Gavin Kaysen at his soon-to-be-opened restaurant Merchant in Minneapolis. Kaysen will be among those featured at Madden’s Food & Wine Experience this month.

Tim Gruber • New York Times,

Garlic from the Hilltop Hanover Farm in New York, Sept. 23, 2010. The flavor of the garlic plant makes it a kitchen staple, but the peculiarities and variety of the plant make it an obsession for some.

Tony Cenicola • New York Times,

What's cooking: garlic, Zelo, Madden's and chicken wings

  • August 6, 2014 - 2:14 PM

Where garlic breath is good

The ninth annual Minnesota Garlic Festival wafts over the McLeod County Fairgrounds in Hutchinson, Minn., from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, with some of the Twin Cities’ top chefs working a pop-up lunch cafe under a big top tent. The fest raises money to support the Minnesota Sustainable Farming Association. Among those restos working the garlic cloves are Restaurant Alma, Brasa, the Bachelor Farmer, Birchwood Cafe, Common Roots Cafe, Corner Table and Tilia, plus Phillip Becht and Raghavan Iyer. The day includes kites, bocce ball, beer and wine tastings. And garlic for sale! Admission is $5 for adults, kids under 12, $3. For directions and details, visit

And on the small screen

Ben Spangler, pastry chef at Zelo, 831 Nicollet Mall in Minneapolis, will make his TV debut Aug. 11 on the Food Network, competing on a new show, “King of Cones,” about ice cream desserts. The restaurant will air the 7 p.m. episode, with space reserved for team #wafflestomp and other interested souls. Spangler will be handing out samples of the ice cream he made on the show, and offering for sale one of the desserts he created for that week’s episode. Inquiries? Visit

Fling benefits Tubman

Chicken wings get top billing at the annual Wing Ding! to benefit Tubman in its work to help families struggling with domestic violence, elder abuse, addiction, sexual exploitation and other forms of trauma. This year’s event is from 5-10 p.m. Aug. 13 at the Depot, 225 3rd Av. S., Minneapolis. More than a dozen local restaurants will serve their versions of all-you-can-eat chicken wings. The night also includes live and silent auctions, live music, potato bar, unlimited desserts, graffiti wall and cash bar. For ticket prices and details, visit

A food-centric kind of day

Mark your calendar for the free Chipotle Cultivate Festival on Aug. 23 at Loring Park in Minneapolis. The all-day, family-friendly gathering that features food, ideas and music has toured other cities in the past and now lands in the Twin Cities. From 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., festivities will include several exhibits that offer short food films, local chef demos (Jack Riebel, Paul Berglund, Eric Anderson, Jamie Malone and Andrew Zimmern) and discussions of fast food, animals and GMOs. Visit four exhibits — and get a program stamped to prove it at each — and you’ll receive a future free burrito or other item at Chipotle. You won’t go hungry if you bring your wallet, as a variety of local food and drink will be available for purchase.

Ready for a Blizzard?

Buy a Dairy Queen Blizzard Aug. 14 and $1 or more (depending on location) will be donated to Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare in St. Paul. Last year more than $200,000 was raised for Gillette, which was the nation’s first hospital for children with disabilities.

Experience Madden’s Experience

The annual Madden’s Food & Wine Experience at Madden’s on Gull Lake near Brainerd, Minn., always promises a long weekend of fabulous dining and mingling with chefs from the Twin Cities and around the country as they lead demonstrations and educational sessions. This year’s event is Aug. 21-24 and features a Jamaican cookout, meat smoking demos, greenhouse tours, oyster and wine pairings, whole animal cooking demos, pastry demos and much more. The main draw may be Gavin Kaysen, a Bloomington native lately of Café Boulud in New York City and a Food & Wine magazine’s “Best New Chef,” who’s returning to his home state to open Merchant in Minneapolis’ North Loop. But the list of culinary experts is long. For details and reservations, visit


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