Kostroski's baby turns 25
The 50th Super Bowl is set for Sunday in Santa Clara, Calif., but Saturday night will be noted as the 25th anniversary of Taste of the NFL. This is the fundraising gala dreamed up a quarter-century ago by Wayne Kostroski, whose Cuisine Concepts empire includes Bar Abilene and Franklin Street Bakery in Minneapolis. Kostroski hosted the first "Party With a Purpose" in 1992, when Minnesota hosted the championship, and it's become a staple of Super Bowl weekend. To date, more than $24 million has been raised and distributed to local and national food banks nationwide. Kostroski's efforts were rewarded when he was named the 2010 James Beard Humanitarian of the Year. The party features foods from chefs from each of the 32 NFL cities. This year, Thomas Boemer of Corner Table represents the Vikings' home state; he'll be serving char siu pork jowl and crispy rice with chili raisin sauce. Congrats to all.
Buttercream gets buttered up
Props to Buttercream Cakes and Desserts in Stillwater, which got a shoutout on the food website the Daily Meal. One of its cakes is part of a slide show, "35 Jaw-Dropping Wedding Cakes," chosen from its list last year of best wedding cake bakeries in America. Some of the cakes are stunning, some are just crazy. Buttercream's is an elegant tower of tiers with flowers spilling from top to bottom. It was singled out for not using fondant to achieve a smooth finish, "a skill that was honed through years of experience." Visit thedailymeal.com and type "wedding cakes" in the search field.
"Top Chef" casting call
Sharpen your knives. On Feb. 12, Minneapolis is one of the cities hosting a casting call for season 14 of "Top Chef," where "the best up-and-coming chefs" compete for fame and fortune (mostly fame.) It all happens from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Spoon and Stable, 211 1st S. N., home to chef Gavin Kaysen, a "Top Chef" guest judge. To learn more, aspiring chefs should e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org with Minneapolis in the subject line, or go to Bravotv.com/topchefcasting.
Amy Hanten comes to St. Paul
The annual Minnesota Home and Patio Show, which runs Feb. 18-21 at RiverCentre in St. Paul, features Amy Hanten, "The Cooking Mom," on the cooking stage. Hanten, who lives in Green Bay, Wis., is gaining a national profile for her website, thecookingmom.com, blog, newsletter and various appearances on TV and at home shows. She'll be presenting a different topic each day. For a schedule of events and ticket info, visit homeandpatioshow.com.