Harvard Alum, Edina Resident, Community Chef

Starving artist feeds a community’s soul with cooking classes.

Bradley Davis isn’t your stereotypical starving artist. To avoid starving while studying painting in Bath, U.K., he took a job in the kitchens at Firehouse Rotisserie, one of the top restaurants in the city.

“I learned under these great chefs. They sort of took me under their wing, this funny artist American guy,” Davis says. “I worked there for three years.”

The funny artist American guy is also modest. He is a painter, chef and Harvard University graduate. Davis lives at Cedars of Edina apartments and teaches weekly cooking classes to residents who know him as “Chef Brad.” His goal is to bring the community together through food. The classes began in 2012 and are the brainchild of Davis along with property owner Mark Peterson.

“Brad’s making a place where people get to know each other,” says Peterson, who is part of the Peterson Group that has invested in Cedars for more than 30 years. He believes in creating a tight-knit community and knows Davis is someone to help do that.

“I want to share my knowledge about food so that everyone can enjoy a better relationship with food.” -Bradley Davis

The classes have grown from 10 people to about 40. Linda Breckenridge started attending the classes after she found out about them from her daughter, Davis’ neighbor.

“It was something to look forward to. Just the camaraderie and the people that I met coming to the classes,” Breckenridge says. “Plus, he inspired me to cook.”

Tony Szendrey says he’s attended almost every single class in the last five years.

“[Davis] is a true gentleman, and he knows how to speak and he knows how to communicate not just with words but with food,” Szendrey says. “The conversations are just vibrant. It’s such a comfortable atmosphere. I love it.”

Classes are held at the Cedars Clubhouse once a week on Friday or Wednesday for adults and Saturday for children. Over the past few years, Davis has prepared Italian, Thai, Indian, Israeli and other cuisines. He’s also called in guest chefs.

“They are cooking classes, but you come and you have a full dinner,” Davis says. “It’s a five-course meal. Three salads that get demonstrated, your main course and then always a dessert.”

For more information on cooking classes and catering:   bradleyscottdavis@gmail.com