A Native American Ojibwe of the Red Lake Nation, Allen Sayers was born in 1960 on the Red Lake Indian Reservation in northern Minnesota. At age 18, he and his family moved to Minneapolis and he attended the Minneapolis College of Art & Design. After graduation, he developed an interest in the restaurant and food business but nothing was available, so he stayed in his art and design field.
In 1987, Wayne Kostroski (Founder of Taste of the NFL) and Great Chef Stephan Pyles were preparing to open a new upscale American restaurant called Goodfellow’s in Minneapolis. Allen applied for any available position in the restaurant, just to be a charter employee. They offered him a job as dishwasher, which he accepted under the condition that he could work his way up in the kitchen. At the time, Great Chef Kevin Cullen was to be the executive sous chef and Kevin and Allen became friends. Over the years, Chef Allen worked his way up the kitchen ladder becoming pastry chef in 1994.
In 1995, the Great Chefs television crew showed up at Goodfellow’s to tape Chef Allen Sayers for the Discovery Channel’s Great Chefs of America television series. Goodfellow’s closed in 2005, and Chef Sayers moved to Chicago to join the Infusion Management Group which manages many restaurants and bars, including the Signature Room atop the John Hancock Building in Chicago.