Thinking of entering your best stuff in the Minnesota State Fair? First things first. Here are the entrance deadlines for categories dearest to readers of the Taste section. (Llama raisers, look elsewhere.) Deadlines for "creative activities" (baked and canned goods) Aug. 7; honey and bee culture, fruits and wine, and vegetables and potatoes, Aug. 13; and crop art (because you're thinking about it), Aug. 10. For complete prize lists and information on how to enter Minnesota State Fair competitions, visit, or call 651-288-4417.

Taste of Stillwater

If you want to save $10, order your Taste of Stillwater tickets now for the July 14 event. (They'll be $30 when the gates open.) The outdoor festival at Aamodt's Apple Farm is produced by Saint Croix Vineyards, Lift Bridge Brewery and Eventus, and will include new food vendors such as Poorboy Candy, Rustic Stillwater Pies, the Cave Café and the Waffle Van/Bikery du Nord. Scheduled musicians are Alison Scott, Midnight Mo and High & Mighty. For all the details, visit

Fika to open at ASI

Fika, a Nordic-inspired cafe at the American Swedish Institute's new Nelson Cultural Center, opens June 30, featuring traditional Swedish delicacies alongside modern interpretations of "New Nordic Cuisine," according to a press release. Fika, the Swedish word for a daily break, is guided by chef Michael Fitzgerald, a veteran of Tilia, Sea Change, Solera, Barrio and Auriga. Fika will be open daily, from 7 a.m. weekdays, 9 a.m. Saturdays and 11 a.m. Sundays through lunch, and open for dinner and dessert until 8 p.m. on Wednesdays beginning in July. For more info, visit


'American Meat' comes to Minnesota

The documentary "American Meat" opens July 12 at Edina Cinema, examining whether sustainable meat production can meet consumers' needs and talking with farmers, food advocates, chefs and everyday folks who believe it can.

But as a sort of amuse-esprit before the lights dim, Lucia's Restaurant, 1432 W. 31st St., Mpls., is hosting a tasting of local charcuterie from Star Thrower, Callister and Fischer farms, with wine from 5:15 to 6:15 p.m. Then it's off to the Edina Cinema for the 7 p.m. showing, followed by a panel discussion with filmmaker Graham Meriwether, Todd Lein of Thousand Hills Cattle Co., chefs Lucia Watson and Scott Pampuch, Jan Joannides of the Minnesota Institute of Sustainable Agriculture and John Mesko of the Sustainable Farming Association of Minnesota.

To pre-order movie tickets, visit The pre-screening food event is $35; call Lucia's Restaurant at 612-825-1572 for reservations. "American Meat" also will be shown July 17 at Mounds Theatre in St. Paul, July 19 at the Grand Event Center in Northfield and July 20 at Heinz Center in Rochester.