It’s Meet Chef Shawn Bennigsdorf Week!

​On team Aposto since October 2017,​ and recently promoted to head chef, he’s passionate about making sure you have the best experience when dining with us. “Food was always a way to bring people together and celebrate in my family.”

We spoke with Shawn​ to learn more about his favorite menu item, inspiration and more.

How did you get your start at Aposto?

As a young chef, I was always impressed with what Phil Shires was doing at Cafe di Scala, and how beautiful the house was. When Cory Wendel took over and asked if I’d be interested in joining when they opened back up for regular dinner service in October 2017, I was thrilled to have the chance to work with such a close group of amazing people.

What is your favorite dish on the current menu and why?
The asparagus salad. The quality of ingredients speak for themselves. We use local asparagus, La Quercia prosciutto, and 24-month-aged Parmesan to create a simple but delicious dish.   

What inspires your menu items?
I try to let the seasons dictate what I am creating, so we can have the best products, and feature local farms that are excelling in their craft.

What three ingredients do you always have in your work and/or home kitchen?
While I love Italian olive oils, I always have to have butter close by, as a lot of my culinary training is French. Having grown up in Iowa,​ I find its necessary to have some sort of pork products laying around. I also can’t live without homemade stocks whether it’s chicken, beef, pork or fish.​ I feel a good stock is essential in creating many dishes.

Where do you eat on your days off?
I love how the culinary scene in Des Moines is growing with places like The Cheese Shop, Eatery A and Centro, but I often find myself going to old-school Des Moines restaurants like Tumea and Sons and The Tavern.

Is there one thing that most people don’t know about you—that you’re willing to share?
A lot of people think that since I’m a chef at a fine dining establishment that I eat lavish meals all the time, but I have a guilty pleasure for simple things like a classic cheeseburger or humble bowl of pasta.

Come join us any Wednesday through Saturday soon to try Shawn’s latest creations. (Psst…he dreams up a new while-supplies-last feature menu item nearly every day!)