As social distancing remains the norm, event organizers are adapting to make the best of the situation. From pumpkin carving to Polish soup suppers, you don’t have to miss out.

Chef Synergy with Gavin Kaysen

Chef Gavin Kaysen’s Synergy Series is back, and this time anyone can attend — for free.

The series’ first virtual discussion is Thursday at 6 p.m., when Kaysen will sit down with James Beard Award-winning Los Angeles chefs Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo. The discussion will be moderated by local writer Steve Hoffman. Register — and submit a question for the chefs — here.

Kaysen started the Synergy Series in 2015 at his Spoon and Stable (211 N. 1st St., Mpls.) as a way to give Twin Cities diners access to chefs from around the world. Past events have included collaborative dinners with chefs Ludo Lefebvre, Michael Anthony, April Bloomfield, Daniel Boulud, Grant Achatz, Christopher Kostow, Dominique Crenn, Traci Des Jardins and Daniela Soto-Innes.

Like many aspects of the restaurant world during the pandemic, this year’s series has taken a different path. Scheduled to begin in April, the in-person dinners were postponed. Kaysen revived the series last month with a live demonstration and conversation with chef Thomas Keller.

Trivia and a toast

Lift Bridge Brewing Co. in Stillwater will host a free virtual, spooky-themed trivia with a pumpkin carving contest Thursday at 5 p.m. No need to finish your carving during the 20-question game; just submit creations to social media by tagging Lift Bridge’s accounts by Oct. 31. Both the pumpkin carving winner and trivia winner will receive grand prizes. Find details on how to participate on the brewery’s Facebook page.

Spirited events

The Midtown Global Market (920 E. Lake St., Mpls., will celebrate both Halloween and Dia de los Muertos on Oct. 31 with free events.

As a nod to Day of the Dead, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., restaurants of Mexican heritage will offer traditional treats for $1: Andy’s Garage (pozole), Los Ocampo (champurrado, a warm Mexican chocolate beverage), Manny’s Tortas (hot cocoa and pan de muerto) and Salsa à la Salsa (tamales).

There will also be live music, a traditional ofrenda (altar) to honor those who have died, and kids under 10 can pick up a free craft project.

Starting at noon, the first 400 kids will receive a prepackaged Halloween treat bag, including candy — and a toothbrush.

Polish soup supper

Another local tradition is going the takeout route — the Polish American Cultural Institute of Minnesota’s annual soup supper. Choose four (16-ounce) servings of four traditional Polish soups, order and pay online at by Oct. 31, and pick up curbside on Nov. 15 from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Holy Cross Church (St. John Paul II School, 1630 NE. 4th St., Mpls.). Cost is $30, $25 for members. Questions? E-mail or call 612-378-9291. Prepaid orders only.

Challah time

Chef David Fhima will lead the St. Paul Jewish Federation’s fourth annual Great Big Challah Bake, virtually of course, on Nov. 5 at 5:30 p.m. Fhima, a Twin Cities mainstay whose latest restaurant is Fhima’s Minneapolis (40 S. 7th St.), will teach participants how to prepare his mother’s challah. Register for the free event at