Three cheers

The Society for Features Journalism had good things to say about the Star Tribune features sections — including Taste — which landed in the top three nationwide in its annual competition, along with the Los Angeles Times and the Washington Post. Part of the entry included the Taste 50 section from 2013, “The Year of the Farmer,” written by Rick Nelson. He also won individually, in the top three for a portfolio of feature writing that included a profile of Marshall Paulsen, chef at the Birchwood Cafe, and profiles of artisan producers from Singing Hills Goat Dairy and Locally Laid eggs. The judges wrote of his work, “These stories on chefs and farmers go beyond food writing to tell human tales of people trying to live a smarter, more meaningful life.”

Arb garden party

The Minnesota Landscape Arboretum hosts its annual Toast & Taste benefit in the Gardens on July 16, celebrating “fresh, local and green” cuisine from some of the Twin Cities’ most innovative restaurants, nibbled among the lush outdoor gardens and terraces of the arboretum in Chanhassen. Local wineries and breweries provide libations. Reservations are $75 for general admission from 7 to 9 p.m. (including a $30 tax-deductible donation); $125 for patron-level early-access admission at 6 p.m. (includes $80 tax-deductible donation). For more information, including participating businesses, call 612-625-9875 or visit

On the road

Eleven Twin Cities area food co-operatives have lined up 20 Minnesota producers for the fourth annual Eat Local Farm Tour on July 19, with producers primed to share with the public their insights and knowledge about sustainable agriculture. The tour is free, and free-form among the mix of small- to large-scale farming operations involving vegetables, poultry, beef, dairy, fish, flower and bee farming. The hours of operation will differ from farm to farm, so free 2014 Eat Local Farm Tour guidebooks with maps, hours, and tour activities are available at all participating co-op locations, suggesting clusters of farms for a day trip within a certain geographic region. For a list of co-ops, and farms, see the Eat Local Farm Tour page on Facebook.


Food and fashion

Here’s a novel idea: Twin Cities food icon Sue Zelickson joins restaurant superstars Lori and David Fhima (Faces Mears Park) to talk about how fashion influences culinary style and trends. “Culinary Fashion,” from 6-8 p.m. July 15, is being hosted by Fashion Group International of Minneapolis-St. Paul (FGI-MSP) in the Atrium at Faces 373 N. Sibley St. in St. Paul. Tickets are $15 for FGI-MSP members, $20 for non-members, and include hors d’oeuvres and a $10 dining coupon valid toward dinner reservations at Faces Mears Park after 8 p.m. that day. To buy tickets and a prepaid parking pass, visit For more details, visit

Best egg recipes wanted

Eggland’s Best is seeking original egg recipes for its “Your Best Recipe” contest, with a grand prize of $10,000. Winners in the breakfast, appetizer, main course and dessert categories win $1,000. There’s more: Recipes that win the “kid-friendly” and “fan favorite” awards, determined by consumer voting, each get $1,000. For official contest rules and to submit your original recipes, visit Deadline is July 31.