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
A look at Taste's playful Halloween covers through the years

A look at Taste's playful Halloween covers through the years

The Taste section took its early poster tradition to heart.
Alex Roberts, Blake Meier, Ann Kim, Tim McKee, Paul Berglund, Gavin Kaysen and Isaac Becker.

At Taste's 50th birthday, Minnesota's Beard winners party like it's 1969

The jubilee of the Star Tribune's food section offered a communal moment to savor the wonders of the Twin Cities dining scene.
1982: Staff of the New French Cafe; the trail-blazing restaurant opened in 1977.

Taste section reflected the way we were

For 50 years, issue after issue, Taste has offered a snapshot of our lives.
The pressure was on to impress “world-class foodie” Paula Wolfert when she visited the Twin Cities in 1988.

This word didn't appear in Taste pages until 1988.

This word didn't appear in Taste pages until 1988.
Raisa Gorbachev, the wife of the last Soviet leader, Mikhail S. Gorbachev, visits the Karen and Steve Watson family at their south Minneapolis home du

Remembering when the Soviet Union dropped by Minnesota for tea

The dining room was filled with TV cameras and the whole world was watching as a Minneapolis family served as host.
A tomato and zucchini casserole in New York, June 2017. A potluck host is like a choreographer whose role is to create a dance rather than a mosh pit,

Overflowing tables and fake ice cream: How food styling has changed in the last 50 years

Food styl­ing re­flects the de­cades, just like any oth­er trend.
In 1988, the Bake-Off competition, held in San Diego, was expanded to include cooking, not just baking.

For 70 years, the Pillsbury Bake-Off has changed how we cook

The annual cooking contest has not only reflected food trends, but created them.
Chef Jacques Pépin has made multiple visits to Minnesota. In 1983, he had a successful trip hunting for morel mushrooms.

Shortcuts with Jacques Pépin

What makes a good dish? Not necessarily the use of homemade ingredients.
Julia Child on the set of her cooking show “The French Chef,” which ran on public television from 1963 to 1973.

In 1995, a visit from Julia Child enthralled the Twin Cities

She thrilled the crowd at Dayton's, who came to meet their TV hero of the kitchen.
A timeline of Taste throughout the years shows how we ate ⁠— and how we lived.

A timeline of Taste throughout the years shows how we ate ⁠— and how we lived.

Year by year, page by page, Taste offered a snapshot of our lives.
From left, Jobeth Williams, Kevin Kline, William Hurt and Glenn Close portray college friends who reunite years later for a weekend of renewed relatio

Two more films with Taste Movie Night at the Heights

Two more chances to see the food-related films at the Heights Theater, in connection with the 50th birthday celebration of Taste. “The Big Chill” shows…
Fondue was all the rage in the 1970s, as were low tables.

Decades in the making: 50 years of the Star Tribune's Taste section

From meat boycotts to recessions, low-fat diets to farmers markets and restaurants, our mealtime choices — and options — tell a story.
A chocolate cake made by Rick Nelson.

Help us celebrate the Star Tribune Taste section's 50th birthday

You're invited as Taste marks five decades with movies, cake and more.
From left, chefs Alex Roberts, Paul Berglund, Ann Kim, Tim McKee, Isaac Becker, Gavin Kaysen and Blake Meier will be part of Taste's birthday dinner.

A celebration dinner fit for a 50th birthday for the Taste section

Tickets go on sale Sept. 12 at 10 a.m. through the American Swedish Institute.
Prince

Celebrate Prince's birthday with a dinner in his honor

The Onyx Culinary Collective is presenting a Prince-inspired meal with vegan and purple foods at the Bird in Minneapolis.
Baker/poet Danny “Klecko” McGleno, whose latest book highlights the Hispanic workers who made up most of the crew at Saint Agnes Bakery.

Twin Cities baker turns poet: 'Baking saved me from being incarcerated'

A longtime baker reflects on immigration and the sometimes tumultuous world of the hospitality industry.
Buttermilk and Rosemary brined chicken from "Martha Stewart’s Grilling: 125+ Recipes for Gatherings Large and Small."

Step up your grilling repertoire in time for cookout season

For all but the hardiest of cooks, the grilling season is a finite experience, with 99 days to sizzle from Memorial Day through Labor Day.…
The big cookbooks of the year: “Cocktail Codex” was tops on the James Beard Foundation’s list; “Season” was named book of the year by the IA

The 30 best cookbooks of the year

There are plenty of ideas for mealtime cooking in these terrific volumes.
Ruth Reichl, left, of Gourmet magazine in the office in New York in 2004. She led the magazine for 10 years before it shut down.

Ruth Reichl's memoir shows the egregious excess of Gourmet magazine

A new memoir by its former editor-in-chief shines a light on the world of high-end magazines -- before the financial market tanked.
Andrea Nguyen will moderate the panel discussion.

Who owns Asian food? Twin Cities chefs' panel tackles 'authenticity'

The Lynhall serves up a discussion on how best to represent food culture.
Walnut-Cauliflower Ground Beef.

Plant-based meats find a place at the table in new book

A new book focuses on DIY meat alternatives to make at home.
Illustration by Jennifer Hewitson.

An unexpected guest arrives at the dinner table of a family celebration

When a family gathered to celebrate a special occasion, the dinner table was the place to be.
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.
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.