hope, has donated more than 300,000 free meals, 2 million pounds of food, and gifted $225,000 in relief grants to local families in need.

Chef Ingram answers our questions as he prepares to showcase his unique skill set at Heritage Fire Minneapolis on June 25 to compete for the title of Heritage Hero. Discover his passion for the culinary arts, his love for heritage breed proteins, and his remarkable career in the Twin Cities.

What excites you about participating in Heritage Fire?

BI: It’s the best event in the country of its kind. Attracting amazing culinary minds, collaborating with other chefs, showcasing local proteins, and having a blast cooking over open fire.

How do you prepare for an event like Heritage Fire?

BI: I spend a ton of time researching and prepping for my offering. My goal is to create food that’s narcotic… Food that will make people crave it again and again.

What does cooking with heritage breed protein mean to you?

BI: To me, it means digging into the why. Why we choose to use small boutique farms. Choosing how and why we do business the way we do. If cooking is our love language it must start like that from the beginning.

What is your favorite protein to cook? How do you like to prepare it?

BI: I love cooking with pork. The versatility it offers. The entire animal is full of flavor and lends itself to any style of cooking.  

What else should we know about you?

BI: I have two grown children (21 & 20) and a new two-year-old because everyone should have a baby in their 50s !!! It’s the new 30.

Why is the Twin Cities a great place to pursue a culinary career?

BI: Some of the leading chefs in the country call the Twin Cities home. Amazing farming and agriculture.

What’s the most popular dish at The Apostle Supper Club, and what makes it so special?

BI: Our most popular dish is our Tomahawk Porkchop brined for 48 hours and served with a warm red cabbage salad.

Did you always want to become a chef? Who or what inspired you?

BI: I grew up cooking in my family’s restaurants and lodges in a small town called Homer, Alaska. Cooking wild game from the land, sea, and rivers.

Tell us more about the non-profit, Give Hope, and what inspired you to establish it.

BI: We saw a need in our community to have safe and inclusive work environments. We saw an industry suffering from addiction and mental health.  We saw a community struggling with food insecurities and we wanted to find out ways to stand as one.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to pursue a career in the culinary industry?

BI: If it’s not your love, your passion that you truly can’t live without, don’t do it. People will see through it. If your food is not made with total commitment to your craft, love, and passion, this is not for you. It’s a love language that requires total immersion.

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