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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.

This year's local-foods celebration took place on Sunday, August 24 at the Minnesota State Fair and was a great success. We distributed over 4000 2015 Minnesota Cooks calendars throughout the duration of the fair and continue to fulfill the requests coming in to the website daily. 

Congrats to our 2014 event participants and 2015 calendar participants! Here they are in order of their appearance on the Minnesota Cooks stage in Carousel Park:


  • Eric & Lisa Klein, Hidden Stream Farm paired with Robert Ulrich, Mendoberri
  • Michael Schumacher & Marina Lovell, Farmucopia paired with Reed Olson, Wild Hare Bistro


  • Jim & LeeAnn VanDerPol, Pastures A Plenty paired with TJ Rawitzer, Tiny Diner
  • John Peterson & Jane Peterson, Ferndale Market paired with Rashmi Battachan & Sarala Kattel, Gorkha Palace


  • Jim Riddle & Joyce Ford, Blue Fruit Farm paired with Tracy Singleton & Marshall Paulsen, Birchwood Cafe
  • Stephen & Megan Henry, Sundogs Prairie Farm paired with Matthew Jensen, Broadway Bistro


  • Dean Engelmann, Tangletown Gardens' Farm paired with Beth Fischer, Wise Acre Eatery
  • Stephen Trojahn & Catherine Eckert, Gastrotruck paired with Ian Silver-Ramp, Mississippi Mushrooms


  • Laura Dimler, Pampered Pumpkin paired with Craig Sharp & Tracy LeTourneau, Terra Waconia
  • Jason & Lucie Amundsen, Locally Laid Egg Company paired with Joe Lindgren & Danie Jimenez, Positively 3rd Street Bakery


  • John Bowron, Prairie Heights Bison paired with Skyler Hoiland, The Bluestem
  • Mike Randt, Kadejan, Inc. paired with Mike Rakun & Jourdan Morris, Mill Valley Kitchen



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...

Time to start planning for 2015


It's hard to believe that our 12th annual Minnesota Cooks event at the Minnesota State Fair has already come and gone. We spend an entire year planning that event, and then it's over before we know it! 

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 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.

Minnesota Cooks is a great opportunity to meet your farmers, meet your chefs, and sample mouth-watering, farm-fresh fare! 

And now that this year's event is behind us, we have a couple priorities: we're busy distributing Minnesota Cooks calendars all around the state (and the nation, actually!) to make it easier for people to find farm-fresh foods, and we're already looking forward to next year's program and discussing who we want to feature. 

Do you have a favorite farmer that sells his or her product to restaurants? Do you have a favorite restaurant working with farmers consistently that isn't featured in our Minnesota Cooks passport yet? Let us know! While we won't make any promises, we will certainly consider your suggestions. 

To see some photos from last year's event, please visit our up-and-coming Facebook page: MinnesotaCooks

P.S. 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!


Request a Calendar

Click here to request your FREE Minnesota Cooks calendar!

While Supplies Last!

We have been amazed at the number of requests we've received for the Minnesota Cooks calendar. Thank you for your support of local foods!