Peter Ireland - Director of Operations
Originally from Vermont, Peter Ireland and his wife chose to settle in Minneapolis because of its blend of urban amenities and access to the outdoors. Peter has worked as a part of the food supply chain his whole life, from a small vegetable farm in Vermont to some of the finest restaurants in the country. Peter and Gavin share a culinary lineage in Daniel Boulud, as they both worked at Café Boulud.
Peter chose the journeyman’s school rather than culinary school, seeking out the exemplars of the craft. At Gramercy Tavern he learned from Tom Colicchio how to manage a kitchen with dignity and respect. While at Café Boulud under Chef Andrew Carmellini and Daniel Boulud, he learned the discipline and philosophy of French cooking. And, at Blackbird, from his friend and mentor Paul Kahan, he learned how to truly inspire a team of cooks. In 2005 and 2008, the James Beard Foundation recognized Peter’s work at Carpenter and Main in Norwich, VT. Peter also was the Chef/owner of The Lynn on Bryant in Minneapolis.
When he is not cooking, Peter can be found building a brick oven to cook in or exploring the Midwest by bicycle.
JP Samuelson - Culinary Director
JP Samuelson has had a lifelong interest in food. Spending summers on his grandparents farm in northwest Iowa was his first introduction to the world of food, but his mother was his first introduction to the professional kitchen. JP’s mother was a pastry chef at the Lowell Inn in his home town of Stillwater, Minnesota. JP’s first professional kitchen job was at the locally renowned Brine’s Meat Market and Deli in Stillwater, MN.
Foregoing the traditional cooking school and doing a self-styled apprenticeship would take JP across the country and to Europe. After three years at D’Amico it was off to the bright lights of the Big Apple. Samuelson worked with chef Ed Brown at Tropica and helped open Judson Grill as sous-chef, and with the world renowned chef David Bouley. Samuelson studied directly under chef Bouley as saucier at the original “Bouley”, which retained a four star rating from the NY TIMES for 8 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.
A four-time James Beard Award-winning TV personality, chef, writer and teacher, Andrew Zimmern is regarded as one of the most versatile and knowledgeable personalities in the food world. As the creator, executive producer and host of the Bizarre Foods franchise on Travel Channel (including Bizarre Foods with Andrew Zimmern, Andrew Zimmern’s Bizarre World, Bizarre Foods America and Bizarre Foods: Delicious Destinations) and Andrew Zimmern’s Driven by Food, he has explored culture through food in more than 170 countries.
Andrew has built a multi-faceted empire that promotes impactful ways to think about, create and live with food. He is the founder of two multi-media production companies, Food Works and Intuitive Content and now he is re-entering food service with Passport Hospitality.
Andrew Zimmern’s Canteen, a fast casual concept he launched in 2012, reflects his fascination with food history from around the world. With a location at Target Field, home of the Minnesota Twins, and the Kansas City Royals’ Kauffman Stadium, the company recently expanded into Minneapolis’ new Viking Stadium as a collaborative effort with AZ Canteen Rotisserie and Hoagies. Andrew has released three books — The Bizarre Truth, Andrew Zimmern’s Bizarre World of Food and Andrew Zimmern’s Field Guide to Exceptionally Weird, Wild & Wonderful Foods. In addition to his title as contributing editor, Food & Wine also tapped Andrew as a Chef-in-Residence in 2014, and he continues to work with Delta Sky Magazine as a senior editor. He is an Entrepreneur in Residence at Babson College’s Lewis Institute, sits on the board of directors for Services for the Underserved in New York City, The Taste of the NFL, Foodie Tout, and The National Youth Recovery Foundation. In his rare downtime, he relaxes at home in Minneapolis with his wife, son and pug Pretzel.