Why He's Amazing: Because he combines European techniques, Low-Country influences and prime Midwestern ingredients in clever ways.
Culinary School: Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts (Mendota Heights, MN)
Background: Hotel Sofitel, 20.21 (Minneapolis); Mandalay Bay, Mix (Las Vegas)
Quintessential Dish: Pork belly with braised cabbage, apple puree and pickled watermelon rind
Previous Career: Custom cabinet and furniture maker
Hog Crazy: Boemer uses Red Wattle and Berkshire hogs from southern Minnesota, going through a whole animal every two weeks.
Heartland Pride: "I feel like the Midwest has a lot to contribute to the food culture as a whole. I've worked in the opulence of a Michelin-level restaurant. But the Midwest approach is very simple: [It's] 'I don't need all that.' There's a Midwestern way that things are done, and that doesn't have to mean steak and crappy burgers."
Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.