Each Friday, this list will track five of the best things Heavy Table’s writers, editors, and photographers have recently bitten or sipped. Have a suggestion for the Hot Five? Email email@example.com.
The Hot Five is a weekly feature created by the Heavy Table and supported by Shepherd Song Farm.
Seafood Chowder at Corner Table This was an eye-catching dish that warmed and comforted on a chilly evening while offering enough brightness to keep us interested. The clams, resting on a dollop of brandade, were fresh and meaty. The brandade, a puree of potatoes and whitefish (although traditionally made with cod), was rich and nutty. The house-made oyster crackers were crunchy, tender, and light. Bits of crisp celery offered a contrast to the creamy broth and confit potato slices. And to top it all, the sparkling smoked roe provided explosions of briny depth.
[Debuting on the Hot Five | Submitted by Jane Rosemarin]
Duck a la Presse at Meritage As we wrote in our story about Meritage’s (extremely) special duck dish, Duck a la Presse isn’t just an entree, it’s an entire complicated, beautiful, and somewhat brutal process that plays out tableside, from duck deconstruction to squeezing to sauce-making. The end product is worth the fuss and expense. It’s one of the richest and most delicious duck dishes we’ve tried. [Debuting on the Hot Five | Submitted from a story by James Norton]
Breakfast Bowl at Coalition Coalition in Edina now occupies the old Pearson’s Family Restaurant space. Their hearty breakfasts are a far cry from the former classic diner fare. Try the satisfying Breakfast Bowl, made with farro, spinach, avocado, bacon, dried cherries, and creme fraiche. Though it sounds, in part, like health food, it’s flavorful and filling.
[Debuting on the Hot Five | Submitted by Paige Latham Didora]
Fried Bologna Sandwich at Bull’s Horn The Fried Bologna Sandwich at the newly opened Bull’s Horn boasts meat that was smoked in house, a deviled egg schmear, a lot of lettuce, pickles, and spicy mustard. Hand to God, the first thing we thought of when we bit into it, with all its fatty, earthy meatiness, was that we were eating a decent corned beef sandwich.
[Debuting on the Hot Five | Submitted from an upcoming review by James Norton]
Chocolate Zucchini Bread at Corner Table
Karyn Tomlinson, the new chef de cuisine at Corner Table has taken an eat-your-vegetables kids’ snack and transformed it into something stupendous. She infuses her chocolate-zucchini bread with custard and tops it with a rich caramel sauce to yield a moist cake that tastes like a chewy brownie, but with a lighter crumb. The bread is served warm with a slab of creme fraiche ice cream on the side. Contrasts in flavor, texture, and temperature keep this dessert in exquisite balance.
[Debuting on the Hot Five | Submitted by Jane Rosemarin]
This week in the Tap: A meditation on the primal importance of fire when it comes to cooking, and advancing the region’s culinary profile.
The Tap is the metro area’s comprehensive restaurant buzz roundup, so if you see a new or newly shuttered restaurant, or anything that’s “coming soon,” email Tap editor James Norton at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Worshiping the Fire God
Imagine a spectrum. One on end is what is (sometimes unfairly) called “tweezer food” — foams, microgreens, gels, steak that’s been so thoroughly sous vided that it takes on the consistency of jam. On the other end is a hunk of meat, dangling over a pile of burning wood.
The longer I write about food, the more I find myself anchored to the hunk-of-meat end of the spectrum, in defiance of white tablecloths, painstakingly manicured small plates, and precious little tidbits sent out as gifts of the kitchen. The kitchen gift I want is a quarter of a lamb, rubbed in spices and coffee and subjected to the heat of an old-fashioned grill, or onions cooked right in the embers of a fire so that their exterior layer turns black as coal, leaving the interior juicy and caramelized.
Hunks of homemade bread, earthy local cheese, whole grilled fish, and cunningly made sausages — that’s what’s for dinner at the peasant end of the table, and that’s where some of the future of food must certainly lie.
This isn’t a unique opinion. Thomas Boemer and Nick Rancone, the Corner Table / Revival guys, are moving toward fire in a big way with their new place at the former Schmidt brewery. (Big isn’t a metaphor; it’s a literal reference to the 20-foot-wide wood-burning hearth that will anchor the yet-to-be-named place.) Jordan Smith of Black Sheep Pizza does some amazing things with coal-fired pizza and the new grill at his Nicollet Avenue location. Jorge Guzman has put Surly’s Brewer’s Table and dining hall on the national map via his skill with fire and smoke.
And with the Heavy Table’s involvement in the Chef Camp project (pictured) we’re trying to put a hand in because fire makes delicious food, because it’s seductive and mercurial, and because this is an authentic direction for the Upper Midwest culinary scene: something anchored around a campfire (or a hearth) that brings a pioneer spirit to the world of dining.
Molecular gastronomy and artfully composed fine plates will always have their place here in the Upper Midwest and elsewhere. But diners looking for something a bit more wild and soulful need only get the grill going to discover the past — and future — of food. — James Norton
Wild Mind Artisan Ales Taproom, 6031 Pillsbury Ave S, Minneapolis | As per the website: “Wild Mind Artisan Ales specializes in wild, sour, farmhouse, saison, and rustic ales through barrel aging and blending.”
World of Beer, 356 N Sibley St, St. Paul | Part of a chain including locations in Wauwatosa and Appleton, Wis., and Naperville, Ill. Our Bite is here.
Lu’s Sandwiches, 10 6th St NE, Minneapolis | The second location of this “small menu” banh mi spot.
Blackeye Roasting Company, 3740 Chicago Ave S, Minneapolis | An 18-seat cafe located in the Minneapolis skyway — with 10 tap lines of nonalcoholic beverages that include nitro cold brew coffee, nitro iced tea, kombucha, and draft cocktails — is coming later this summer.
This week in the Tap: Thoughts about the state of casual spinoff restaurants in Minneapolis-St. Paul, and some ideas for others to come.
The Tap is the metro area’s comprehensive restaurant buzz roundup, so if you see a new or newly shuttered restaurant, or anything that’s “coming soon,” email Tap editor James Norton at email@example.com.
The Rise of the Sidecar Restaurant
If there’s one trend over the past five years that merits the twin titles of “Most Lasting” and “Most Welcome,” it’s the proliferation of sidecar restaurants — the more casual, more affordable, more sustainable travel companions of chef-driven prestige eateries. Alma’s Brasa is the classic example, but they’re everywhere now, and are increasingly a baked-in part of the business plan for major restaurant launches. (The “sidecar,” in fact, often reaps the bulk of the profits drummed up by the high-profile but expensive-to-operate bigger sister restaurant.)
Sometimes they’re spun off to new locations (as in Corner Table’s Revival, now opening a second edition in the old Cheeky Monkey space in St. Paul), and sometimes they’re built into the floor plan (as in the pizza cave in Burch Steak or the wine-and-pizza bar Foreign Legion, still standing adjacent to the much lamented former Brasserie Zentral space). Either way, sidecars allow a high-flying franchise a better shot at attracting noncelebration business by selling casual (but still beautifully made) fare at moderate prices. Even the newly opened Mucci’s can be seen as a sidecar for the ambitious Saint Dinette and Strip Club Meat and Fish. Although all three spots offer warm hospitality, Mucci’s also offers instantly accessible Italian-Ameircan fare and a correspondingly smaller check.
On that front, here are our thoughts about four upscale spots that could comfortably spawn spinoffs to make our weeknight (or, hell, special occasion) dining a little bit more delicious.
HEIRLOOM— Everything about Heirloom (from the harmonious presentation to the reliance on fresh produce) lends itself to a Japanese-inspired spinoff. Heirloom East could do a bit of sushi, but the real value would be in earthier, simpler dishes that show off the cuisine’s range, such as pickled, curried, raw, and cooked selections served up in a bento box.
Key Dishes: Market-vegetable-driven bento boxes, tempura, curry pan, maki of the day
PICCOLO — Piccolo’s cachet is doing small, pricey, perfectly manicured bites for boldfaced names, which actually makes it pretty easy to spin something off. There will be a lot of daylight between itself and its sidecar restaurant no matter what, in much the same way that any Alma spinoff was going to be comfortably distinct from its parent.
Case in point: Yes, the Piccolo project Sandcastle qualifies as a sidecar, and yes, it’s a good idea that’s doing well. But there’s enough room between the lakeside hot-dog stand and the fine-dining bistro to allow for another spot, and here’s the concept:
We call it Grande, and it’s a right-on-the-Southwest-border-inspired barbecue spot, with its tacos, burritos, and yes, chimichangas — stuffed with impeccably smoked and seasoned meats the likes of which we’ve never before tasted. If this sounds like it’s out of left field, it’s not entirely. We were inspired by the pulled pork and barbecue served at the restaurant’s family meal featured in the book Come in, We’re Closed.
Key Dishes: Tacos, burritos, and yes, chimichangas
HEARTLAND— The cured meats and locally sourced food of Heartland seem ripe to spill over into a sandwich-shop-of-the-gods concept called Grinder. With a bit of tapas / wine-bar styling, this place could comfortably bridge the transition from lunch to happy hour, serving Upper Midwestern meats and cheeses on great local bread, and then slinging small plates and drinks as the sun goes down.
Key Dishes: A riff on the France 44 “just ham and great cheese” sandwich, a personal-sized meat-and-pickle plate with an accompanying glass of wine or beer, tasting flights of local cheese
MERITAGE — Meritage arguably already has its sidecar restaurant with its more-casual, seafood-forward bar half of the restaurant. But it would be easy enough to finish the thought and spin things off entirely by opening the Lowertown Oyster Bar as a separate spot with Continentally inspired soups, exquisite salads, and oysters a-go-go, preferably in a small space with a ton of foot traffic, so as to move product quickly.
Key Dishes: Oyster po’ boys, (various kinds of) chowder, a spin on Oysters Rockefeller — James Norton
The Soon-to-Open Oude Oak Will Now Be Oakhold Farmhouse Brewery
The sour-beer focused Oude Oak was preparing to open its doors this year when word came down from on high (the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office) that its name was in conflict with another brewery. Thus the shift to its new name: Oakhold Farmhouse Brewery. — J.N.
Encore Karaoke and Sushi Lounge, 2111 E Franklin Ave, Minneapolis | The former Verdant Tea space on Franklin now boasts private karaoke rooms that’ll set you back $60 (for two hours in the Silver Room) to $800 (for four hours in the Penthouse, which houses 20-30 guests).
Mucci’s, 786 Randolph Ave, St. Paul | A new old-school Italian-American place from Tim Niver, owner of Strip Club Meat and Fish and Saint Dinette. Serving dinner Tuesday-Sunday — as well as doughnuts and coffee on weekends from “8 a.m. until they’re gone.” We reviewed it here.
Welcome to the Twin Cities! Don’t know where to find interesting, high quality food and drink? Whether you’re looking to splurge or eat on the cheap, we’ve got you covered. Looking to drink killer cocktails and treat a hangover the next morning? No problem. Want to know where the locals get their doughnuts, sausage, tacos, and coffee? You’ve come to the right site.
The guide is a collection of places our contributors take out-of-towners (or suggest others take visitors). It’s not a “best-of” list. It’s also not comprehensive. To keep the guide from getting unwieldy, we limited the number of categories and suggestions within each category. Therefore, there are numerous places that we love that didn’t make it into the guide. If you asked us where to eat, drink, and hang out, this is what we’d tell you (and then we’d list a bunch of back-up spots). Together, the interactive map (posted at the end of this article), the list, and the corresponding Foursquare list will help you plan your gastronomic tour of the Twin Cities.
After considering feedback on last year’s inaugural guide, we decided to split the document into two parts, one for each of the Twin Cities. We published the St. Paul guide last month, and now bring you the Minneapolis version. To avoid duplication, we have not included restaurants on the St. Paul list that have Minneapolis locations: Black Sheep Pizza, Brasa, and Colossal Cafe.
Locals: Along with using the guide and sending it to folks visiting town, we hope you will add your recommendations in the comments section (and tell us why our suggestions are completely off base). We update the guide annually, so your feedback helps us improve the document as well as provide out-of-towners with additional suggestions.
The Central European vibe at Brasserie Zentral is unlike that at just about any other place in town. The white-tablecloth atmosphere is welcoming without being fussy, and “fancy” in the best possible meaning of the word. Dishes are made with impeccable consistency using top-notch ingredients. At Zentral, the fine cuisine of Vienna meets the country charm of Hungarian folk dishes and Jewish heritage food, and the foie gras menu is long and lovely.
A sunlight-infused casual spot just off the north end of Lake of the Isles, The Kenwood features seasonal fare that’s approachable, elegant, and often playful. Along with lunch and dinner, The Kenwood serves a full brunch every day, with a range of beautifully executed classic egg dishes as well as more Midwestern-inflected options.
For a pork-forward, impeccably executed, disarmingly comfortable taste of the Upper Midwest by way of the mid-South, a meal at Corner Table is the way to go. The restaurant’s sourcing and technique are both killer, and the ever-changing menu has a host of twists and surprises that make every visit a rewarding adventure.
The brainchild of chef-owner Gavin Kaysen, Spoon and Stable is at the leading edge of what we might think of as “comfortable fine dining.” The food isn’t flashy — there aren’t bells and whistles, meat glue, or liquid nitrogen. But it is precise, beautiful, and delicious. Spoon and Stable’s desserts — the handiwork of pastry chef Diane Yang — are exquisite, and the beverage program is first rate. The restaurant also boasts one of the more popular and well-regarded brunches in the Twin Cities.
The restaurant that drew national attention for capitalizing on a “new Nordic” trend has created a nice niche for itself in the Twin Cities. Owned by Target heirs Eric and Andrew Dayton, the space feels like a slightly fancy, modern take on an old-fashioned, imagined Scandinavian heartland. And the food doesn’t disappoint — don’t miss the shareable toasts, which arrive on a tiered silver tray and feature flavors like lox and steak tartare. Make an evening of it: Head downstairs before or after your meal for cocktails in the living-room-esque Marvel Bar. If you’re in town in mid-August, don’t miss The Bachelor Farmer’s rendition of kräftskiva, a Swedish crayfish festival — it’s a fun event replete with local music, boozy snowcones (aquavit luge, anyone?), and of course crayfish.
With inventive food, funky style, and good cheer, this restaurant exemplifies the Lyndale-Lake neighborhood. Skillfully blending creativity and restraint, chef Jim Christiansen delivers interesting, high-quality, tasty creations. And the desserts are some of the most inventive and scrumptious the area has to offer.
Combining non-traditional ingredients, flavors, and techniques, Chef Doug Flicker puts out unique, addictive fare. Take Piccolo’s signature dish, “Scrambled brown eggs with pickled pig’s feet, truffle butter and Parmigiano.” It may sound strange, but the flavors and textures work brilliantly. The five-course tasting menu ($59) is a great way to sample Flicker’s creations. This is the spot for adventurous, super high quality food in a casual atmosphere.
Well-executed, seasonally-driven three-course tasting menus are the name of the game here. There is almost nothing about Alma that’s flashy — in fact, it’s so unassuming you’ll probably drive right by. Sometimes a low-key, unpretentious evening of fine dining — one where you can hear your companion(s) talk, and hear yourself think — is just what the doctor ordered, and Alma’s the place to go. If you’re looking for something a bit more everyday, check out chef / owner Alex Roberts’ other restaurant, Brasa Premium Rotisserie, for a killer pork sandwich and yuca fries.
The smart new-Mediterranean food of Saffron combines Middle Eastern flavor with an cosmopolitan attention to detail and technique, and the result is some of the area’s most stunning food — both in terms of appearance and flavor. This is a place where you can have a beautifully crafted cocktail and journey somewhere new via the magic of a creative menu.
[Editors’ Note: Broders is less expensive than the other restaurants in this category, but meals at Terzo tend to fall into “splurge” territory.]
Broders’ consistently kicks out perfectly cooked, seasonally sauced housemade pasta. Whether you’re snuggled with your sweetie at the bar with a couple glasses of wine and a piece of Bestia Nera flourless chocolate cake or at a table passing plates of pasta and risotto to share among friends, Broders’ knows how many of us at the Heavy Table like to eat — good, unpretentious food at reasonable prices, and a great wine list to boot. We’re also huge fans of the Broder family’s wine bar, Terzo, located across the street from the pasta bar. Porchetta sandwiches (also served through a window facing the parking lot during the day), thoughtful small plates, top-notch entrees (especially the branzino), and a wine program (that slants toward Northern Italy) are all dynamite.
The little sibling of Corner Table (see above), Revival offers amazing Southern fare. It’s rightly known for fried chicken with exceptionally moist and tender meat and gorgeously crispy skin. But it’s not just a chicken joint. The cheeseburger is one of the best in the Twin Cities, and sides like fried green tomatoes, collard greens, and hush puppies are delicious. And if banana pie is on the menu, get it!
Looking for traditional Korean food? Head elsewhere. You won’t see the standard bulgogi / bibimbap / soondobu / japchae formula here. But if you’re craving a good, decidedly boozy drink and gastropub fare beyond the usual fried whatever, this place will be your jam. As a second-generation Korean-American hailing from LA, chef / owner Thomas Kim grew up with his mom’s cooking, but he draws from his experience working with Roy Choi and others to create his own spin on food. This results in things like kimchi-and-curry gravy-slathered poutine, truly addictive Brussels sprouts, and rice bowls loaded with things like soft-shell crab and habanero oyster sauce. Arrive early enough to explore the other shops in the Midtown Global Market, then lose track of time in one of the dark pojangmacha-styled booths and hang out late into the night.
When the time came to write about Revival, the newly opened Corner Table spinoff that is selling itself on Tennessee hot- and Southern-style fried chicken, we found ourselves in an unexpected pickle: a solid half of our writing staff had thundered through the gates in order to form a first opinion.
So in lieu of a traditional review, we present a roundtable — four different perspectives on one of this year’s most anticipated new restaurants in Minnesota.
JAMES NORTON: Let’s start by focusing on food, which is kind of our tradition here. I’m a huge fried-chicken fan, and I’ve been making it myself for the past five years because I haven’t been satisfied with anything available around here. Are my frying days over? Is this the fried chicken that Minneapolis-St. Paul has been waiting for?
JOSHUA PAGE: It sure could be. The Southern fried variety is tender, and the coating has a fantastic crunch and isn’t the slightest bit greasy. So why the hedge, you ask? Because it was underseasoned. House-made sauce spiced it up, but it still needed salt. Actually, almost everything we sampled needed salt. And I was less impressed with the Tennessee Hot option because the coating wasn’t as crisp as I’d like, and the seasoning was unbalanced — a drizzle of vinegar sauce nearly did the trick, but I still had to reach for the salt shaker. So, with a few tweaks, this would be the fried chicken we’ve been waiting for.
TED HELD: Fried chicken fans are going to be happy. My favorite in town is Rooster’s on Randolph in St. Paul, so if you live in South Minneapolis, particularly in the surrounding neighborhoods, I think you’ll be thrilled. The fundamentals were there — juicy, toothsome meat, and crunchy breading, even with the Tennessee hot sauce.
I loved the sauce options on the table. They were all great: the Revival sauce was sweet-potato based and Caribbean accented; the Carolina sauce was vinegar based; and then there was vinegar infused with bird’s-eye chili (a more Southern sounding name for Thai chili). I’d agree with Josh that the chicken was a little underspiced — it was almost like they left some blank flavor that you could fill in with the sauces.
PETER SIEVE: It’s damn fine fried chicken. Very moist, tender, and the exterior had the right amount of crunch / give. I didn’t find mine to be underseasoned, though I might have if the sauces hadn’t been there — I’m a sauce kind of guy. The more the merrier. And I found both the vinegar / black pepper and the jerk / habanero to be delicious.
The Tennessee Hot chicken was the big winner for me. For $7.50, the bang-for-the-buck factor of the two-piece Tennessee Hot rivals anything up and down Nicollet Avenue, both in terms of flavor and value. I found the exterior admirably crisp, despite the slather of hot sauce. My first impression was of a low, lovely, honey sweetness followed quickly by a deep and rolling spicy heat wave. The pickles garnishing the plate were appreciated foils to cut the heat down, as was the Texas toast.
I really loved the hush puppies ($4). So light, when all too often they’re heavy, dense, and greasy. My favorite side of all, however, was the simplest: the Carolina Gold rice ($4), tossed in butter and scallions. As simple as it gets, but deeply comforting, and such a nice clean balance to the more intense bites around the table. A testament to these guys’ appreciation for a fine ingredient, and their smarts to let it stand on its own.
I walked away feeling like everything was a steal. The sides are all reasonably priced and generously sized, and the two-piece chicken is plenty for one person. I’m excited to go back to tackle some of the massive sandwiches I saw being delivered to other diners.
PAGE: I should note that the kitchen was understaffed when I was there, according to one of the servers who explained the very long wait for fried chicken. Understaffing may have contributed to the seasoning issues, which, as I noted previously, ran throughout the meal.
SIEVE: We had arrived just before the lunch rush on opening day, and things came out quickly and impressively executed. I’m guessing you are correct in your assertion that their understaffed-ness led to less than perfect chicken.
HELD: I’ll split the difference there. We waited nearly 45 minutes for our food last Saturday at about 4 p.m., but the chicken was spot on. The restaurant was three-quarters full and we were offered no explanation. There seemed to be a lot of servers milling about, although ours didn’t drop by for a long time, likely because she couldn’t face my famished and pregnant wife with nothing to offer but water.
NORTON: Well, we’ve seen this before with numerous restaurants — a busy start followed by some service recalibration. I’m guessing they’ll bang this into shape in the near future.
Part of the plan for Revival seems to be complementing the haute-ier fare and atmosphere of Corner Table a la Alma and Brasa, or Saffron and World Street Kitchen. How do the two restaurants work in that respect?
SIEVE: In my mind, Revival is to Corner Table as Brasa is to Alma. And in that vein, I think Revival will succeed mightily: a menu that is laser-focused on a region / style, and doing it very well, for not much money.
Each Friday afternoon, this list will track five of the best things Heavy Table’s writers, editors, and photographers have recently bitten or sipped. Have a suggestion for the Hot Five? Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Miso-Braised Pork and Ginger-Garlic Slaw from Sassy Spoon
The newly opened Sassy Spoon’s signature dish is a wonderful balance of rich, soulful pork and bright, fresh cabbage and greens. It’s very satisfying and surprisingly light — no carbs, no problem.
[Debuting on the Hot Five | Contributed by Joshua Page]
Crispy Curried Cauliflower from Corner Table
The curry-dusted cauliflower is crisp on the outside and tender, with a bite, on the inside. It sits on a disk of beluga lentils, which contribute their earthy goodness. A ring of brick-red sauce made from Korean kochukaru pepper, golden raisins, garlic, and vinegar provides a bright, sweet, hot, and smoky contrast. The sauce is topped with pickled mustard seeds that pop in your mouth. Micro cilantro adds a final visual and textural element. Dare we mention that the dish is vegan?
[Debuting on the Hot Five | Contributed by Jane Rosemarin]
Fennel Sausage Link from Black Sheep Pizza on Nicollet Ave
Black Sheep Pizza’s new location boasts a gorgeous grill operated by a bold metal wheel that brings food closer to or further away from the heat that pours up from below. We tried and loved the fennel sausage link starter — disarmingly light in texture and bright in flavor, but fire-charred and satisfying, complemented by pickled veggies and a scrap of bread. [Debuting on the Hot Five | Contributed by James Norton]
Barbecued Goat Tacos from La Huasteca
The Barbacoa de Chivo tacos at La Huasteca consist of big scoops of roasted goat with cilantro, onions, and chili sauce served on doubled-up corn tortillas with lime wedges on the side. In terms of quantity, the two tacos made for a solid $4 lunch. In terms of taste, the goat has the presence and emotional warmth of a pot roast — tender, rich, deeply flavored. This robust and comforting foundation is the perfect pedestal for bright notes of flavor like the acidic tang of lime juice, the crunch of fresh onions, and the heat of salsa. When you eat these tacos, you become happy. [Last Week on the Hot Five: #4 | Reviewed by James Norton]
Coconut Soup and Panang Curry with Fried Tofu at Thai Cafe
Another cold week equals more comfort food cravings! This time we stopped at Thai Cafe in Little Mekong to delight our bodies and souls with a spicy coconut soup and a panang curry with fried tofu. We didn’t go wrong: the fresh-ground spices and herbs were right on. Delicious, affordable and perfect for a quick bite during a busy day.
[Debuting on the Hot Five | Contributed by Isabel Subtil]
To many Minnesotans there is no greater foodie attraction at the Minnesota State Fair than Minnesota Cooks Day. This year it was held on August 25th and was the 11th annual event, following the same great recipe as in years before — showcasing farm-fresh food grown and served right here in Minnesota.
The day is broken into six 45 minute cooking “shows”. For each show, chefs are paired with Minnesota farmers, using ingredients from these farms to create beautiful dishes for a tasting panel to enjoy. Not to leave out those who aren’t sitting on stage: samples are handed out for the audience to enjoy as well.
While the chefs cook, the tasting panel — made up of farmers and local celebrities — hold a lively discussion with hosts JD Fratzke (Executive Chef at The Strip Club Meat & Fish) and Mary Lahammer (Twin Cities Public Television). Topics range from local foods to social media’s role in farming.
If you missed the event, you can still get your Minnesota Cooks calendar, featuring recipes from the chefs — many of the dishes that were made at the Fair are included in the calendar. Calendars are free and are available at the Minnesota Farmers Union booth at the Minnesota State Fair or by requesting a calendar online.
Chef Ian Gray of The Gray House; The Gray House’s Gnocchi with Singing Hills Goat Dairy Goat Ragu and Ground Cherry & Corn Relish; pork belly waiting to be plated by Rainbow Cafe; Rainbow Cafe’s Heirloom Tomato, Arugula & Basil Slider with Crispy Pork Belly; Greenleaf Gardens‘s Brian Peterson and his daughter Jenna with Jennifer Richards and Jeremy Olson of Rainbow Cafe.
Dan Hunter (Grand Cafe), Doug Peterson (President, Minnesota Farmers Union), Senator Al Franken, and JD Fratzke (The Strip Club) celebrate with Dick Trotter (Trotter’s Cafe). Dick is the 2013 Jon Radle Award Winner, recognizing a true pioneer and loyal commitment to furthering awareness and education around local foods and sustainable agriculture.
Dick Trotter and Lisa Scribner of Trotter’s Cafe; Josh Hanson of Spanky’s Stone Hearth rolls Bunkowski Farm Lamb Meatballs; Moonlight Duo provided the afternoon entertainment between cooking segments; audience members at the Minnesota Cooks 2013 event.
Mocktail demo by Erik and James Eastman, featuring Easy & Oskey DIY Bitters; Easy & Oskey’s Apple & Pear Mocktail with Habanero Bitters; JD Fratzke hosted the afternoon segments of Minnesota Cooks 2013.