red-stag-dinner-about-325The Heavy Table IS a READER-SUPPORTED daily Twin Cities-based magazine AND NEWSLETTER passionately telling the stories of food and drink — from roots to table — in the Upper Midwest.

The Heavy Table is supported by its readers through the magic of Patreon.

The Heavy Table publishes via the following channels:

To our paying subscribers, by email newsletter every Friday. THE CHURN covers restaurants and food from a diner’s perspective, featuring reviews, profiles, and our Hot Five roundup of best bites. THE TAP takes an industry perspective, looking at openings, closings, upcoming restaurants, and business models. THE HEARTH focuses on home cooking, cookbooks, and recipes, and is underwritten by Eastside Food Co-op. And THE TULIP AND SCHOONER (published the same days as the Tap) covers beer, wine, and spirits in the Upper Midwest. You can look through past content from all of these channels in our Newsletter Index.

Our website is updated on a regular basis. Here you can find best-of material from our newsletters, original columns, and other stories on an ad hoc basis, all freely available to any readers.

We are active on social media. Our primary presences are Twitter (where we have 16K followers and have been active for more about a decade) and Instagram.

We are a founding member of the Twin Cities Media Group, an organization dedicated to signal boosting, cross-promoting, and building a more vibrant community of media outlets in Minneapolis-St. Paul.

We are committed to providing our readers with human voices and insight. You will not find AI-generated “content” on Heavy Table – neither images nor stories.


Editor and Publisher

James Norton | jrnorton@heavytable.com
James Norton is the co-author of a book about Wisconsin’s master cheesemakers. His latest book was published by the University of Minnesota Press and is called Lake Superior Flavors. Norton served for two years as food editor of the Growler magazine in St. Paul and has written about food for Culture: The Word on Cheese, The Takeout, Gastronomica, Popular Science, Saveur.com, Minnesota Monthly, and City Pages (as a weekly restaurant reviewer). You can hear him regularly on Minnesota Public Radio. He was one of two partners behind Chef Camp Minnesota. This essay is a pretty good exploration of why and how he does what he does.

Contributing Writers

Stacy Brooks
Stacy Brooks is a freelance writer and lifelong Minnesotan.  Her food and travel writing has been published in Atlas Obscura, Civil Eats, Insider, Midwest Living, the Star Tribune, and Minnesota Monthly, and she blogs at Tangled Up In Food.  She’s never met a carbohydrate she didn’t like, and she loves re-reading Agatha Christie novels.  Follow her work via Instagram @_tangledupinfood.

John Fladd
John Fladd is a father, writer, flâneur, and taco enthusiast. He is an award-winning newspaper columnist and the inventor of the World’s Best Breakfast Sandwich.

Loren Green
Loren Green is a lifelong Minnesota resident and Minneapolis-based freelance writer. His work has appeared in All About Beer, The New Brewer, Star Tribune, Paste, City Pages, and more. Besides beer, he also writes about music, culture, and related topics and servies as editor in chief at music webzine Scene Point Blank. He is currently burnt out on social media, but you can follow him on Twitter at @lorenmgreen or www.lorengreenwrites.com.

Jeanne Lakso
Jeanne Lakso grew up in Northern Minnesota hanging out in her mother’s pantry, which eventually led to a career in food marketing and a preoccupation with keeping her spices fresh. She has published articles and essays about contemporary art, Fair Trade farming in Peru, and traditional foods of the upper Midwest.  Lakso enjoys cooking, farmers markets here and around the world, walking her south Minneapolis neighborhood, and contemplating the deep connections that sharing meals can create.

Louis Livingston-Garcia
Louis Livingston-Garcia is a Wisconsin-based writer and photographer, sometimes guest brewer, and mass comm professional. He travels near (all across the nation) and far (all the way to New Zealand) with his wife to write about beer and the community it creates. His work has been featured in Growler Magazine, Playboy, October, Hop Culture Magazine, GamesRadar, OXM, Game Informer, and more. You can follow his beer writing via Twitter at @LouisGarcia12.

Eli Radtke
Eli Radtke was born and raised in Woodbury, and after a short 6-year vacation to Madison, now calls Minneapolis home. He is an occasional knitter, an occasional baker, and on a constant search for the perfect pizza crust and a religious breakfast sandwich experience. His work can be found in magazines around the Twin Cities, and in a smattering of garbage cans and library desks around Madison. Follow his work through his Instagram @eradtke57 and his wit through his twitter @Eli_ektdaR

Amy C. Rea | amyrea@heavytable.com
Amy C. Rea is the author of several guidebooks to Minnesota and has written for Growler Mag, Southwest Metro Mag, WCCO, and others. She lives to eat and is not ashamed of it. Words are her favorite things to play with.

Piercarlo Valdesolo
Piercarlo Valdesolo is a relentlessly self-improving psychology professor from Boston with a low-grade sourdough addiction and a penchant for offal. You can’t follow him on social media, since he has whittled his connections down to just one medium on which he merely lurks, but you are encouraged to follow him in real life – either spiritually as a guru of hyper niche food writing, or just physically around town. He believes that there really is nothing like trippa alla romana. It’s breath-taking. He suggests you try it.

Contributing Photographers

Becca Dilley | becca@heavytable.com
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.

Josh Feist
Josh began shooting professionally in 2011, documenting arts events from large trade show conferences to performances on stage. Since then he has photographed almost everything from wildlife to portraits, and of course, food! You can see some of his work at his website and follow him on Instagram.

Brenda Johnson | brenda@heavytable.com
Brenda Johnson’s style sprouts from the concept of using natural light for everything – food, portraits, architecture, interiors,  and so forth. It’s the best way to capture an image in its true form. Sometimes it works and sometimes she has to wait until the light changes. And sometimes she needs to bend the light a bit or break down completely and add a flash. To see what she’s up to these days, please visit her website at www.bjohnsonphotos.com.


Aaron Landry | aaron@heavytable.com
Aaron Landry co-founded the Heavy Table with James Norton in 2009 and was the site’s Producer for over five years. Born and raised outside of Stillwater, MN, he has called both Saint Paul and Minneapolis home. His personal site is aaronlandry.com.


This site and its newsletters are only possible because readers like support it with monthly subscriptions. We are extremely grateful to all of our subscribers, but we’re proud to recognize some of our most stalwart supporters here:

Adrian, Stuart Bloom, Laura Certain, M.C. Cronin, Jessica Edwards, Jessica Forbess, Jennifer Hanson and Matthew Thell, Suf Hayes, Jonathan Hovland, Greg Hoyt, Sarah McGee, Tobie Nidetz, Douglas Niemela, Genghis Philip, Rachel & Ratchet, Claire Rydeen, The Steinhaeuser Family, Terri Wentzka, Ian Whitney, and Miranda Wilson.

We’d also like to thank our founding backers: Dan Janzen, Dan Norton, Redhead Creamery, The Schnagels, and especially Colin McFadden, whose support and encouragement was the fulcrum that propelled this site back into existence.


“After a two-year hiatus, James Norton, the Growler’s food editor, revived Heavy Table (heavytable.com), his insightful and lively online magazine and newsletter.” – Rick Nelson and Sharyn Jackson, 12 things we hope to see from the food and drink scene in 2021, The Star Tribune

Heavy Table was the City Pages readers’ choice for Best Blog for five years running (2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014) before they retired the honor, 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. As per the Tangential (quoted in Vita.mn’s All Stars of the Twin Cities), the site is “Continuing to set the bar — or table, as the case may be — for independent food coverage.” And Kyle Nabilcy, writing in July 2015 for the blog Irony or Mayo, wrote: “As always, I feel the need to recommend the work of Heavy Table; a website maintaining the standards of print criticism is doing good work.

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, KSTP, and other outlets. Heavy Table was named one of 10 Minnesota food blogs worth a read in the Mix in July 2014.

San Francisco Chronicle restaurant critic Soleil Ho got her start on The Heavy Table and Heavy Table alums Joshua Page and Peter Sieve are the co-founders of Meal Magazine.

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), Minnesota Farmers Market Cookbook and Eat More Vegetables (Tricia Cornell), Lake Superior Flavors and  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.

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 Values

  • Appreciation of the seasonal, the local, and the truly creative
  • Whenever possible, platforming of voices from a variety of different social, ethnic, and other perspectives
  • Exploration of context
  • Accuracy
  • Truly original content, expanding coverage to places and people rarely or never before documented
  • Nimble use of technology to best convey good information to readers
  • Stories featuring real people


General Queries | editor@heavytable.com