lake-superior-flavors-325-heightLake Superior Flavors: A Field Guide to Food and Drink Along the Circle Tour (University of Minnesota Press, 2014)

From the founders of the popular food website Heavy Table comes Lake Superior Flavors, a celebration of food culture around the shores of the greatest of the Great Lakes. Author James Norton and photographer Becca Dilley take readers on a culinary tour around Lake Superior, hitting high-traffic tourist spots and cultural institutions as well as off-the-beaten-path discoveries.

“With his Studs Terkel-like eye for a good tale, Norton portrays these characters in memorable detail, while Dilley’s photos render them in living color.” — Beth Dooley in the Minneapolis Star Tribune

“Portraits of the farmers and fishermen, berry foragers and fish smokers, pasty bakers, cheesemakers and brewers, are nicely seasoned with a mix of passion and lack of pretension.” — Judy Hevrdejs in the Chicago Tribune

Read Tricia Cornell’s interview with the authors here on the Heavy Table.

Read the Duluth News Tribune review and interview with the authors on the newspaper’s website.


Norton and Dilley were interviewed in the pages of the Heavy Table; Norton was interviewed and the book profiled over on MinnPost; Norton and Dilley were also featured on KARE 11. Norton was interviewed about the book on Minnesota Public Radio (and Dilley’s photos were featured online) and on The Current. And the book was reviewed favorably in the Star Tribune.

Becca Dilley / Lake Superior Flavors
Becca Dilley / Lake Superior Flavors

Lake Superior is a big lake, as Jim and Becca acknowledge on page one of their book, and the food and culture that it creates, inspires, and nurtures represent some of the best in our country. In this book, the daring duo perfectly captures the essence of who we are in the Upper Midwest, and their prescriptive approach for the traveler is both an alluring siren’s song and one of the best guides of its type. A Baedeker with soul for a new generation.  — Andrew Zimmern

Other book projects written, photographed, or edited by Heavy Table contributors


Minnesota Farmers Market Cookbook (Voyageur Press, 2014)

The Minnesota Farmers Market Cookbook is organized alphabetically by vegetables, fruits, and other foods sold at markets across the state. Each entry includes tips for choosing, storing, preserving, and preparing fresh, ripe, top-quality produce—including heirloom and other exotic varieties. Author and local food writer Tricia Cornell provides time-tested kitchen shortcuts, tips on choosing each food in season, and plenty of advice on how to turn the fresh bounty of the farmers market into easy, delicious meals. The centerpiece of the cookbook is a collection of 80 recipes contributed by local chefs and farmers. For those who want to become more familiar with Minnesota markets, there are also hand-drawn maps of market locations in the state and the metro area, a short history of Minnesota markets, and plenty of mouth-watering photographs of the produce and the prepared dishes. The Minnesota Farmers Market Cookbook not only lets you enjoy Minnesota’s unique, renowned farmers market culture, but helps you make the most of it in your home kitchen.

secret-atlas-cover-for-web-325-tallThe Secret Atlas of North Coast Food(Heavy Table, 2013)

Minnesota Monthly writes: The Secret Atlas of North Coast Food is an “…entertaining push-pull between celebrating the high-end things on our plates with the homier side of a region’s appetite…. Like the scene itself, it’s a searching work-in-progress, appealing both for its scope and undertow of affectionate skepticism.”

The authors and illustrators of The Secret Atlas of North Coast Food walked and drove the alleys and back roads of Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Iowa, following in the footsteps of Bob Dylan and Liberace, meeting master cheesemakers, dining in the Boundary Waters, interrogating ice cream truck drivers, delving deep into the bowels of the busiest brunch service in Minnesota, and more. Maps and illustrations complement journalistic essays that will take you deep into the history, culture, and gastronomy of one of America’s best – and least understood – places to eat.


The Secret Atlas was written, edited, and illustrated by a team including Andy Sturdevant (MinnPost, Potluck Supper with Meeting to Follow), John Kovalic (Dork Tower), Adam Turman, and James Norton (The Master Cheesemakers of Wisconsin). The book is available at Kitchen Window,  Ingebretsen’s, Magers and Quinn, and Moon Palace Books in Minneapolis, Common Good Books, Golden Fig, and Bibelot in St. Paul, Apostle Islands Booksellers in Bayfield, WI, and The Kitchen Gallery in Madison, WI.

Order The Secret Atlas of North Coast Food right here.


The Secret Atlas was featured on The Current with Steve Seel and on the City Pages Hot Dish blog where editor James Norton was also interviewed at length. The Isthmus has a great synopsis of the project and coverage of our Madison launch party. You can also listen to Norton talk to MPR‘s Tom Crann about Midwestern roadtrip food. We were featured in the Pioneer Press‘s holiday food gift guide. Minnesota Monthly gave us a great writeup, too.

You can view a sample from the book here: “East Lake Street” written by Susan Pagani and illustrated by Andy DuCett.


Kitchen Window, Nov. 15 – 6-9pm: Behind the Pages of The Secret Atlas of North Coast Food
($65; includes food and wine samples, in-depth presentations on wine, cheese, and the food of “Little Mekong” in St. Paul plus a signed copy of the book)

Kitchen Window, Nov. 16 – 6-9pm: Food Festival with The Secret Atlas of North Coast Food
($35; includes food samples from more than 15 local purveyors and a copy of the book; free admission for our Kickstarter backers at $22 and above)

Common Good Books, Nov. 21 – 7pm: Reading and signing
(free, includes signing and samples from two or three local purveyors)

Ingebretsen’s: Reading and signing, Nov. 23, 1-4pm: Signing and sampling
(free; includes signing and samples from Ingebretsen’s and one or two notable East Lake restaurants)

The Kitchen Gallery, Dec. 12, 5-7pm: Mini Food Festival with The Secret Atlas of North Coast Food
(free; includes samples from local purveyors)

Bibelot at 1082 Grand Ave., Dec. 14, 2-4pm: Signing


Press release [PDF] | cover (1500px-wide .jpg for Web) | map-illustration of Iowa by Sean Weitner (1200px-wide .jpg for Web) | crop from cheesemaker illustration by WACSO (1200px-wide .jpg for Web) | excerpt from chapter by Susan Pagani [PDF]


Apostle Islands Booksellers
Dale Yasunaga
Dan and Lisa
Katherine Nagel and David Schoppik
Deb Diepholz
Diana McKeown
Jim Shultis
Jonathan Kaplan
Joseph & John
Kevin Diepholz
Lorenzo Lucid
Marcus McCrory & Heather Wilkie
Mark B. Abbott
Mary Safar
Rick and Ann Garland
Steinhaeuser Family
Susan Lacek

Anne George
Becca Dilley
Colin McFadden
David Duckler
Eric Schneider
Evan Pedersen
Fiona Carter
Frances Wilkinson
Izzy L Daye
Jessica Forbess
John Hines WCCO Radio
Julianna Simon
Julie Ingebretsen
Julie Pearson
Kelly Browne
Kelly Ingstad
Kevin Platte II
Kevin Winge
Marjorie Kelly
Michael Gordon
Mikael McLaren
Nathan Matter
Patricia  Schnobrich
Sam Carlsen
Scott Kuhlman
Stephanie Kuenn
Thomas Ruhland
Tim Gihring and Lucy Lyon
Tim Ikeman
Varsha Seetharam
Vellee Deli

Aaron Day
Aaron Zierdt
Alyson Newquist
Alyssa Vance
Ashley Shelby
Bill Hibbard
Blake Nicholson
Charles and Nancy Rader
Charles and Rebecca Lyon
Chris and Kerry Lehr
Christian Krautkramer & Allison Grady
Claudia Holt
Deanna Kossett
Deborah Zanish
Donna and Tom Danielson
Douglas McPeek
Emily Schnobrich
Eric Halverson and Jessie Siiter
Eric Wittmershaus
Gabrielle Zuckerman
George Robbins
Ingrid Lind-Jahn
Jennifer Moe
Jill Lewis
Kara Merrill
Karen Dilley and Dick Thomas
Karen Nelson
Kelly McManus and Mike Olson
Lauren Ross
Lindsay Pohlad
Lisa Dircks
Maja Ingeman
Marcus Trapp
Margot M. Barry
Matt Dooley and Kaylee Spencer
Mike Lougee
Mom and Dad
Patricia Zurlo
Paul Kellett
Rebekah Tempest
Robert Ackerman
Ruth Baker
Sharyn Morrow
Susannah Brooks
Sweet Science Ice Cream
Teresa Mogensen
Tricia Cornell and Bruce Manning

Andy DuCett / Heavy Table
Andy DuCett / Heavy Table

Eat More Vegetables (Minnesota Historical Society Press, 2012)

Tricia Cornell presents 35 recipes arranged seasonally to correspond with our northern plenty, from a refreshing cold beet soup in the heat of summer to a healthy and comforting butternut squash chili for cold winter nights; from zucchini fritters any kid will love to an adults-only melon-vodka slushie.


Food Lovers’ Guide to the Twin Cities (Globe Pequot, 2012)

James Norton’s guide to the restaurants, bars, cafes, markets and other food destinations in Minneapolis, St. Paul and other nearby communities. The hundreds of capsule reviews in this book guide the reader through a food scene on the rise.


Knife Skills (unpublished)

Long-form serial fiction set in the kitchens of New Amsterdam, a (slightly) alternative universe New York City, featuring the exploits of the unstable, ungovernable, unquestionably talented Chef Robert T. Robertson. Written by James Norton.


The Master Cheesemakers of Wisconsin (University of Wisconsin Press, 2009)

Profiles of more than 40 certified Wisconsin master cheesemakers reveal the Wisconsin cheese industry including its artisan, small-batch makers and its big output, big industry producers. James Norton wrote the words; Becca Dilley took the photos.


Minnesota Lunch: From Pasties to Banh Mi (Minnesota Historical Society Press, 2011)

The story of Minnesota history and culture is told through a series of deep dives into traditional lunch foods, including pasties, sambusas, hot dago sandwiches, Jucy Lucy hamburgers, and more. Edited by James Norton with contributions from Jill Lewis, Susan Pagani, and Lori Writer, with photos by Katie Cannon and Becca Dilley.

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