JP Samuelson - Culinary Director
JP Samuelson has had a lifelong interest in food. His first introduction to the food world was spending summers on his grandparents' farm in northwest Iowa as a child. Growing up his mother was a pastry chef at the Lowell Inn in his hometown of Stillwater, Minnesota, which inspired his first professional kitchen job at the locally-renowned Brine’s Meat Market.
Foregoing the traditional cooking school for a self-styled apprenticeship, JP trained in kitchens across the country and in Europe. After three years at D’Amico in Minneapolis, it was off to the bright lights of the Big Apple. JP worked with chef Ed Brown at Tropica and helped open Judson Grill as sous-chef. He studied directly under chef David Bouley as saucier at the original Bouley restaurant, which retained a four-star rating from the New York Times for eight consecutive years. In 1996, Samuelson returned to Minneapolis to help open Bobino. In 1997, Samuelson returned to his alma mater D’Amico as Executive Chef. In 2003, he opened JP American Bistro.
JP has been working with Andrew Zimmern on delivering his signature flavors to customers across the country, in ballparks, in hotels and in a variety of imaginative venues. When he is not traveling the country to taste and train with staff, you can find JP on one of 11 bicycles touring around the Twin Cities.
John Peter Larson - Partner
In 2001, John Peter Larson started his own talent management agency. His first call and first client: a locally known chef and aspiring media personality, Andrew Zimmern. Together over the past 15 years, John and Andrew have turned Zimmern into one of the biggest names in the world of food, travel and adventure learning. Larson oversees business development for Passport Hospitality and is responsible for strategic partnerships and managing new concept development.
Andrew Zimmern is a four-time James Beard award-winning TV personality, chef, writer, teacher and social justice advocate. As the creator, executive producer and host of Travel Channel’s Bizarre Foods franchise, Andrew Zimmern’s Driven by Food, The Zimmern List, and Food Network’s Big Food Truck Tip, he has explored cultures in more than 170 countries, promoting impactful ways to think about, create and live with food. He has written four books, appears monthly in Delta Sky Magazine, is a contributor at Food & Wine Magazine and an entrepreneur-in-residence at Babson College. Andrew is the founder and CEO of both Intuitive Content, a full-service television and digital production company, and Passport Hospitality, a restaurant and food service development company. He is devoted to his charitable endeavors and sits on the board of directors for Services for the UnderServed and Taste of the NFL. His life’s work is about demonstrating and promoting cultural acceptance, tolerance and understanding through food.