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.
Once again we hosted the largest local foods celebration at the Minnesota State Fair. Below is a list of our 2017 event and 2018 calendar participants.
We were thrilled to have Mary Lahammer, program host and political reporter from Twin Cities Public Television, back 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.
In the afternoon we welcomed Tracy Singleton, owner of Birchwood Cafe in the Seward neighborhood of Minneapolis, to her first 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.
2017 Event Participants and Showtimes:
The Buttered Tin and Hope Creamery: Alicia Hinze prepared 'Possibly The World's Best Cinnamon Rolls' using butter from Hope Creamery
Lowry Hill Meats and Pork & Plants: Erik Sather prepared 'Farmers Sausage with Summer Vegetables' using Red Wattle pork from Pork & Plants
Honey & Rye Bakehouse and York Farm: Anne Andrus prepared 'Cherry Madeleines with Cherry Glaze' using cherries from York Farm
Farm to Fork and rebelSoil: Heather Meyer prepared 'Roasted Eggplant Roulades with Goat Cheese, Greens, and Heirloom Tomato Sauce' using produce from rebelSoil
Cup N' Saucer and Elm Creek Veggies: Seth Lintelman prepared 'Oven Roasted Maschoff Farms Asparagus with Villa Rustica Olive Oil, Sauce Gribiche, Garlic Scape Pesto, Welcome Meats Bacon Powder, N' Cherry Lane Farms Micro Lemon Balm' using asparagus from Elm Creek Veggies
Forager Brewery and Capra Nera Creamery: David Bredesen prepared 'Minnesota Street Corn' using goat cheese from Capra Nera Creamery
Terra Truck and The Horticultural Research Center: Craig Sharp prepared 'Fall Greens Salad with Curry Roasted Squash, Blue Cheese, Walnuts, and Apples with an Apple Cider Vinaigrette' using squash from The Horticultural Research Center
Main Street Farmer Eatery and Petit Pastures: Aaron Hagerdorn prepared 'Sloppy Joes @ Saint and Main' using beef from Petit Pastures
OMC and Beeworks: Louis Hanson prepared 'Cilantro Chipotle BBQ Sauce' using honey from Beeworks
Heirloom Kitchen and Riverbend Farm: Wyatt Evans prepared 'Garden Gazpacho' using produce from Riverbend Farm
6Smith and Untiedt's Vegetable Farm: Angel Luna prepared 'Spicy Lemongrass Aged Sirloin and Bibimbap with Untiedt's Pickled and Fresh Vegetables and Spicy Garlic Aioli' using produce from Untiedt's Vegetable Farm
Sassy Spoon and Abraham's Table Farm: Tamara Brown prepared 'Beef Bolognese over Spaghetti Squash' using squash from Abraham's Table Farm
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™ 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...
Our big local foods celebration at the fair - Minnesota Cooks - came together beautifully last year. We couldn't have asked for a more pleasant day at the fair, which made sitting in Dan Patch Park and taking in the six cooking demos and dialogues a delight for everyone who attended. We also couldn't have asked for a more inspirational set of participants. It was truly a pleasure working with all of the 12 farmers and 12 chefs/cooks/restaurants we highlighted. Our 15th anniversary of Minnesota Cooks was memorable and impactful.
We've been busy distributing the 2018 Minnesota Cooks calendars around the state. In fact, we're almost out! You can still try to request one of our beautiful calendars by filling in the form below, but they will be gone soon. The calendars contain recipes submitted by the restaurants, and you can also read a couple paragraphs about each participant to learn more about the great work they're doing to provide quality food for you.
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!