Geiken does Beard at Illusion

James Beard was TV’s first chef, paving the way for everyone from Julia to Rachael. Now the Illusion Theater is staging a one-man show of his life, with Twin Cities actor Garry Geiken portraying Beard, sometimes known as “the face and belly of American gastronomy.” “I Love to Eat: A Love Story With Food” opens April 26 at the theater, 528 Hennepin Av. S., Minneapolis. Playwright James Still’s play takes place one evening in Beard’s New York home, where he reflects upon his passion for opera, his love of gossip and his thwarted love life. Oh, and his recipe for onion sandwiches. (Chef Seth Bixby Daugherty will be coaching Geiken to make sure he demonstrates proper chef technique.) The play continues through May 18, with Art Institutes International culinary students doing pre-show demonstrations (and serving samples) of James Beard recipes May 11-12. For tickets, visit or call the box office at 612-339-4944.


Slow Food foraging

With admirable optimism, Slow Food Minnesota announces its 6th annual spring foraging dinner, this year on May 19. The event moves to York Farm in Hutchinson, where hosts Andy Cotter and Irene Genelin grow CSA vegetables. There will be tours, talks and samples followed by Terra Waconia chefs Craig Sharp and Tracy LeTourneau serving a midafternoon dinner designed around foraged foods, wine and beer included. Tickets are $40 for members and $50 for non-members. For tickets, visit or send a check to Slow Food Minnesota to Sharon Wildfang, 10100 Johnson Ave., Bloomington MN 55437, with names of attendees.


Vote early, vote often

If you haven’t voted for anything lately, consider checking out the Munchies: People’s Choice Food Awards. Back for its second year, the ballot includes categories such as most iconic burger, best local farmers market, best chef and more. Voting continues through April 30 at, a site created by General Mills. Andrew Zimmern led a panel of 25 celebrity foodies to come up with the nominees. You can vote once a day — and it will help if you’re well-traveled; there are only three Minnesota nominees among the 100 — Zimmern’s AZ Canteen food truck, Salty Tart Bakery and Summit Brewery.


Edible landscaping 101

Unsure what edible landscaping means? Harvest Moon Backyard Farmers is happy to help. Krista Leraas and her business partner Dina Kountoupes work with individuals, schools, businesses and communities to help turn yards or community gardens into alternative grocery stores. They’ve founded the Permaculture Research Institute Cold Climate’s Backyard Harvest Program to study the most efficient and sustainable ways to grow organic food. To learn more, contact Leraas at 612-209-2146 or at or visit