At the Table With Jason DeRusha

It’s no joke. Jason DeRusha reported his first story for
WCCO-TV on April Fools Day. Nearly 10 years later, the guy who became known as the “Good Question” reporter
has amassed a giant social media following (upwards of 30,000 followers between
his two Twitter accounts) and now sits on the morning and noon anchor desk.

“Sometimes in life I think you just need to throw everything
up in the air and do something totally different,” DeRusha said. “I’ve spent my
life reporting. [Now] I’m anchoring three hours of news a day.”

But even with his new gig and early morning schedule, the five time Emmy-winning reporter and anchor still has time for one thing: food. It started with a guest judging
stint at Minnesota Monthly magazine’s local chef challenge, and turned into a
monthly food column for the Twin Cities publication.

“I don’t go to movies, I don’t go to concerts,” DeRusha
said. “I go out to eat. That’s what my wife and I do for fun.”

The two have wined and dined together across the Midwest (they’ve
lived and worked in Illinois, Iowa, Wisconsin and Minnesota) ever since they
met at Marquette University in Wisconsin.

“I’m a reporter so when I get interested in something I
start asking questions and doing research about it. That’s what happened with
food,” DeRusha said. “I think my interest in great restaurants has grown with
the explosion of great restaurants in the Twin Cities. Over the past 10 years the
quality of cooking and the inventiveness from the kitchens has just exploded.”

With better food came better design, something both DeRusha
and his wife Alyssa appreciate (the two live in a modern home in the suburbs with
their kids and are avid glass collectors).

This week DeRusha takes us on a food tour through the
Midwest, highlighting some of his favorite restaurants.

“All of these places have great food, great service, great
people. But all of them have done something interesting with the design,”
DeRusha said. “What makes these places noteworthy is the modern sense of

That doesn’t mean cold white walls, stark design or even
concrete buildings. For DeRusha, the modern aesthetic is something different.  

“It’s about a sense of place. It’s about design with a
purpose,” DeRusha said. “It’s about sending a message visually that is
cohesive, so you have the inside look of a restaurant that is somehow reflective
of what shows up on the plate.”

Bon appetit!