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Minnesota Cooks is an educational outreach program of Minnesota Farmers Union that celebrates Minnesota's dedicated family farmers and the talented local foods-minded chefs and restaurant owners who work tirelessly to highlight delicious farm-fresh foods on their menus.

Through its one-day event at the Minnesota State Fair and its accompanying calendar, Minnesota Cooks strengthens the health and fabric of Minnesota's farms, restaurants, households and economy by connecting consumers with locally-produced foods.

2018 Minnesota Cooks Participants


This year we are thrilled to welcome back Mary Lahammer, program host and political reporter from Twin Cities Public Television, as our Minnesota Cooks morning emcee from 10am-1pm. Mary has won several Emmys and numerous other awards in several states for her anchoring, reporting, producing and photography. Minnesota Farmers Union has also worked with Mary to produce several Farm Fresh Road Trip episodes, one of which received an Emmy in 2014. She's passionate about Minnesota Cooks and farm-fresh food and has been with us for many years now!

In the afternoon we are excited to have Tracy Singleton, owner of Birchwood Cafe in the Seward neighborhood of Minneapolis, back for her second stint hosting Minnesota Cooks from 1pm-4pm  (though she is a longtime participant of Minnesota Cooks). Since opening Birchwood Cafe in 1995, Tracy has been a key part of the Seward neighborhood's thriving food community and an advocate for change in the way we think about where our food comes from. Nobody treasures our local farmers more than Tracy, and she's excited to be joining us again.

2018 Event Participants and Showtimes:



French Meadow Bakery & Cafe will prepare Quiche Lorraine wtih Potato Crust using eggs from Larry Schultz Organic Farms.


Truce Juice will prepare Pesto Zucchini Noodles using zucchini from May Lee of Big River Farms.



At Sara's Table Chester Creek Cafe will prepare Chorizo Biscuits and Gravy using pork from Yker Acres.


Young Joni will prepare Summer Vegetable and Herb Panzanella using produce from Untiedt's Vegetable Farm.



River Rock Kitchen & Bakery will prepare Ben's Organic Brown Bread using wheat from Ben Penner Farms.


Birchwood Cafe will prepare Heirloom Tomato and Sweet Corn BLT using produce from the Hmong American Famers Association.



A.T. The Black and White will prepare a Fall Harvest Salad with Pan Roasted Chicken using produce from Bakers' Acres.


Four Daughters Vineyard and Winery will prepare Pan Fried Trout with Lemon Beurre Blanc using trout from Driftless Fish.



Tillie's Farmhouse will prepare Hasselback Sweet Potato using apples from Countryside Orchard.


Breaking Bread Cafe & Catering will prepare Collard Wraps with Garden Pesto using produce from Urban Ag.



Jules' Bistro will prepare Jules' Dill Pickle Soup using dairy from Stony Creek Dairy.


Bar Brigade will prepare Hanger Steak with Swiss Chard using beef from Thousand Hills Cattle Company.




KSTP - Minnesotans Demanding Farm-to-Table Cuisine:

Each year we have a number of media outlets stop by Carousel Park to see what the Minnesota Cooks chefs and farmers are cooking up. KSTP stopped by again this year and enjoyed a foodie conversation with TJ Rawitzer, Executive Chef of Tiny Diner and the other Kim Bartmann's restaurants. 


WCCO - Local Farmers and Restaurants to Take MN Cooks Stage:

We enjoyed having WCCO's Jason DeRusha as one of this year's panelists, talking about how he values local, farm-fresh foods. 


KSTP - Local Farmers & Chefs at the Fair:

We're delighted that several media outlets stopped by Carousel Park the day of our event and gave Minnesota Cooks' participants some well-deserved attention. Check out what Naomi from KSTP had to say in her short video:


Farm Fresh Road Trip:

tpt Channel 2 went on a Farm Fresh Road Trip recently to visit two of this year's Minnesota Cooks participants: Lake Avenue Restaurant and Bar in Duluth and Victus Farm in Silver Bay.

The Duluth Tribune came out to see what all the fuss was about and wrote a nice piece about their relationship. Check out what the Duluth Tribune had to say here about the possibilities for local lettuce in December:



Minnesota Cooks™ Partners with tpt Channel 2 Almanac

Minnesota Cooks™ is pleased to announce partnership with tpt Almanac show on Channel 2. To see the finished shows, celebrating Minnesota chefs, Minnesota farmers, and Minnesota locally grown foods, check out the Almanac archive.. Read More...

Sunday, August 26: Minnesota Cooks 2018 is coming up fast!


On Sunday, August 26th, for the sixteenth year in a row, we'll be taking over Dan Patch Park at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds to celebrate talented and respected farmers and cooks from around the state and taste the delicious creations resulting from all of their hard work.


We hope you join us at this festive celebration of good, local food!


We'll be debuting the free 2019 Minnesota Cooks calendars at the event, and wow - we couldn't be more excited to share it with you. The photography is stunning, and the recipes are out of this world. We put so much heart and soul into this publication; we can't wait to get it into your hands so you can get to know some of the people around our state who make our food scene enviable nationwide.


The calendar will also be available for the duration of the fair at the newly remodeled Minnesota Farmers Union booth on Dan Patch Avenue.


Please stop by and say hi. We always appreciate your friendly faces and unwavering support of local foods!

In case you're new to our site, Minnesota Cooks is all about celebrating respected Minnesota farmers and premier Minnesota chefs and cooks who serve locally-produced foods from these farmers in their restaurants. During our one-day annual event, the chefs and cooks entertain audiences with their cooking demonstrations while the farmers and other local food heavyweights weigh-in on Minnesota's vibrant food scene. For 15 years now it's been the ultimate summer celebration of our state's bounty and the people who bring good food alive here. This year will be no different.

We hope you post your Minnesota Cooks calendar somewhere where others can see it, and if a friend comments on it go ahead and request another one from this site for that person. Also don't forget about the "local foods passport" located inside your Minnesota Cooks calendar. It's a helpful resource and guide to many of our state's farm-to-table establishments. Remember, when you eat at a Minnesota Cooks restaurant, you're not only supporting that restaurant, you're also supporting the Minnesota farmers who grow the food. It's a win-win for everybody!


2018 Calendars
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