Justin Sutherland’s Expanding Restaurant Portfolio in the Twin Cities

His influence on the Twin Cities food scene and beyond is likely to grow even further

Key Takeaways

  • Sutherland’s strategy involves launching multiple restaurant concepts across different cuisines and price points.
  • The chef is breathing new life into the local restaurant scene by reviving successful concepts (like Pearl and the Thief) and transforming existing spaces (such as the Golden Thyme location).
  • By opening a restaurant in a historically significant neighborhood, he’s showing how the food industry can contribute to local heritage and economic development.

Renowned chef Justin Sutherland, known for his appearances on “Top Chef” and his Emmy-winning show “Taste the Culture,” continues to make waves in the Twin Cities culinary scene with a series of exciting new restaurant ventures.

Sutherland grew up learning recipes from his mother and grandmother and has come a long way from requesting an EasyBake Oven for his fifth birthday.

His classical French training, combined with his Southern roots, has led to a unique culinary style that has garnered both local and national acclaim.

After parting ways with St. Paul’s Handsome Hog and other Madison Restaurant Group properties in early 2024, Sutherland has been busy expanding his own restaurant portfolio. His latest projects include:

  1. Pearl and the Thief: A revival of his award-winning Southern-style seafood restaurant, set to open in downtown Minneapolis’s Mill District. The restaurant will feature popular dishes like Tennessee hot octopus, smoked crab risotto, and a high-end whiskey bar.
  2. Big E: A third location of his gourmet egg sandwich shop will join Pearl and the Thief in the O2 apartment tower on Portland Avenue.
  3. Golden Thyme Presents: In partnership with the Rondo Community Land Trust, Sutherland and his father, Kerry, are developing a new concept in St. Paul’s historic Rondo neighborhood. The restaurant will serve breakfast and coffee by day and transform into a sit-down dining experience at night.
  4. Northern Soul: Sutherland continues to operate this Southern-style fast-casual restaurant with locations at MSP Airport and Grand View Lodge in Nisswa, Minnesota.

These new ventures showcase Sutherland’s commitment to bringing diverse culinary experiences to the Twin Cities while also honoring his roots and supporting local communities.

His partnership with the Rondo Community Land Trust, in particular, demonstrates his dedication to preserving and celebrating Black culinary arts in historic neighborhoods.

While an exact figure for Justin Sutherland’s net worth is not publicly available, estimates based on his successful restaurant ventures, television appearances, and brand partnerships suggest it could be in the range of $1-5 million.

However, it’s important to note that net worth estimates for public figures can vary widely and may not always be accurate.

As Sutherland continues to expand his culinary empire and make appearances on national television, his influence on the Twin Cities food scene and beyond is likely to grow even further.

In Case You Didn’t Know

  • He won a Daytime Emmy for his YouTube series “Taste the Culture” and has been involved in other TV projects, including being a guest judge on various food competition shows.
  • Sutherland is co-owner of Hybrid Nation, a streetwear and lifestyle brand that promotes diversity and social equality.
  • He went from being part of the Madison Restaurant Group, overseeing multiple St. Paul restaurants, to severing ties with these establishments and quickly launching new, independent concepts like Big E and Northern Soul.


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