Staff Directory 10644731

Lee Svitak Dean

Taste editor | Food
Phone: 612-673-1749
Location: Minneapolis
Other languages: None

Lee Svitak Dean is food editor at the Star Tribune. She has written about food since 1982 and was formerly a copy editor. As an editor who also writes for the Taste food section, she handles content related to home cooking, restaurants, wine, beer and spirits, nutrition and food trends.


"Svitak Dean grew up in Minneapolis and has a master's degree in journalism from the University of Minnesota. She is the author of two cookbooks, "The Great Minnesota Cookie Book" (with Rick Nelson, 2018) and "Come One, Come All: Easy Entertaining With Seasonal Menus"" (2010).
Recent content from Lee Svitak Dean
Hotlines will help you get a tasty turkey on a platter.

Hotlines at the ready for Thanksgiving questions

There are no silly questions when it comes to cooking the biggest meal of the year. Just ask these experts.

All hail the new green bean casserole

The classic dish gets an update for the modern cook.
Chocolate Toffee Cookies, Cranberry Cornmeal Shortbread Cookies (winner), German Sour Cream Twists, Limoncello Kisses and Mocha Cappuccino Cookies fro

Go behind the scenes at Taste's Holiday Cookie Contest

Readers asked for a print edition of all the recipes that have won recognition in the Star Tribune Holiday Cookie Contest. Now the cookbook is here.
René Redzepi, chef and co-founder of Noma in Copenhagen, will appear at the American Swedish Institute in Minneapolis on Oct. 19.

Noma's Nordic cuisine pioneer (and microbe lover) headed to Twin Cities

Rene Redzepi, whose restaurant frequently has been rated the world's best, brings the chemistry lab into the cook's favorite room.
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Celebrate the close of summer with a Labor Day picnic

The shoulder season of picnics and dining al fresco is upon us as we shift back into autumn — and indoor — rituals.
Johnna and Max Holmgren pose for a photo in their living room.

Minnesota Instagram star's cookbook recalled for possible toxic ingredients

Concern from fellow foragers and health experts prompted the recall of "Tales from a Forager's Kitchen."
Deviled eggs are a longtime party favorite.

Want a crowd-pleaser at a picnic? Make everyone's favorite, deviled eggs

There's a good reason this classic dish has been a favorite for more than a century. It's good.
Bacon-Grilled Onion Rings from "Project Fire."

Ready, set, grill: 7 recipes to perk up summer dining

With 99 days between Memorial Day and Labor Day, there's time to explore the universe of cooking outside.
Morels and chicken of the woods.

Morels and more: Tips on hunting for Minnesota's 'untamed' mushrooms

A new book on regional "Untamed Mushrooms" focuses on 13 edible ones that are easy to identify.
Beth Dooley and Sean Sherman celebrated their James Beard Award for their book “The Sioux Chef’s Indigenous Kitchen.” (University of Minnesota P

Minnesota's 'Sioux Chef' named one of best cookbooks at James Beard awards

The award season is upon us, a glorious time for both cooks and those who read cookbooks like novels. This year, two local books are honored.
“This is a humble, humble craft,” said Carrie McCabe-Johnston, co-owner/chef at Nightingale in Minneapolis. “We’re not reinventing the wheel h

Minnesota's female chefs cook up opportunity: 'All of us have the potential for great things'

An international crowd converges this month in the Twin Cities to lead the way.
Artist Ann Ribbens and chef Beth Fisher of French Meadow Bakery transformed Fisher’s signature dish into “The Color Palate Salad."

100 women in 'Kitchen': Twin Cities textile artists, culinary pros team up to create art

A new exhibit at the Textile Center in Minneapolis highlights an innovative collaboration between female artists and women in the culinary field.
A rooster-shaped ale bowl.

American Swedish Institute in Minneapolis celebrates beauty of '101 Bowls'

Everyone has to eat, and it's often from the humblest of objects. Artists have celebrated the form for centuries.
Wayne Kostroski staged the 27th Taste of the NFL on Saturday.

Chefs gather at NFL's 'Party with a Purpose'

The hunger relief fundraiser in St. Paul drew luminaries as varied as former Viking Ben Leber and Cara Mund, 2018 Miss America.
Whipped Feta Dip

Get your party dip ready for the big game

The big game may be the draw, but you need some big spreads to feed the revelers.
Books for Cooks, Holiday cookbooks for the giving season.

A wish list for cooks: Books that broaden your kitchen

If you find delight in the kitchen, a new volume can inspire hours of pleasure. Check out these new cookbooks.
David Tanis

Former Chez Panisse chef praises good ingredients in new home-cooking guide

A new cookbook urges the use of the market for inspiration for the dinner table.
Christopher Kimball in the Milk Street kitchen in Boston.

Christopher Kimball dishes on ethnic food and the work ethic

Christopher Kimball brings food to life on stage Wednesday in a performance at the Cowles Center. But be prepared: The audience participates.
Christopher Lower

Twin Cities cookbook author has tips for foods low in sodium, high in taste

Need help cooking your low-sodium diet? A new book simplifies the effort.
Weiss Bier Cocktail With Charred Orange and Bourbon, above, is a toast to the season. Grill the oranges for a nuanced grilled flavor, top.

A toast to outdoor cooking: a grilled cocktail

Toast the end of summer with a beverage made with charred oranges, along with bourbon and beer.
Tuna Pepper Steak With Smashed Green Onion Butter.

Grilling? Reach for the tuna steak

This meal can be as fast to prepare as you want.
The senior lifetime pass must be purchased by Aug. 27.

Rush on $10 senior lifetime pass to national parks causes shortage in Twin Cities

More are on order; mail-in applications are an option.
One reason to buy a lifetime pass: Saguaro National Park.

No time to delay for $10 senior lifetime pass for national parks

The saguaro stood like sentries as far as I could see, pointing their arms in all directions. Dumbstruck by their beauty, I paused long enough…
Make your own flavored butters, such as these from Rustica Bakery: From top (on bread) and clockwise: Raspberry With Pickled Rhubarb, Chocolate (see r

Dress up mealtime with DIY flavored butters

Flavored butters add plenty of zip to just about anything, including a slice of bread.
Cumin-Crusted Chicken Thighs With Grilled Salsa.

Enliven grilled chicken thighs with toasted cumin and grilled salsa

Half the fun of any kind of cooking is experimenting with something new, and that's as true at the grill as in the kitchen.
Patagonia Hot Dogs With Avocado Mayo.

Avocado mayo serves up perfect topper for hot dog

It's worth remembering, as we expand our grilling repertoire, that sometimes it's the embellishments that differentiate the good from the great.
Best of the best: Cookbook winners for 2017

Best of the best: Cookbook winners for 2017

Grab a volume (or two or three) from these lists and head to the kitchen.
Stine Aasland, the Waffle Queen.

Norway's Waffle Queen cooks up Nordic empire in Minneapolis

By Stine Aasland's calculations, she has prepared more than 1 million waffles by her hands alone since she started producing them in Norway. And, yes, she still craves them.
The key to success is to whisk the eggs thoroughly in a separate bowl first, then cook them slowly over low heat. TOM WALLACE • tom.wallace@startrib

How to make the perfect scrambled egg

"Scrambled eggs have been made, and massacred, for as long as people knew about pots and pans, no doubt." – M.F.K. Fisher
Platter being presented to Bocuse D'Or judges.

Mpls. chef helps guide U.S. team to first gold in culinary World Cup

For the first time in its 30-year-history, the Bocuse d'Or chef competition was won by an American team.
Mexican Layered Dip with Baked Tortilla Chips

From Swedish pancakes to Irish rarebit, the 13 most popular recipes of 2016

Star Tribune readers loved these easy-to-make, flavorful dishes.
Step 1. Leave the turkey alone.

How to carve a turkey, in five easy steps

For cooks, the pressure of Thanksgiving isn’t only about preparing the big bird; it’s also about turning unwieldy chunks of meat into portions your guests…
Broccoli With Pimiento Cheese Sauce From “The Southern Vegetable Book,” by Rebecca Lang.

Side dishes offer twist on Thanksgiving tradition

There are those who focus their attention on the turkey, which is understandable given its size. But the Thanksgiving side dishes are what spark a twist on tradition.
Making gravy is simple — start with a roux and add turkey stock.

Gravy 101: The secret is to practice

If you're serving up a turkey at the Thanksgiving dinner, you'll want a side of gravy on the table — or at least your guests…
Today Marcus Samuelsson has 11 restaurants, seven cookbooks and enough TV appearances to make him a familiar face to those not even born when he first

Let's make celebrity chef Marcus Samuelsson an honorary Minnesotan

Marcus Samuelsson, who paved the way for modern restaurant food here, is headed back to town.
At home with her cookbooks, Beatrice Ojakangas of Duluth tracks trends and finds inspiration from recipes that span world flavors.

Duluth cookbook queen Beatrice Ojakangas whips up 'Homemade' memoir

In a new memoir, Duluth cookbook author Beatrice Ojakangas tells how recipes – and the skills behind them – led to her career in food.
An artistic entrance graces the new Cooks of Crocus Hill shop in the North Loop.

St. Paul's Cooks of Crocus Hill makes Mpls. debut in North Loop

This is the sixth location of Cooks of Crocus Hill, which started in St. Paul.
Phua, left, and Blia Thao harvested rhubarb on their farm in Spring Valley, Wis. They provide produce for a food hub that was founded by the Pohlad Fa

Beyond farmers markets: Falcon Heights food hub helps growers sell produce

Farmers who need help selling their fruits and vegetables have found an ally at the Good Acre, a food hub focused on low-income and immigrant farmers.
Magnus Nilsson, the soft-spoken Viking with the hipster look and dry sense of humor, wears the crown of Scandinavian restaurant royalty well.

Swedish chef Magnus Nilsson breezes into Minneapolis like a rock star

Magnus Nilsson, the Swedish chef with an international following, visits next week to introduce his photography exhibit and celebrate all things Nordic.
Magnus Nilsson's aunt and mother were photographed while making flatbread for a documentary on the Swedish chef.

Chef Magnus Nilsson conjures a taste of Nordic home cooking

The renowned Swedish chef has a fascination with what's prepared in the family kitchen.
After a break, Daniel Klein and Mirra Fine, with 15-month-old son James, are starting to travel again for their online film series, “The Perennial P

There's something new on Minneapolis couple's 'Perennial Plate'

It's been quiet on "The Perennial Plate" front for the past year. The online film series about food production has been on hiatus, and longtime fans have noticed.
Lenny Russo visits Star Thrower Farm in Rich Valley, Minn.

Heartland chef and local food pioneer Lenny Russo celebrates Midwest in new book

James Beard "Best Chef Midwest" finalist offers a taste of his St. Paul restaurant in "Heartland."
Use red onion skins to give eggs a red or pink hue.

Make your own egg dyes with fruits and vegetables

If you've got red cabbage or yellow onions in your crisper, you're ready to dye eggs the natural way.
Betti Wiggins

Minn. schools need to grow their own gardens, this lunch lady says

What better way for schoolchildren to get in touch with their food than to have them learn how to grow it?
Laura Ingalls Wilder

Review: 'The Selected Letters of Laura Ingalls Wilder,' edited by William Anderson

NONFICTION: Beloved Midwestern author's correspondence tells how her "Little House" book series came together.
Food from the Far North

Food from the Far North

Nordic cuisine takes center stage in these books for the home cook who wants to expand a repertoire.
Michael Pollan spoke at Beth El Synagogue in St. Louis Park in 2013.

Michael Pollan's 'Cooked' book becomes four-part Netflix documentary

The author of the bestselling book "Cooked" turns to film to share his love of home cooking.
Perk up your next brunch party with a DIY bloody mary bar

Perk up your next brunch party with a DIY bloody mary bar

Whether you're preparing a do-it-yourself bloody mary bar for a brunch gathering or a Super Bowl party, the fun is in the extras.
Audrey Hepburn, shown in the 1961 film "Breakfast at Tiffany's," was a Hollywood icon.

Food writing and Audrey Hepburn are focus of two new books

If you are a budding food writer, or know one, "Will Write for Food" is a good volume to have on hand. And who could pass up a book on what Audrey Hepburn's kitchen was like?
It was the smoked trout that put Joe Rolle’s version of corn soup over the top.

Il Foro chef takes Master of the Market title for corn soup

Joe Rolle of Il Foro topped the Minneapolis Farmers Market competition with a veggie-laden corn soup.
Raspberry and Lime Ice Pop.

It's summertime, and that's ice pop time

Get out the wooden sticks and freezer molds. We'll mix flavors for a tempting treat.
Star Tribune restaurant critic Rick Nelson.

Rick Nelson dishes on life as a restaurant critic

Can a restaurant reviewer really be anonymous? How often does he eat at restaurants, and who pays? We grill Rick Nelson about his work.
The two cookbooks of the year ⊲

Two cookbook awards present lists of best volumes of 2014

Need more cookbooks on your shelf? These award-winning options are worth a look.
Sarah Master

Barbette chef heads to the North Woods

Sarah Master of "The Taste" and Barbette renown will relocate to tiny Pengilly, Minn.
Sarah Master

Chef Sarah Master heads to the North Woods

It will be a homecoming of sorts for Sarah Master in Pengilly, Minn., when she turns in her Barbette chef's jacket for one that says Mr. Roberts Resort, as she will at the end of the month.
eggs, from istock

Egg dishes take center stage at brunch

The real star of the Easter brunch table — and it's almost always brunch, not the evening meal that suits us this time of year — is the simple egg.
Easter eggs take on nature’s palette when spices and produce are used for the coloring agents.

Color your Easter eggs the old-fashioned way

Color your eggs with homemade dyes made of bits of fruit, vegetables and spices.
Chef Gavin Kaysen, chef/owner of the new Spoon and Stable in Minneapolis, will head Team USA in the Bocuse d’Or competition in France.

Spoon and Stable chef to lead Team USA in cooking contest

Two years of meticulous effort will be put to the test soon as the U.S. culinary team goes spatula to spatula with the rest of the world in the Bocuse d'Or, the international cooking contest for chefs. Head coach of the U.S. team is none other than Minneapolis chef Gavin Kaysen.
Mrs. Wheelbarrow’s Practical Pantry/ Recipes and Techniques for Year-Round Preserving,

More new cookbooks to add to your collection

Can we ever have enough cookbooks? There's always a new one awaiting you.
"Twelve Recipes," by Cal Peternell

'Twelve Recipes' is one of the best books of the year

Whether a beginner cook or an experienced pro, this volume offers recipes and techniques to please.
Carrot ribbons with pomegranate dressing, from "The Big Book of Sides" cookbook, by Rick Rodgers.

Side dishes rock the Thanksgiving menu

What are your guests talking about during the harvest meal? You might be surprised.
A Minnesota-born heiress says her grape salad is always part of the holiday buffet in her family, and it couldn’t be simpler to prepare.

Minnesota Thanksgiving dish selection lets loose grapes of wrath

It seemed an innocent enough premise: The New York Times Food section Wednesday featured a state-by-state guide to traditional Thanksgiving dishes. But snuggled between Michigan’s…
Mrs. Abraham Degani, left, and Mrs. Benjamin Lowenberg make falafel, a vegetable croquette in 1971.

Taste celebrates 45 years in the kitchen

What's for dinner? For 45 years, the Taste section has tried to answer that question. In fact, as a food section we have cooked our way through history — our history, as Minnesotans and Americans — as only those in search of the next meal can. Here's a taste of our journey so far.
Taste section celebrates 45 years

Taste section celebrates 45 years

Sing "Happy Birthday." We are! After 45 years in print featuring the fashionable meals of the moment, our food section is still going strong.
Top: Deborah Webster, left, joined her daughter Sophie Bollin at the Kids’ State Dinner in Washington, D.C. Bollin’s recipe won the Healthy Luncht

Maplewood preteen wins seat at White House kids' dinner

Children not only want healthy meals, they will eat them. Really.
Fruit-filled English Summer Cups are great for the kids, but you can add Pimm’s for a frozen treat just for the adults.

How to make frozen pops

The steps for making your own ice pops are fairly basic — and familiar to anyone who has dabbled with the process. The key is…
Dude food: Steven Raichlen talks man-made meals

Dude food: Steven Raichlen talks man-made meals

Cooking may not be a gender-specific activity, but there are some characteristics that follow stereotypes more often than not. At least that's what Steven Raichlen says.
Richard Sennott/Star Tribune. Richard.Sennott@startribune.com Osceola WI. Wednesday 06/01/11 ] The Philadelphia Community Farm is a CSA (community sup

CSAs find niche in the kitchens of cooks

Community-supported agriculture – also known as CSA – has found a niche in the kitchens of cooks throughout Minnesota.
The self-published “Stone Edge Farm Cookbook” was named Book of the Year by the IACP.

Cookbook awards announced by IACP

Time to head to the bookstore with a list of new volumes that should find a spot on your shelf.
Peppers on ice.

How refrigeration changed our lives

Of all the inventions made in the 20th century, refrigeration was among those that altered the course of our everyday lives in a most tasteful way.
The Photography of Modernist Cuisine

Behind the photo scenes of 'Modernist Cuisine'

Nathan Myhrvold doesn't do anything in moderation.
Amy Thielen of rural Park Rapids has a new cookbook "The New Midwestern Table" and a new Food Network show.

Midwest cooking gets the spotlight in new Food Network series

From a tiny rural town in north-central Minnesota, Amy Thielen brings the voice of the Midwestern cook.
Cookbooks for that picky reader

Cookbooks for that picky reader

Do you have a picky cook on your list? Think beyond the obvious and explore an unexpected subject. This year's stellar crop of cookbooks will make your stomach rumble.
The Thanksgiving meal doesn't have to be overly complicated.

Thanksgiving the easy way

It might not seem like, but Thanksgiving dinner is one of the easiest to prepare.
The Corpse Reviver is a fun Halloween drink that’s not too sweet.

A drink to wake the dead: Corpse Reviver

The Corpse Reviver definitely revives the spirits with equal parts gin, Lillet Blanc (a white wine aperitif), Cointreau (an orange-flavored liqueur) and fresh lemon juice. A bit of anise liqueur gives it just the right bump in flavor (and don't worry, the drink doesn't taste of licorice).
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