Gavin Kaysen's Crab Cakes

Food has always brought people together in my life. The way I like to nurture and contribute as a father is and always has been through cooking. Crab cakes are one of many dishes I’ve made for them—I can always count on our meals to bring us together, slow us down, and further the bond of how important family is to us.



Ingredients For the Old Bay aioli:

  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 ½ teaspoons Old Bay seasoning
  • Pinch of fine sea salt
  • ¾ cup olive oil

For the crab cakes:

  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil or canola oil
  • 1 shallot, finely diced
  • 1 pound pasteurized lump crabmeat
  • 1 cup dehydrated potato flakes
  • ⅓ cup chopped tarragon
  • 1 bunch chives, finely chopped
  • 1 bunch parsley, picked and chopped
  • Grated zest of 1 orange

For assembly:

  • Fine sea salt
  • ½ pound asparagus
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons minced chives


  1. Make the Old Bay aioli: In a medium bowl, combine the egg yolks, mustard, lemon juice, garlic, Old Bay, and salt. Whisk to combine all the ingredients. While whisking vigorously, slowly drizzle in the oil, little by little, with your other hand. You must do this slowly so that the aioli doesn’t separate. Once all of the oil has been emulsified, taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Set aside.
  2. Make the crab cakes: In an 8 inch G5 Graphite Core skillet, heat the oil over medium heat, then add the shallot and cook until translucent, about 3 minutes. Scrape the cooked shallot into a medium bowl. Add the crabmeat, potato flakes, herbs, orange zest, aioli and 1 ½ teaspoons salt.
  3. Mix until well combined and cohesively bound. Scoop and roll the mixture into 6 even balls. Flatten the balls into patties and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
  4. Meanwhile, bring a G5 Graphite Core 8 qt stock pot of salted water to a boil. Blanch the asparagus until tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Drain and set aside until ready to reheat and serve.
  5. To assemble: In a large 12.5 inch G5 Graphite Core skillet, melt the butter over medium-high heat. When the foam subsides, add the crab cakes and space them apart. Cook until the bottoms have browned evenly, gently rotating the cakes to promote even browning, 3 to 4 minutes. Flip the cakes and repeat to brown the second side, 3 to 4 minutes longer.
  6. Remove the cakes from the pan and set on a paper towel to absorb any excess butter.
  7. To serve, arrange the asparagus in the center of a serving dish. Place the crab cakes on top of the asparagus and garnish with minced chives.

Pro Tip

If not serving right away, shock the asparagus in ice water for about 2 minutes to stop the cooking process.


Gavin Kaysen

Gavin Kaysen is the award-winning chef and founder of Soigné Hospitality Group in Minneapolis, known for his nationally recognized group of restaurants as well as his leadership in the culinary profession. His restaurants in the North Loop neighborhood of Minneapolis include Spoon and Stable, a 2015 James Beard Award Finalist for Best New Restaurant; Demi, an intimate 20-seat tasting menu experience ranked #3 on Robb Report's list of the "10 Best Restaurants in North America"; and Cooks | Bellecour, a culinary shop and cooking school which serves an array of French bistro-inspired pastries, sandwiches, and more. He introduced the Mediterranean-inspired restaurant Mara and Socca Café in Four Seasons Hotel Minneapolis in the summer of 2022. Chef Kaysen's catering company, KZ ProVisioning, created in partnership with Chef Andrew Zimmern, fuels the Minnesota Wild and the Minnesota Timberwolves. 

With the aim of supporting the next generation of young culinarians, Chef Kaysen serves as the President of the ment'or BKB Foundation Team USA where he collaborates with two of his mentors, and the world's most celebrated chefs, Daniel Boulud and Thomas Keller.

Chef Kaysen is the proud recipient of two James Beard Awards: Rising Star Chef of the Year in 2008, and Best Chef: Midwest in 2018. He published his first cookbook, At Home, in the fall of 2022, exploring recipes and techniques for every level of home cook.