You've seen the tea towels, the totes, the pillows and the tablecloths. Now the red, turquoise and white map of Minnesota featuring icons from Paul Bunyan to the Jolly Green Giant is available as an apron. The Red and White Kitchen Co. of Mount Kisco, N.Y., adds the North Star State to its collection of retro state linens. The all-cotton map aprons are available at Linden Hills Co-op in Minneapolis and the Bibelot Shops in St. Paul. To see all the offerings, visit It's a wholesale-only site, but there is a store locator.


Mill City at the Arboretum

The growing trend toward indoor farmers markets to get us through the winter continues. On March 17, the Mill City Farmers Market opens up shop at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum in Chaska, with vendors offering maple syrup, grains and flours, artisan cheeses and more. The market will be open from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Oswald Visitor Center Great Hall. (The Mill City market also will be indoors at the Mill City Museum on April 14.) Also at the arboretum on March 17: a class on composting and soil improvement at 10 a.m., and a free workshop about potatoes at noon. If that's not enough, the Yale Slavic Chorus performs at 2 p.m. For details, visit


Home & Garden

Think spring! That's what's on the mind of visitors to the Home & Garden Show this weekend -- and to the Strib writers who will appear on stage. Taste editor Lee Svitak Dean will appear on the Kitchen Stage at 1 p.m. Friday, giving a demo of strawberry tarts. The Strib Homegirls will be in the garden area on Thursday and Friday at 5:30 p.m. and on Saturday and Sunday at 10 a.m.

The show continues through Sunday at the Minneapolis Convention Center. Tickets are $10 at Cub Foods, $11 online or $13 at the door. Children 6-12 are $4; younger are free.


Bourdain brokers books

In a commercial venture reminiscent of the branding queens Paula Deen and Rachael Ray, who seem to have never met a piece of kitchen equipment -- or product -- they didn't put their name on, comes this announcement from Ecco books:

Anthony Bourdain will have his own book imprint. The celebrity bad boy is joining the rare ranks of literary editors who handpick authors and whose names appear on their books. In his case, the volumes will read "An Anthony Bourdain book."

We assume the authors will be telling their stories in the blunt, if not profane, manner that Bourdain made popular in his books, from the first, "Kitchen Confidential," to the more recent "Medium Raw." (Ecco books, through PR spokesman Michael McKenzie noted that it's "too early to know at this point" what the language will be like.) Bourdain is the host of the Travel Channel's "No Reservations" and "The Layover," where his choice of words is occasionally bleeped for TV.

In the press release from Ecco, Bourdain states, "This will be a line of books for people with strong voices who are GOOD at something -- who speak with authority. Discern nothing from this initial list -- other than a general affection for people who cook food and like food. The ability to kick people in the head is just as compelling to us -- as long as that's coupled with an ability to vividly describe the experience. We are just as intent on crossing genres as we are enthusiastic about our first three authors. It only gets weirder from here."

The first three in Bourdain's line of books, to be published in 2013:

  • "Spaghetti Junction," by Roy Choi, chef and co-founder of the Kogi BBQ food trucks in Los Angeles. The memoir with recipes is about street food in Los Angeles.
  • "Prophets of Smoked Meat," by Daniel Vaughn, a tour of classic Texas barbecue spots, with recipes.
  • "Fight Shark," by Mark Miller, a kickboxing champion whose memoir tells the story of his personal and professional battles. (Bourdain's wife, Ottavia Busia Bourdain, is a student of kickboxing.)

As noted, the list reflected what one Twitter user called the "dudeification of cooking."