The Heavy Table is a daily Twin Cities-based magazine passionately telling the stories of food and drink — from roots to table — in the Upper Midwest.
We are interested in small, neighborhood restaurants; ethnic eateries with a story to tell; great home cooking; Upper Midwestern culinary traditions; stuff that’s hilarious; recipes that work; recipes that fail spectacularly; current events; local food; heirloom food; and people at all levels of the food creation, preparation, distribution and consumption chain.
The Heavy Table is for readers who enjoy good food. That might mean a $75 tab at Heartland or a $5 banh mi bought in a suburban strip mall. It might be a dish of morels and fiddlehead ferns or a stewed rabbit. It might be a new beer from Summit. We read Saveur, and Harold McGee, and The Art of Eating, and Brillat-Savarin. We also watch Gordon Ramsay and Alton Brown and keep tabs on the local food blogs.
We write to be understood, to be accurate, and to entertain. The Heavy Table is a positive voice with integrity. We will call people out on lousy value and bad hospitality. But we prefer to celebrate the delicious, the creative, the honest, and the heartwarming.
We look forward to serving you.
James Norton | email@example.com
James Norton is the co-author of a book about Minnesota sandwiches and the people who eat them, the co-author of a book about Wisconsin’s master cheesemakers, and a daily video blogger for CHOW.com. His latest book is a guide to the food and restaurants of Minneapolis and St. Paul called the Food Lovers’ Guide to the Twin Cities. Norton has written about food for Culture: The Word on Cheese, Salon, Gastronomica, Popular Science, Saveur.com, Minnesota Monthly, and City Pages (as a weekly restaurant reviewer), and you can hear him regularly on MPR, the Current, and WCCO news radio.
Tricia Cornell | firstname.lastname@example.org
After five years editing Minnesota Parent and Minnesota Good Age, Tricia is finally willing to admit that she might love food nearly as much as her children. Dinner, in any case, never talks back. Five years writing travel guides in the Baltics taught her to love good beer, dark bread, and savory pastries stuffed with everything from sausage to rice. As a defensive measure, she knows the word for “liver” in nearly every Eastern European language. Tricia has also written for Minnesota Monthly, City Pages, the Rake, and Experience Life. She wrote the Moon Handbooks guide to the Twin Cities and updated the third edition of the Moon guide to Minnesota.
John Garland | email@example.com
A Twin Cities marketing professional by day, John Garland’s evenings are filled with shouting answers at the TV during Jeopardy, making Italian food and tinkering with the perfect ratio of gin to vermouth. Born and raised in the West Suburbs, he loves all things Iowa and has a serious weakness for Walleye sandwiches. His passion for wine began during studies at the American University of Rome and continued through classes with the International Sommelier Guild. He blogs about wine at G. Sheaves: On The Wall and currently lives in the East Isles neighborhood of Minneapolis.
Soleil Ho | firstname.lastname@example.org
Soleil Ho was born to cook. While other kids spent their days outside poking things with sticks and scraping their knees, she was peeling mountains of raw shrimp and making popsicles from regurgitated Teddy Grahams. Various misadventures have brought her from New York City to the great city of Minneapolis, where she now cooks professionally, helps out the guys at Gastro Non Grata, and volunteers at the Trylon Microcinema in Longfellow. In addition to writing at Heavy Table, she wrote a weekly column at Eat Me Daily about food in film and television.
Jill Lewis | email@example.com
The great-granddaughter of an Eastern European Jewish baker, Jill Lewis cannot escape her genetic predisposition to carbs. Her love of baked goods, wine, cheese and chocolate may not come in handy for her day job as a Twin Cities PR professional, but it proves infinitely helpful for her gigs as a contributing writer for The Heavy Table and the co-author of the Cheese and Champagne blog. A former resident of Illinois, Texas, Wisconsin and suburban Washington, D.C., Jill now lives with her husband, two young sons and cat in St. Louis Park.
Susan Pagani | firstname.lastname@example.org
Susan Pagani is a freelance journalist and the co-author of Minnesota Lunch, eleven tasty sandwiches that tell the story of the state. Previously, she was Food Editor at the San Antonio Current, an alt-weekly in Texas, and wrote about everything from familial fig trees and DIY fortune cookies to the Texas legislature and reproductive rights. She lives in Cooper with her husband and their two nutty dogs.
Joshua Page | email@example.com
Joshua Page became fascinated with food as a young latchkey cook in Southern California. He developed a passion for eating out while working in “the industry” in college and procrastinating (and accruing debt) as a graduate student. Now a professor of sociology at the University of Minnesota, Joshua also loves to write — when it’s not about crime, law, and punishment, his musings are about Twin Cities eateries. You can check out these reviews and song pairings on his blog “I Like Food, Food Tastes Good.”
Hannah Rogal | firstname.lastname@example.org
Hannah Rogal grew up in Iowa in a house where freshly baked bread was the norm, and summer vegetables were just steps away in the backyard garden. After a stint in Massachusetts for college, she found herself in Minneapolis where she spent a couple years in fundraising before jumping fully into the food world. Now she spends her days nurturing her sourdough starter, perfecting her homemade ice cream, and training for half marathons. In the early morning hours, she works as a pastry cook.
Emily Schnobrich | email@example.com
Emily comes from a family notorious for dunking whole pieces of cake into cold glasses of milk. It’s no surprise she inherited their angry sweet tooth and a devotion to pudding. Within a string of restaurant industry gigs, she has tutored writing, biked across Quebec, studied cheese, and baked cakes professionally. A perennial Minnesotan, Emily is at home in South Minneapolis where the parking is prolific and the livin’ is easy.
Alyssa Vance | firstname.lastname@example.org
Raised as an airline kid within a foodie family, Alyssa Vance grew a penchant for foie gras and fancy olive oil at a young age. She tries to counteract her overindulgences by teaching yoga and drinking a daily fresh-pressed juice. She lives in the North Loop with her young son, far too close to the temptations of Surdyk’s (according to her waistband) and tries to entertain friends as much as possible to overcome the sensitive taste buds and limited table manners of a toddler.
Katie Cannon | email@example.com
Whether it’s the perfect fish taco, a crumbly buttery scone or a thick juicy steak, Katie enjoys the art of making and eating good food. She values sharing a good meal with friends and family and loves to entertain as a means of doing so. A human resources professional for many years, she recently made a career change to pursue photography professionally. She currently is busy enjoying food writing and photography for her personal blog Camacho Watcho and is excited to contribute as both a writer and photographer for the Heavy Table.
Becca Dilley | firstname.lastname@example.org
Becca Dilley is the co-author of The Master Cheesemakers of Wisconsin, a professional photographer, and the founder of the Independent Wedding Association. Her photos have appeared in Minnesota Bride, Saveur, and the Star Tribune. She won a red ribbon with her Grandma Dilley’s pickled watermelon rinds in the 2009 Minnesota State Fair.
Natalie Champa Jennings | email@example.com
Natalie Champa Jennings is a Minneapolis/St. Paul wedding, portrait, and freelance photographer. She is passionate about offering the photography market a different aesthetic with her images, and works carefully to achieve this style which some have categorized as vintage. When Natalie is not behind the camera, she enjoys being outdoors, reading, writing, playing the trumpet, traveling with her husband, painting, and knitting. For more information about Natalie and her photography company, please visit her website and click “about.”
Kate NG Sommers | firstname.lastname@example.org
Kate has been eating well since infancy, when her mother exposed her to scraping the meat off an artichoke leaf with her newly formed front teeth. Since then she has developed an obsession with all things related to good dining. At her day job she works for an international organic food company. Nights and weekends Sommers can be found at dinner parties, photographing weddings, and working in her garden which she hopes one day will actually grow vegetables. She enjoys working on her personal blog Fork, Knife and Spoon and has a recurring weekly photo column at the City Pages Hot Dish. Born and raised in a Milwaukee suburb, Kate has also enjoyed living and working in Italy and now calls Northeast Minneapolis her home, where she lives with her patient husband and their three cats.
Isabel Subtil | email@example.com
Isabel Subtil is a native of Portugal, a country filled with passionate people, exotic colors, incredible scenery, and amazing food. Starting at a young age, she worked in her family’s pottery factory and later started her own business as a buying agent, specializing in housewares and home decor. She followed her heart to America in pursuit of a formal education in photography and digital imaging. Her ability to capture food photography and food culture stories is the culmination of these life experiences. She loves cooking, eating, sampling new ingredients, styling and photographing, proof of which can be seen in her latest work at www.isabelsubtil.com.
Maja Ingeman | firstname.lastname@example.org
The daughter of an artist and a music teacher, Maja spent much of her childhood traveling the country in a rusty old van, attempting to model all of her father’s salable jewelry at the same time, and sampling the many edibles available both on the road and at the art fairs they visited. Though she now lives in Minneapolis, the coffee addiction and love for food that she picked up en route to one of their many destinations never left her. Between marketing work in the medical device industry and poring over the Harvard Business Review, she can typically be found holed up in her kitchen, baking bread every weekend and experimenting in between.
Emily Nystrom | email@example.com
Emily Nystrom experiments with new recipes each week and keeps a mile-long list of restaurants to visit. By day, she is a proofreader and editor for a design firm in East St. Paul. Ever dedicated to Minnesota, Emily was raised in Minnetonka, attended Carleton in Northfield, and now lives in Eden Prairie. She is always impressed by fresh custard-filled doughnuts, perfectly spiced Indian curries, and restaurants that offer more than one vegetarian dish.
Associate Copy Editor
Elizabeth M. C. Scheibel | firstname.lastname@example.org
Liz Scheibel loves cheap food, expensive food, simple food, and fancy food. She attempts to learn to cook about every other month, and then decides to stick with baking cookies. As a true Minnesotan (originally from Minnetonka, a Macalester College grad, and a South Minneapolis resident), she knows that good things start with a can of cream of mushroom soup. She earns her cans as a librarian in a law firm and occasionally helps Heavy Table colleagues with background research for projects.
Online Media Strategist
Arik Hanson | email@example.com
Arik is a digital marketing consultant with ACH Communications, Inc. With more than 16 years experience in marketing and communications, Arik has led and been involved with many Minnesota-based digital initiatives including the popular Minnesota Blogger Conference which he co-founded in 2010. Arik’s also a regular at South Minneapolis haunts like Bryant-Lake Bowl, Broders’ and Buster’s on 28th. You can find more about Arik at arikhanson.com.
Producer and Co-Founder
Aaron Landry | firstname.lastname@example.org
Aaron has a multidisciplinary background in online media, politics, and technology. On the side, Aaron is an amateur photographer, private pilot, and pianist. He loves pizza, cheeses, and almost anything that can be drunk. Born and raised outside of Stillwater, MN, he has called both Saint Paul and Minneapolis home. Aaron now lives in Honolulu, Hawai‘i while managing the backend operations of the Heavy Table. His personal site is aaronlandry.com.
Varsha Seetharam | email@example.com
Heavy Table has been the City Pages readers’ choice for Best Blog for four years running (2010, 2011, 2012, 2013), was named as part of the Star Tribune’s Taste 50 in 2009, and made #5 on Vita.mn’s 2012 list of Best Local Blogs. The site’s North Coast Nosh event series was named “Best Foodie Event” in 2012 by Minnesota Monthly. The site was profiled on CNN’s Eatocracy, and named a best local blog by METRO in 2010, and its contributors have appeared on the Splendid Table, MPR, WCCO radio with John Hines, FOX 9, and other outlets.
Heavy Tablers have written or contributed heavily to books including Minnesota Lunch (James Norton, Susan Pagani, Jill Lewis, Lori Writer, with photography by Katie Cannon, Becca Dilley), Eat More Vegetables (Tricia Cornell), The Master Cheesemakers of Wisconsin (James Norton and Becca Dilley), Shefzilla: Conquering Haute Cuisine at Home (with photography by Kate NG Sommers), and Food Lovers’ Guide to the Twin Cities (James Norton). You can read the first draft of Knife Skills (James Norton’s unpublished culinary serial novel) on this site.
About Our Star System
Full-length reviews on the Heavy Table are accompanied by a star rating from 0 to 4 stars. A 1-star review isn’t negative; it’s mixed. Even a 1/2 star restaurant will have one or two positive points worth mentioning.
We are fully aware that it’s difficult, if not insulting, to attempt to boil a restaurant down to a simple star rating, just as it’s insanely reductive to boil a film down to a thumb jammed up or down. That said, we use these ratings as a condensed thumbnail of the review, as a jumping-off point for reader discussion, and as a way to clarify our reviewers’ thoughts and remind them that, ultimately, they must take a firm stand when they write. We do not adhere to any firm timetable when reviewing restaurants. As diners’ advocates, we view our duty as the assessment of any food and/or drink being sold at full market prices.
Our Ethics Policy
Restaurant reviews are sacred. If we’re handing out stars or even publishing a brief listing, we are not being compensated in cash or trade by the establishment. The evaluation will be done with magazine funds and on an anonymous basis. Any sponsored content will be clearly marked as such.
Sponsored content will not include reviews, short or long. As with all content on the site, the Heavy Table has final say on all wording in sponsored content and will ensure that all claims or statements made are either colorful and subjective or verifiable as factual. Sponsored information and contests on third-party services (deals or promotions on Facebook or Twitter, for example) will always be clearly marked as sponsored.
The Heavy Table accepts product samples, books, and event tickets for review consideration. Anything valued over $100 US (including but not limited to trips, appliances, fancy liquor, etc.) will be disclosed explicitly in any coverage on the site. If a writer or a member of his or her immediate family has a direct financial and/or professional relationship with a subject of an article, he or she will not write about that subject without a full disclosure of the relationship.
Our Comments Policy
Think of this as the counterpart to our ethics policy. As long as you’re even vaguely on topic, you can post anything you want (short of nasty personal attacks and destructive rumoring) under your real name and email address. Or, you can post uncontroversial statements anonymously. And for the love of Pete, if you feel that a restaurant may have given you food poisoning, the people to talk to are that restaurant’s management and/or the relevant health authorities.
- Appreciation of the seasonal, the local, and the truly creative
- Personalized partnerships with advertisers and sponsors
- Exploration of context
- Aesthetic grace
- Unflinching criticism tempered by sympathy for those who dare to attempt something difficult
- Truly original content
- Nimble use of technology to best convey good information to readers
- Stories featuring real people
Submissions or Corrections | firstname.lastname@example.org
The Heavy Table relies on its staff for the overwhelming bulk of its stories and photos. If you have a story and/or photo that you think falls within our mandate, feel free to pitch it to us. We can’t promise to publish what you’re offering, but we will answer all inquiries promptly and with respect. Also note: the Heavy Table strives to be as accurate and timely as possible. If you spot an error or have a quality-related concern about anything on the site, please drop us a note.
Tips | email@example.com
If you’ve got news, gossip, events, great food-related content or other bits of information that may be of interest to our readers, please send them our way.
Sponsored Content and Advertisement | Aaron Landry | 612.747.2217 | firstname.lastname@example.org
If you’re a culinary business with a good story to tell, please let us know. Ads, sponsored content, or a full online media campaign might be the best way to get your story out to our readership. Our sponsored content is clearly marked as such, and written by professionals who weigh equally both the site’s editorial mandate and the importance of conveying your story with accuracy and passion.