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Posts about Minnesota newsmakers

Cedar Summit Farm ending dairy production

Posted by: Rick Nelson Updated: January 11, 2015 - 8:44 AM

Sad news out of Cedar Summit Farm: As of Friday, the Minar family is ceasing dairy production.

When Dave and Florence Minar and their family converted their New Prague, Minn., to a farmstead dairy, they brought a dairy case revolution to the Twin Cities, returning cream-top milk from grass-fed cows – sold in returnable glass bottles – to nearly 75 supermarkets, natural foods coops and other retail outlets.

The farm’s thick, pearly cream is a thing of wonder (it’s the cream of choice for countless Twin Cities chefs); ditto the line of pourable yogurts. (That's the farm's creamery, with co-owner Florence Minar, above, in a 2002 Star Tribune file photo).

There's one ray of hope: The family said that it hopes that its products "will return to the marketplace again in the near future."

Here’s the announcement, posted on the farm’s website:

It is with a heavy heart that we inform you that Cedar Summit Farm will cease production of our dairy products on Friday, January 16, 2015. Our farm store will continue operation through January 31, 2015, though we may run out of milk earlier. We will accept bottle returns through the end of January at our farm store, and through February 6, 2015 at the coops and natural food stores where our product is sold.

Thank you for your continued support of our family farm. It has been an honor to provide you with our 100% grass-fed, organic meat and dairy products for nearly 13 years. It would not have been possible for us to succeed without your unwavering support for local, sustainable and organic food.

We will continue to sell our beef halves and quarters. We hope that Cedar Summit Farm dairy products will return to the marketplace again in the near future.

Most sincerely,

The Dave and Florence Minar Family

First glimpse at "The Victory Garden's Edible Feast"

Posted by: Rick Nelson Updated: November 17, 2014 - 3:12 PM

Minneapolitans and two-time James Beard award-winning filmmakers Daniel Klein and Mirra Fine of the Perennial Plate are back in the news, this time with a preview of their soon-to-debut effort on PBS.

It's a reboot of the network's popular and groundbreaking "The Victory Garden" series, this time seen through the couple's storytelling prism, with an assist by the national network of Edible magazines.

TPT hasn't announced when it's running the show (the series launches, network-wide, in December), but look for an upcoming announcement on its website.

Catch the preview here:

The Victory Garden's Edible Feast TRAILER from The Perennial Plate on Vimeo.

Charlie Awards winners announced

Posted by: Rick Nelson Updated: November 18, 2014 - 1:56 PM

Winners of the fourth-annual Charlie Awards were announced Sunday afternoon at the Pantages Theatre in Minneapolis. The awards celebrate excellence in the Twin Cities' food and drink scene. 

Newcomer Brasserie Zentral – from Meritage owners Russell and Desta Klein – was named Outstanding Restaurant.

Outstanding Chef honors went to Alex Roberts of Restaurant Alma and Brasa.

Thomas Boemer, chef/co-owner of Corner Table, was handed the award for Emerging Food Professional, which salutes chefs with less than five years experience. The restaurant, which moved to a new home earlier this year, was also handed the Outstanding Service award.

Restaurateur Kim Bartmann was the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement award. The award caps a busy year for Bartmann. Since January, the owner of Bryant-Lake Bowl, Barbette, Red Stag Supperclub, Gigi’s Cafe, Pat’s Tap and Bread & Pickle, launched two restaurants – Tiny Diner and the Third Bird – and had a hand in the birth of a third, Kyatchi.

The award for Outstanding Pastry Chef went to John Kraus of Patisserie 46.

Vincent Francoual, chef/owner of Vincent, was named the year’s Community Hero.

Jesse Held of Borough, Parlour and Coup d’etat was named Outstanding Bartender. Coup d’etat also came up a winner in the Outstanding Restaurant Design category. The Uptown restaurant, which opened in January, was designed by ESG Architects of Minneapolis. 

Butcher & the Boar won Outstanding Beverage Program Honors, the West Side IPA from Harriet Brewing was awarded Outstanding Local Craft Brew.

Two awards were determined by an open-to-the-public online poll (one that garnered 10,000 votes). The Moral Omnivore was named Outstanding Food Truck. The online poll also selected nominees for Outstanding Food Item, and a panel of expert judges chose the winner from six finalists. That award went to the St. Paul Grill and its the "Grill Charlie’s,” a beef tenderloin sandwich with caramelized onions and horseradish mayonnaise.

Winners are selected from a voting pool of 175 independently owned Twin Cities food-and-drink establishments.

The awards are organized by Ivey Awards founder Scott Mayer and longtime Twin Cities food advocate Sue Zelickson, and are named for Charlie’s Cafe Exceptionale (pictured, above, in a 1960 Star Tribune file photo), the fabled downtown Minneapolis restaurant that closed on July 21, 1982, after a 49-year run.

Dinner for 2,000 in St. Paul

Posted by: Lee Svitak Dean Updated: September 15, 2014 - 1:18 PM
Locally grown produce was featured at a meal for 2,000 in St. Paul. Photos by Richard Tsong-Taatarii/ Star Tribune

Locally grown produce was featured at a meal for 2,000 in St. Paul. Photos by Richard Tsong-Taatarii/ Star Tribune

The dinner table was the gathering place Sunday on Victoria Street in St. Paul. A half-mile dinner table, at that, which ran down the middle of the street between University and Minnehaha avenues as part of a project called "Create: The Community Meal."

The meal was intended to be both a piece of art -- "a big piece of social sculpture," as artist and organizer Seitu Jones described it -- and a reminder that mealtime should be about healthy food, with an emphasis on local fare.

"Everyone has a story written in proteins and carbohydrates and culture and family traditions," said Jones, who was inspired to create this "artwork" after watching people walk by his St. Paul studio in Frogtown with bags of groceries from the local convenience store. "At the heart of the project, it's really about food access, food justice and healthy eating," Jones told staff writer Rick Nelson in an interview.

A majority of the food came from within 50 miles of the Twin Cities, and the event itself brought farmers to the table to meet with those who ate their food.

 

Eric Avery and Martha Kaemmer await the bell to signal the start of the event.

Eric Avery and Martha Kaemmer await the bell to signal the start of the event.

A parade of hosts brought out the food to the guests.

A parade of hosts brought out the food to the guests.

 

 

 

Rick Nelson interviewed Seitu Jones in advance about the event. Jones spoke with photographer Richard Tsong-Taatarii in this video.

 

 

 

Landon Schoenefeld named Master of the Market

Posted by: Lee Svitak Dean Updated: August 19, 2014 - 12:29 PM
Landon Schoenefeld. Photos by Lee Svitak Dean

Landon Schoenefeld. Photos by Lee Svitak Dean

Officially, Landon Schoenefeld of HauteDish in Minneapolis is the winner of this year's Chef Challenge at the Minneapolis Farmers Market. He earned the title of Master of the Market with his Chilled Cream of Tomato Soup, with layers of flavor that included an eggplant puree and a medley of gorgeous summer mini-vegetables that was the backbone of a ratatouille, to be blanketed with a luscious cream of tomato puree.

But the real winner is the home cook, who can make this deceptively simple recipe for dinner -- as well as the one from his competitor, Drew Yancey, executive chef of Borough. Drew prepared his take on the classic Spanish sauce romesco and served it as part of a carefully plated display of beautiful fresh, carefully prepared vegetables. 

The dueling efforts show how technique, great ingredients and a good eye are important in the prep of not only restaurant-quality dishes, but those we prepare for the ones who gather at our table. 

Here's how the competition worked: With 20 minutes and $50, each chef raced to buy their ingredients among the stalls at the Minneapolis Farmers Market. Then, with a 30-minute limit for prep, the chefs served up their dishes to four judges: Lynne Rossetto Kasper of the radio show “The Splendid Table;” Ragahvan Iyer, cookbook author; Stephanie Meyer of Minnesota Monthly, and me.

The North Loop Neighborhood Association donated $500 to YouthLink Homeless Shelter, in honor of the competition. The funds will be used to continue cooking lessons that emphasize quick and easy meals with local ingredients. For the recipes, see below.

The competition is sponsored by Country Financial. 

Drew Yancey of Borough

Drew Yancey of Borough

 


Romesco with Market Vegetables
Makes about 2 cups sauce.
Note: From Drew Yancey, executive chef at Borough, in Minneapolis.
• 4 red bell peppers
• 3 fresno or red chiles
• 1 medium tomato, peeled and chopped
• 4 garlic cloves, chopped
• 2 sprigs fresh thyme (leaves only)
• Olive oil
• Salt
• 2 tbsp. hazelnuts, toasted
• 2 tbsp. breadcrumbs, toasted
• Red wine vinegar
• Fresh mint or parsley, chopped, optional
• Variety of vegetables
• Lemon juice 
• Herbs of choice
Directions
Start by roasting the bell peppers and chile peppers over your grill. (If a grill is not accessible, roast at 450 degrees until the skins have blistered.) Allow the skins to become black and charred. Place peppers in a container and allow to sweat for a few minutes. Under cold water, rub the blistered skin off and take the seeds out of the peppers.  
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. In a roasting pan, place peeled peppers, tomato, garlic, thyme, 1/8 cup olive oil and 1 teaspoon salt. Place pan in oven and roast for about 45 minutes, stirring every 10 to 15 minutes. This mixture should be lightly colored and dry of excess vegetable juices in the pan.
Transfer this mixture to a food processor. Add the toasted hazelnuts and toasted breadcrumbs. Process for about 2 minutes. Check seasoning. Add more salt and red wine vinegar to season to taste. If you would like, fold in parsley or mint. 
Serve the romesco sauce with your favorite market/garden vegetables. Vegetables may be roasted, seared, grilled or raw. Finish with fresh lemon juice and fresh herbs.

 

Cream of Tomato Soup by Landon Schoenefeld

Cream of Tomato Soup by Landon Schoenefeld

 

Chilled Cream of Tomato Soup
Serves many.
Note: This was the winning recipe, from Landon Schoenefeld, chef/co-owner of HauteDish in Minneapolis, from the Master of the Market competition at the Minneapolis Farmers Market.
• Eggplant purée (see recipe)
• Ratatouille (see recipe)
• Garnishes: Sliced heirloom cherry tomatoes (the more variety and color the better), pickled teardrop peppers (or substitute peppadew), tiny fresh basil leaves, sea salt, olive oil
• Cream of Tomato Soup base (see recipe)
Directions
Put a pool of the charred eggplant purée on the bottom of each soup bowl. Add a nice scoop of the ratatouille on top. Arrange the sliced heirloom tomatoes and peppers artfully around the ratatouille and eggplant purée. Carefully top with the tiny basil leaves and flecks of sea salt. Drizzle with a little olive oil. Let your guests bask in the wonder and glory of the season, before you pour the soup base over the vegetables. Serve chilled or at room temperature.

Charred Eggplant Puree
Makes about 1 1/2 cups. 
Note: From Landon Schoenefeld, chef/co-owner of HauteDish in Minneapolis.
• 1 large eggplant
• 1/4 c. extra-virgin olive oil
• Juice of 1 to 2 lemons
• Salt to taste
Directions
Char the eggplant over an open flame until it is completely black and burnt. Purée with the olive oil and lemon juice; season with salt.

Ratatouille 
Makes about 4 cups.
Note: From Landon Schoenefeld, chef/co-owner of HauteDish in Minneapolis.
• 1 medium eggplant, fine diced
• Olive oil
• 1 zucchini, fine diced
• 1 summer squash, fine diced
• 1/2 red onion, fine diced
• 2 garlic cloves, minced
• 1/2 c. finely chopped sweet pickled peppers
• 8 fresh basil leaves, cut in chiffonade (in thin strips)
• 1/4 finely chopped tomato
• Salt
Directions
In a sauté pan over medium heat, sweat the eggplant in olive oil until golden brown; drain in a colander. In the same sauté pan over medium heat, sweat the zucchini and summer squash together in more olive oil until softened; drain in a colander. 
In the same pan, sweat the red onion in more olive oil until soft. At the last second, add the garlic and sweat for a moment more before draining in a colander. At this point you can combine all the sautéed vegetables together in a mixing bowl and add the pickled peppers, basil, tomato and enough olive oil to dress the vegetables. Season with salt. 

Cream of Tomato Soup Base
Makes about 8 1/2 cups. 
Note: From Landon Schoenefeld, chef/co-owner of HauteDish in Minneapolis.
• 6 large ripe heirloom tomatoes (he used a mixture of Brandywine, Candy Old Yellow and Black Krim)
• 2 to 3 garlic cloves
• 20 leaves of basil
• 1 1/2 tbsp. sea salt 
• 1/2 c. local honey
• 1 c. cream
• 1 c. extra-virgin olive oil
Directions
Cut the tomatoes up in large chunks and toss with garlic, basil, salt and honey. Allow the tomato mixture to macerate for 15 to 20 minutes. 
Purée the tomatoes in a blender for up to 5 minutes or until completely smooth. Add the cream and olive oil with the blender running and purée for a minute more. Adjust the seasoning with additional salt and honey if needed.

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