Chef Lucia Watson is the proprietor of Lucia’s Restaurant, Wine Bar, and Lucia’s To Go, one of the twin cities’ favorite neighborhood establishments. Lucia’s continuing popularity over the last two decades is a tribute to her sensibility in menu selection and her warm, congenial hospitality. A third generation Minnesotan, Lucia’s love for cooking began watching her grandmother Lulu cooking over a wood stove at the family cabin on the Canadian border. After earning a BA in French from the University of Minnesota , she pursued her cooking in numerous restaurants with diverse instruction, including her first level Master Sommelier certificate. Chef Watson has written two books: Savoring the Seasons of the Northern Heartland with co author Beth Dooley, and Cooking Freshwater Fish. Lucia has been honored with many awards over the last few years, including a James Beard Nomination for best chef in the Midwest in 2004, 2005, and 2006. Lucia served a four year term on the Organic Advisory Task Force to the Minnesota Department of Agriculture. She is also a former board member of the Chef’s Collaborative, and has served as board chair for the Youth Farm and Market Project as well as the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy. Lucia teaches and speaks throughout the year, often in support of sustainability and farming issues. Lucia continues to be actively involved in her business every day, having fun with employees and being inspired by farmers and purveyors as well as the marvels of the seasons. She lives in Minneapolis and spends time at her home in France whenever she can, studying French food and eating oysters.