Meet Isaac Becker
Isaac is a former drummer turned renowned chef who transformed a way to make a living between gigs into a true passion and creative outlet, boasting a James Beard Award along the way. A major player in the fast growing culinary community in the Twin Cities, Isaac is at the helm of three of the area’s most outstanding restaurants: Bar La Grassa, 112 Eatery, and Burch Steakhouse and Pizza Bar.
Was there a moment where you decided to be a chef?
I was in a band, and I cooked to make a living. The band started not to work out, and cooking was a stable job for me. I ended up getting a job for someone who was very talented and once I realized that cooking can be an outlet for creativity, I kind of thought, well, this is something I could do then if the music thing doesn’t work.
What inspires you?
I think a lot of things inspire me. I remember my wife and I bought a house by a creek and taking my then baby for a walk in the morning, it was so beautiful near the water, the houses that were near it that, for some reason, it made me want to go to work and cook. I think anything that’s really beautiful or creative, somehow it can connect in my mind with the work that I do.
Tell us about the culinary community in the Twin Cities and what is next.
The culinary community in the Twin Cities is pretty small. We all know each other, for the most part, or we have mutual acquaintances or friends. It’s a pretty friendly community, there’s competitiveness, but I think there is in every industry, whether it’s big or small, so it’s natural. What could be next for Minneapolis or Minneapolis/St. Paul is the Michelin Guide. The trajectory that the Twin Cities are on with the restaurants that have been coming here or in our opening, I think, in the next ten years, it could happen.
What’s your favorite food or foods?
I like noodles a lot, whether it’s Italian noodles or Asian noodles, so anything with pasta or noodles.
What’s important to you about supporting small businesses?
Small businesses tend to have their customers more in mind in what they want or need. It’s not so much what the bottom line is going to be. As a customer or a consumer, having small businesses around is good for that reason. You’ll get a better quality or a higher quality product or a service.
What is your favorite J.W. Hulme product?
My favorite J.W. Hulme bag is the duffle bag.