Staff Directory 6134702

Nicole Hvidsten

Taste Editor | Newsroom
Phone: 612-673-7563

Nicole Ploumen Hvidsten is the Star Tribune's Taste editor and senior editor of Star Tribune Magazine. In past journalistic lives she was a reporter, copy editor and designer — sometimes all at once — and has yet to find a cookbook she doesn't like.

Hvidsten grew up in Minnesota and knew that journalism was her calling way back in middle school, when the Star Tribune published two of her essays. She graduated from Minnesota State University Moorhead with a degree in mass communications and a love for all things journalism and politics. Hvidsten worked at newspapers across the country for several years before finally returning to where it all started. She and her husband are proud parents of three amazing kids and one amazing dog.
Recent content from Nicole Hvidsten
Sweetland Orchard in Webster has more than 100 varieties of apples.

41 Minnesota apple orchards ripe for picking

From bare bones to daylong adventures, there's a Twin Cities-area orchard to suit all your fall needs.
Saigon 88 sushi sando at Sushi Dori.

The 5 best things we ate in the Twin Cities area this week

Sushi sandos, new cocktails, a chicken dinner for the rotation and a little bit of heaven found in chips and salsa and Italian bread and dipping sauce.
The nation’s largest beer competition is in Denver.

Two Minneapolis breweries win medals at national beer festival

The wins at the Great American Beer Festival proved what we already know: The Twin Cities has great beer.
Teapots in a range of colors were among the offerings at the Le Creuset sale.

Going to the Le Creuset factory to table sale? Get in line

The cookware maker debuts its popular sale in Minneapolis, and fans are opening their cupboards and wallets.
Ice cream made with True Stone Coffee was on the breakfast menu at Butter Bakery Cafe.

The 5 best things we ate in the Twin Cities area this week

Revisiting the Band Box Diner (hooray!), plus breakfast sandwiches, ice cream for breakfast, angelic treats and a new-to-us place for Mediterranean food.
Rebekkah Brunson, left, and her wife Bobbi Jo Lamar Brunson in the kitchen where they make their plant-based Sweet Troo-Vi cookies.

With Sweet Troo-Vi, Minnesota power couple give back one cookie at a time

The plant-based treats have been a game-changer for Rebekkah and Bobbi Jo Brunson.
Sean Sherman, on the terrace of the groundbreaking restaurant Owamni.

Minneapolis restaurant Owamni acquired by chef Sean Sherman's nonprofit

The move expands the reach of the Indigenous chef's mission — to address economic and health issues among Indigenous people.
At Wrestaurant, Jeff Rogers reworks everything he loves about a fast-food burger for a shareable new burger that’s worth keeping all to yourself.

The 5 best cheeseburgers we ate in the Twin Cities area this week

To celebrate the upcoming National Cheeseburger Day, we set out to try some new burgers at both recently opened restaurants and old favorites, and were not disappointed.
Fall brings out the sweet side of cabbage.

Celebrate the sweet side of Minnesota cabbage

It's versatility makes the vegetable popular with both chefs and home cooks.
Naem Khao is a longtime favorite menu item from Soul Lao’s food truck and it’s on the menu at their just-opened restaurant in St. Paul.

The 5 best things our food writers ate in the Twin Cities area this week

Savoring the last of summer with BLTs, elote pizza and strawberries and cream, while ushering in the cooler weather with spicy rice and supper clubs.
Make pizza for breakfast an option, thanks to “Pizza Night” by Deborah Kaloper (Smith Street, 2023).

5 out-of-the-box recipes to make any night pizza night

Two new cookbooks offer a deep dive into deep dish — and every other type of pizza you might want to make.
Maple-Roasted Walnut Delights from Stephanie Steinwedel of Minneapolis was the winner of the 2022 holiday cookie contest.

The Star Tribune's 2023 Holiday Cookie Contest is now underway

Bakers, this could be your year.
Amy Ellenberger of St. Paul won a blue ribbon for her Healthy Power Bars.

Healthy Power Bars among the State Fair's blue-ribbon winners

A St. Paul baker won her 49th ribbon for her entry in the new healthy cookie competition.
People lined up for breakfast inside Hamline Church Dining Hall on Thursday, the opening day of the Minnesota State Fair in Falcon Heights.

We tried all the new Minnesota State Fair foods this year

From pickle everything to lutefisk to limeade and lemonade, our food writers spent Day One of the Minnesota State Fair trying all the new foods.
Get all the beachy vibes at the Malibu Barbie Cafe.

Themed Barbie cafe popping up at the Mall of America

Let's go, Barbie! The limited cafe is inspired by the 1970s and Malibu Barbie.
Cheese curds, but make them fancy. Mara is serving a State Fair-themed brunch on Aug. 20.

Updated: It's State Fair time at Twin Cities area restaurants

Local chefs get creative with food on a stick, mini doughnuts and more to celebrate the Great Minnesota Get-Together.
A cheesy slice of something good in cabin country.

The 5 best things our food writers ate in the Twin Cities — and beyond — this week

Blackened catfish, sweet corn soup, farmers market inspired pasta and more.
The Star Tribune’s 2023 lip balm for the Minnesota State Fair is “Crop Art.”

The Star Tribune's lip balm flavor for this year's State Fair is ...

A favorite native Minnesota food and fair pastime join forces for this year's flavor.
Ice cream and sweet fruit top this fluffy ube pancake at St. Paul’s Kalsada.

The 5 best things our food writers ate in the Twin Cities — and beyond — this week

We had ice cream for breakfast, took road trips to lake country and a local winery and still made room for BLTs and tacos.
Baba’s Hummus now has a Hummus House on Lyndale Ave. in Minneapolis.

Restaurant openings and closings in the Twin Cities

What's open, what's closed and what's still to come in the Twin Cities and beyond.
Nuggets, but make them fancy.

The 5 best things we ate in the Twin Cities area this week

There were fancy nuggets and pastries, a new discovery, pickle power and a breakfast with staying power.
There will be dozens of new sips introduced at this year’s Minnesota State Fair.

Minnesota State Fair announces 65 new drinks for this year's get-together

The list of beers, seltzers and cocktails is filled with fruity flavors, special collaborations and clever names.
Vegan and gluten-free smoothie bowls are a bright way to start a hot summer day.

The 5 best things we ate in the Twin Cities area this week

This week we kept cool with ceviche, spring rolls, a smoothie bowl, beach-ready shrimp and, of course, ice cream.
Make Avocado Soup with Crab Salad for guests — or treat yourself.

What to cook when it's too hot to cook? 5 Star Tribune recipes to the rescue

We took an air-conditioned look through our archives for recipes to help you through the latest heat wave.
A 3-minute pizza from Brick Oven Bus.

The 5 best things our food writers ate in the Twin Cities this week

So much to love this week: pizza made in a bus, more burgers and chicken tenders, elevated bar food and a dessert that's a work of art.
The Chile Relleno at Oro by Nixta, the Minneapolis restaurant from Gustavo and Kate Romero. At $20, it’s the most expensive menu item.

Gallery: Oro by Nixta sets the gold standard

Forgotten Star Brewing Co. was among the medal winners at the U.S. Open Beer Championship.

5 Minnesota breweries bring home hardware at U.S. Open Beer Championship

Plus: More than 100 local breweries gearing up for All Pints North.
The ramen charola is a fun way to experience elotes at Capital Corn.

The 5 best things our food writers ate in the Twin Cities this week

On our menus this week: An unforgettable ramen, sweets, fruit-infused breakfast and drinks and a massive pretzel with cheese.
The summer season fleeting beef wonder at Dream Creamery.

The 13 burgers of summer in the Twin Cities and beyond

New restaurants mean new burgers. Plus, some of the Taste team's perennial favorites with a summer twist.
Al Taco Baba from Baba’s.

Gallery: The 34 new Minnesota State Fair foods for 2023

Plus, seven new vendors are added to the roster.
Pansies are among the most common edible flowers and can be found on everything from charcuterie boards to salad.

Flowers are right at home in the kitchen

From anise to zinnia, your summer dishes just got prettier.
La La’s lemon berry ice cream at the Painted Turtle on Lake Nokomis.

The 5 best things we ate in the Twin Cities area this week

Classic breakfast fare, tiki drinks, ice cream, Korean barbecue and the combo to end all combos: French fries and champagne.
Make the most of grilling season.

Professionals answer your burning questions about grilling

We asked experts about how to raise our barbecue game, building better burgers and if we really need to clean the grill every time.
Sara Doherty and Britt Jungerberg are co-founders of Plucky Pickle Dip.

Best friends harness their sour power and find success with popular pickle dip

With a shared love of entertaining and recipes, two lifelong friends have turned a party hit into a growing business.
Hi. It’s Me. I’m the cupcake. It’s me.

The 5 best things we ate in the Twin Cities area this week

The past week was powered by Swiftie cupcakes, proper bagels, a wood-fired meal along the St. Croix, a new buzzy bakery and a light summer soufflé.
Lizzo is among the female icons authors Ashley Schutz and Ashly Jernigan featured in their new book, “A Table Set for Sisterhood” (Sourcebooks, $2

New cookbook takes inspiration from female icons, including Lizzo

"A Table Set for Sisterhood" feeds our minds with the inspiring stories of 35 women and the recipes created just for them.
Jim Ascher often supervised meals on the grill.

Readers share their favorite memories of dad in (or near) the kitchen

Some dads are grilling go-getters, lefse kings and masters of mashed potatoes. Others have skills that lie elsewhere, pinch-hitting only when needed — often with memorable results. But all of these dads have one thing in common: They are loved.
The Summer Lovin’ coal-fired pie at Love Pizza.

The 5 best things we ate in the Twin Cities area (and beyond) this week

Delicious finds from a road trip to Stillwater and breakfast in Red Wing, plus a new burger to try, vegan street food and pizza — all the major food groups.
Barbecued Mediterranean Pizza With Basil Oil and Ricotta is among the recipe cards in “The BBQ Companion” deck from Oscar Smith (Smith Street, $24

5 grilling recipes to get you fired up for Father's Day

French toast, pizza, vegetables and chef-inspired steak — there's nothing a grill can't cook.
This week’s best came with sticky fingers and lots of napkins.

The 5 best things we ate in the Twin Cities area this week

What a week: A new-to-us cinnamon roll, soup to soothe summer ills, taste of the tropics with tostones, east metro barbecue and last call for Lowry Hill's BLT.
Gai Noi’s brief but decadent dessert menu included a mango cremeux.

Gallery: A first look at Gai Noi in Loring Park

Chef Ann Ahmed's stunning restaurant in now open in Minneapolis.
The avocado toast at Cardamom is built for summer brunching.

The 5 best things we ate in the Twin Cities area this week

Summer eating at its best: a scenic brunch at Cardamom, road trip vegetables, farmers market finds and a new pizza spot in Bloomington.
In 1985, the Twin Cities metro area had 20 markets; today, the tally is more than 70.

Six dozen farmers markets to check out in the Twin Cities area

Plan your summer adventures to support local growers, makers and more.
Whether he’s a barbecue master or a baking aficionado, we want your memories of dad in the kitchen.

Readers: We want your fondest (or funniest) memories of Dad in the kitchen

Maybe your dad is a grill master, or makes the best cashew chicken. Share his story, photo or recipe for our special Father's Day package.
Buttermilk ice cream from the new Herbst restaurant in St. Paul.

The 5 best things we ate in the Twin Cities area this week

The Taste team feasted on churros for breakfast, a signature ramen birria, menus filled with springy vegetables and a can't-miss cornbread ice cream.
Wrigley Field in Chicago has hosted a similar event as part of the Stadium Chef Series.

Top Twin Cities chefs tapped for Target Field dinner benefiting James Beard Foundation

The ballpark is one of three stops on the Stadium Chef Series.
Chris Henry of Forest Lake is the newest member of the Cravers Hall of Fame.

Thanks to White Castle, Minnesota has a new Hall of Famer

Chris Henry of Forest Lake is among the newest inductees into the group of Craver elites.
Honey-Orange Rhubarb Compote served over meringues.

5 recipes from the Star Tribune archives that celebrate rhubarb

Cakes, muffins and compotes — make the most of the season.
The hallmark Bellecour pastries will be front and center at the new Cooks | Bellecour in Edina.

Gallery: The new Cooks | Bellecour opens this week in Edina

Take a peek inside the new, rebranded location.
A vegetarian favorite from the fast-expanding local taco chain, Centro.

The 5 best things we ate in the Twin Cities area (and Duluth) this week

Cocktails and coffee in White Bear Lake, a trip to a Duluth treasure, a vegetarian favorite in St. Paul and seasonal eating in Minneapolis.
The upcoming Brick Burger pop-up will please both burger and Lego aficionados.

Fans of Legos and burgers, your dream pop-up is coming to Minneapolis

Brick Burger among the immersive burger pop-ups heading this way.
Customize Little Ham, Leek and Cheddar Frittatas, from “The Slimming Foodie in Minutes,” to suit your tastes.

3 simple brunch recipes to make for Mother's Day

Eating in this weekend? Make a fuss over Mom, not in the kitchen.
Brian Baumgartner played chili-loving Kevin on the NBC hit “The Office.”

Meet ex-Minnesotan 'Office' star who became 'the chili guy' and cookbook author

Brian Baumgartner will sign copies of his new cookbook, which features 177 chili recipes, at Maplewood Mall.
A flight of beers reflect the varieties served at Hackamore Brewing Co. in Chanhassen.

New Chanhassen brewery is personal to owner and food blogger Zac Gleason

Hackamore Brewing Co. is filled with family, friends, sentimental details — and beer.
Crème Brûlée French Toast at Baldamar’s Champagner brunch.

The 5 best things we ate in the Twin Cities area this week

It was a breakfast-heavy week with an over-the-top brunch, doughnuts, savory scones and avocado toast (but in a bowl). Oh, there's meat, too.
At Chelas, grilled scallops are served with ginger scallion oil, Vietnamese coriander and fish sauce.

Gallery: Chelas in Minneapolis serves up Latin and Vietnamese fusion

The crew from Falling Knife Brewing Co. took best in show for its Tomm’s American lager at the 2023 Minnesota Brewers Cup.

Best beer in the state? Winners of the Brewers Cup announced

After a three-year hiatus, the Minnesota Craft Brewers Guild conference and competition is back.
Dan Buettner celebrated the birthday of his frequent traveling partner and dad, Roger, while on the road researching in Hawaii.

Minnesotan Dan Buettner celebrates American 'Blue Zones' in new cookbook

Minnesota chefs Sean Sherman, Yia Vang, Andrew Zimmern and Alan Bergo offer recipes.
Kunafa ice cream at Milkjam Creamery.

The 5 best things our food writers ate in the Twin Cities area this week

The Taste team shares the highlights of their weekly dining experiences.
King Coil Distillery will have a selection of spirits and liqueurs when it opens in St. Paul this summer.

Attention, St. Paul: There's a new distillery coming your way this summer

King Coil Spirits will open a distillery, cocktail bar and pizzeria in the Vandalia Tower.
Sean Sherman, on the terrace of his restaurant Owamni, has been recognized by Time magazine for his trailblazing work with Native cuisine.

Sean Sherman recognized as one of Time magazine's 100 most influential people

Plus: Pop-up darlings the Salsa Collaborative heading to Chanhassen brewery and other food news.
Bar+Cart on Grand Avenue has a menu filled with foods to pair with their top-shelf bar program.

The 5 best things our food writers ate in the Twin Cities area this week

The Taste team shares the highlights of their weekly dining experiences.
Fresh off their star-making turn at the fair, Rana Kamal and her brother Khalid Ansari are opening a new kind of cafe and bakery this summer.

State Fair darling Baba's opening hummus house in Minneapolis

Fresh-topped hummus, date-sweetened lattes, Jerusalem-style bagels and a grab-and-go market are all part of the plans.
Mee-Ka is the newest pop-up from the Hilltribe restaurant group, enticing diners with comfort foods of the Hmong American experience. The entire menu

Gallery: First look at Yia Vang's Mee-Ka

Get skyline views atop the Hewing Rooftop in Minneapolis’ North Loop.

Get outside! Five outdoor activities around the Twin Cities

Here are five things we're itching to do now that the weather is nice. What are yours?
For something a little indulgent, try Crab and Boursin Cheese Quiche from “For the Love of Seafood” by Karista Bennett.

5 recipes to usher in spring brunch season

After a winter of heavy dishes, it's time to lighten things up with herb-filled quiches, frittatas and citrus.
The revamped Mill City Tavern at MSP has views of the airfield.

New restaurants springing up across the Twin Cities area

Plus: A new concept coming to Travail, and Monello closing in May.
Gobi Manchurian at Muddy Tiger Indian Bistro.

The 5 best things our food writers ate in the Twin Cities area this week

From morning muffins and lunchtime sashimi to comfort food in the form of brisket, pasta and cauliflower, the Taste team shares their weekly dining experiences.
Indulge in Lobster Frittata with butter-poached lobster tails at the Capital Grille.

Outsourcing Easter? Get help from these 30 Twin Cities area restaurants

If the holiday caught you by surprise, dinner reservations or meal kits are just a click away.
Head to the back bar inside the new Butcher & the Boar for this exceptional fried chicken sandwich.

The 5 best things our food writers ate and drank in the Twin Cities area this week

The Taste team shares the highlights of their weekly dining experiences.
They’ve been around for centuries, but aren’t losing popularity.

Chickpeas are having a moment

Rich in protein and a boon to any cuisine, they are a mainstay for both chefs and home cooks.
A sampling of microgreens and lettuces from Clayton Farms.

Fields of dreams: Fresh greens delivered to Twin Cities doorsteps

Indoor farming pioneer Clayton Farms has made a splash with subscribers who want just-harvested greens year-round.
Zelo is back, and so is its margherita pizza.

The 5 best things our food writers ate in the Twin Cities area this week

This week, the Taste team's dining diaries include revisiting an old Italian friend, dips for the ages, ramen, fish-on-a-stick and the highest-shelf Cognac.
In addition to beer specials, St. Paul Brewing will be serving up pasties, Colcannon potatoes and Irish soda bread.

It's St. Patrick's Day: Irish appetites are calling for these Twin Cities food specials

From traditional corned beef and cabbage to soda bread and over-the-top desserts, revelers will get their fill.
Chicken pot pie at Hazelwood.

The 5 best things our food writers ate in the Twin Cities area this week

The Taste team's dining diaries include sweet and savory pie, supersized sandwiches and a downtown Minneapolis day-brightener.