Staff Directory 6370601

Rick Nelson

Reporter | Dining and Food
Phone: 612-673-4757

Rick Nelson joined the staff of the Star Tribune in 1998. He is a Twin Cities native, a University of Minnesota graduate and a James Beard Award winner. 


Nelson and Taste editor Lee Svitak Dean are publishing "The Great Minnesota Cookie Book: Award-winning recipes from the Star Tribune's Holiday Cookie Contest" (University of Minnesota Press) in October 2018.
Recent content from Rick Nelson
Purcell-Cutts House, 2328 Lake Place, Minneapolis, Minnesota, 1913, William Gray Purcell, Architect.George Elmslie, George Feick Jr. partners in firm

Historic Purcell-Cutts house near Lake of the Isles in Mpls. reopens for tours

After a two-year closure, the lauded Prairie School residence wants to start fresh.
Sunshine-colored rice porridge with an array of mix-ins at the new Kalsada in St. Paul.

Restaurant roll call: The latest 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.
“Living here is a dream come true,” said owner Alex Crnobrna. “We love to be able to live in this historic, one-of-a-kind place.”

'Absolutely exquisite' 1977 Minnetonka home by Ralph Rapson gets respectful refresh

Architect Charles Stinson remodeled a home designed by his mentor.
Joel Love and Andrew Rescorla of Urban Greens bring herbs and microgreens to Twin Cities cooks and restaurants all year long.

Twin Cities' Urban Greens turns dreams of pesto into reality

Childhood friends run a hydroponic farm that keeps local cooks in greens all year long.
The remodeled Crystal Court in downtown Minneapolis’ IDS Center.

Tasteful refresh breathes life into IDS Center courtyard in downtown Minneapolis

The welcome but subtle changes to Crystal Court are a towering achievement.
A worker tends to the Mighty Kimball organ at the Minneapolis Auditorium in 1962.

What happened to Minneapolis' famous 'Mighty Kimball' organ?

One of the largest pipe organs ever produced in the U.S. fell silent when the Minneapolis Auditorium was demolished in the 1980s.
6 questions with award-winning Minnesota landscape architect Tom Oslund

6 questions with award-winning Minnesota landscape architect Tom Oslund

02 Design's high-profile projects include Gold Medal Park, the 35W Bridge Remembrance Garden memorial and Target Plaza.
Look inside three homes Minnesota architects designed — for themselves

Look inside three homes Minnesota architects designed — for themselves

What happens when the tables turn and architects design their personal spaces.
Members of the Iny Asian Dance Theater performed on the grounds of the Commons in Minneapolis as part of the grand opening ceremonies in 2016.

8 missed opportunities on the Minneapolis streetscape

There's always room for improvement to make Minneapolis a more livable city.
file photo of Detroit Free Press cartoonist Richard Guindon

Remembering cartoonist Richard Guindon, a '70s satirist who laughed with us

From farmers in overalls to Edina achievers, Richard Guindon poked playful fun at Minnesotans, who loved his quick wit.
Wisconsin rental cabin's tower architecture is 'part of the destination'

Wisconsin rental cabin's tower architecture is 'part of the destination'

Star Tribune/AIA Home of the Month winner MetalLark Tower is the first of four vacation rental units planned for a bucolic 140-acre property near Frederic, Wis.
Russian Ballet Theatre’s “Swan Lake” will be performed at the State Theatre Friday with dancers from nine countries, including Russia, Ukraine,

Russian Ballet Theatre performs with the message: 'We Dance for Peace'

The multinational touring company will stage "Swan Lake" at the State Theatre on Friday.
The Fitz Flats in downtown St. Paul. The design work is by Michael Hoefler of HAF Group in Hudson, Wis.

2 down-on-their-luck 1890s Twin Cities apartment buildings lovingly restored

Fitz Flats in St. Paul and the Laurel in Minneapolis have regained their natural luster.
Stylized oak trees, fashioned from steel, act as greeters on the new Dale Street bridge over I-94 in St. Paul.

Why the Dale Street I-94 overpass is a role model for freeway design

The Dale Street I-94 overpass incorporates pedestrians, bikes and saner car traffic patterns. It's also a tiny step in rebuilding the Rondo neighborhood.
Boludo’s pepperoni pizza is made with fresh mozzarella and San Marzano tomatoes.

Our food writers pick their favorite pizza places in the Twin Cities

It's National Pizza Day. Can't decide where to get your pizza? Here's a little help from our archives.
At the Mall of America in Bloomington, mall walkers arrive early to get in their steps.

Our best-to-worst ranking for mall walking in the Twin Cities

From Blaine to Burnsville, we assess steps, stores, caffeine and other essentials.
Slight changes to Pillsbury Hall’s exterior include a new accessible, ground-level main entrance (through the four small arches) and plaza. The orig

At the University of Minnesota's Pillsbury Hall, everything old is new again

One of the oldest buildings on campus was remade into the home of the university's English department.
This year’s winning cookies.

Here are the 10 most popular recipes from the Taste section in 2021

From cookies to chili condiments, these were the food stories and recipes that captured the interest of Star Tribune readers over the past 12 months.
Cardamom buns from Jenny Lind Bakery.

Ring in 2022 by baking cardamom buns, or buy them from these 6 bakeries

The Swedish treat is worth mastering the twist.
Heather’s staffer Alison Griffin organized takeout orders in the midst of the pandemic, providing a lifeline to the neighborhood.

6 restaurants at the heart of their Twin Cities area neighborhoods

Diners benefited from a rise of home-away-from-home restaurants across the Twin Cities area.
In late 2020, tables were spaced out and plexiglass divided dining areas at Alma.

Our best Minnesota dining experiences of 2021

From old favorites to new places, dining out had a deeper meaning after a rocky 2020. Our food writers share their best moments.
Honey and cream cake at Spoon and Stable.

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

The Taste team recounts their favorite meal of the year, from takeout to a communal spread.
Dana Thompson and Sean Sherman, co-owners of Owamni by The Sioux Chef in Minneapolis, Minn.

5 Twin Cities restaurants and chefs who survived 2020 to thrive in 2021

After a crippling 2020, these restaurants and makers forged ahead, only to re-emerge.
Pappardelle with mushroom bolognese at All Saints.

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

Our food writers share the highlights of their weekly dining experiences.
The former Sassy Spoon space is going to become the new home of Asa’s Bakery.

Bagel-maker Asa's Bakery is moving into the former Sassy Spoon in south Minneapolis

Baker/owner Asa Diebolt plans to open in the new location in mid- to late-January.
The City of Minneapolis Public Service Building in downtown Minneapolis shares a public plaza with City Hall, left, and the Hennepin County Government

These 11 projects by Minnesota architects won awards for excellence in 2021

Annual awards recognize sustainability and human scale as well as function and form.
Smoked whitefish smörgåsar at Fika.

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

Our food writers share the highlights of their weekly dining experiences.
A steak-vegetable pot pie is one of many a la carte options at Wise Acre Eatery.

Takeout for Christmas? An updated list of Twin Cities restaurants that are cooking for the holidays

Let someone else cover the cooking duties during this holiday season, and order a takeout Christmas lunch, dinner, brunch or afternoon tea.
Our 15 top cookbooks of the year cover everything from easy dinners to baking challenges

Our 15 top cookbooks of the year cover everything from easy dinners to baking challenges

The picks are suitable for gift-giving, but you might want to keep them for yourself.
Sticky Toffee-Date Cake alone makes Zoë François’s “Zoe Bakes Cakes” worth buying.

11 cookbooks from Minnesota authors that deserve to be on your shelves

From baking cookies and bread to global flavors, this year's local cookbook scene has been a vibrant one.
Churchill St. is now open in Shoreview.

First look: Churchill St. brings chef-driven dining to Shoreview

An impressive culinary team has reimagined a former hardware store into a restaurant.
Golden Fig produces a variety of infused sugars, including lemon lavender, chocolate mint, cardamom and cranberry orange.

Golden Fig's infused sugars add flavor to everything from cookies to cocktails

Infused sugars add flavor to everything from cookies to cocktails.
Potica from Sunrise Bakery by way of Iron Ranger in St. Paul.

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

Our food writers share the highlights of their weekly dining experiences.
The winner and finalists from 2021 Star Tribune Holiday Cookie Contest (from top): Tiramisu Twists, Diablo Snowballs, Lemon Rosemary Cremes (winner),

We have a winner! Here are the best recipes for the 2021 Star Tribune Holiday Cookie Contest

Stock up on sugar and preheat the oven: These five recipes have something for everyone.
This year, 19 recipes made the final testing cut.

Live at 11 a.m.: Virtual cookie chat with Star Tribune's Nicole Hvidsten and Rick Nelson, Lunds & Byerlys chef Amy Carter

It's not too late to sign up for our second annual virtual cookie exchange. We supply the chatter, you supply the shortbreads, Chocolate Crinkles and Peanut Butter Blossoms.
Professional baker Amy Carter offers tips for your holiday baking.

Get cookie-baking tips from a local expert

For helpful specifics on ovens, vanilla extract, storage and a host of other topics, we turn to baking guru Amy Carter.
The winner and finalists from 2021 Star Tribune Holiday Cookie Contest (from top): Tiramisu Twists, Diablo Snowballs, Lemon Rosemary Cremes (winner),

Here are the winning recipes for the 2021 Star Tribune Holiday Cookie Contest

Our 2021 winner is from Cynthia Baxter of Minneapolis.
D’Amico Catering is offering a meal with all the trimmings.

These 38 Twin Cities area restaurants are serving takeout Thanksgiving dinners

There's no need to cook with these prepared holiday favorites.
Pepperoni slice at Joey Nova’s.

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

Our food writers share the highlights of their weekly dining experiences.
Shoppers and vendors were bundled up at the Minneapolis Farmers Market in January 2021.

Twin Cities farmers markets are open this winter, indoors and outdoors

Shop local, from now until April, at more than 20 metro-area farmers markets.
Spiced Sweet Potatoes With Mexican Brown Sugar is a “match made in heaven,” said James Oseland in his new cookbook, “Mexico City.”

Recipes that prove sweet potatoes deserve a starring role on the Thanksgiving table

Hold the marshmallows! From whipped to roasted and seasoned with North African spices, use local sweet potatoes to give the spuds their due.
With a few pro tips, this could be your best turkey effort yet.

5 Twin Cities chefs share tips on preparing the best Thanksgiving turkey

Secrets from the professionals will help make this year's Thanksgiving turkey your best effort yet.
Lela in Bloomington is offering a three-course Thanksgiving dinner for $39.

18 Twin Cities area restaurants that are serving Thanksgiving dinner

Go ahead, let someone else do the cooking this year.
Biscuit sandwich at Butter Bakery Cafe

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

Our food writers share the highlights of their weekly dining experiences.
Michael Morse, right, and chef Andrew Zimmern in the Cafe Un Deux Trois dining room in 1995.

Cafe Un Deux Trois owner Michael Morse remembered as 'the ultimate character'

The restaurant world remembers the transplanted New Yorker, who died in August.
Jason Hansen at Estelle.

New Detroit-style pizza restaurant opening in former Tillie's in St. Paul

Mario's is the latest project from the owners of St. Paul's popular Estelle.
Artichoke dip at Gray’s

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

Our food writers share the highlights of their weekly dining experiences.
Holman’s Table, at the St. Paul Downtown Airport, is offering a dine-in, three-course Thanksgiving feast.

Updated: Thanksgiving takeout and dining options in the St. Paul area

Sit back and relax and let the pros handle the cooking.
Chef Ann Ahmed created a space for teaching classes inside The Shop at Khâluna.

Just-opened Khâluna in Minneapolis offers good looks, great tastes

A first glimpse inside the latest from Ann Ahmed, the enterprising chef and restaurateur behind Lat14 and Lemon Grass.
Savory crepe at the French Hen Cafe.

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

Our food writers share the highlights of their weekly dining experiences.
Tenderloin sliders at Sidecar at the Tap.

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

Our food writers share the highlights of their weekly dining experiences.
The “Maid Rite” at Dakota Junction in Mound is an affectionate tribute to that Iowa culinary classic, the loose-meat sandwich.

5 more Minnesota, Wisconsin restaurants to try while peeping autumn leaves

Consider it your treat for working up an appetite while hiking.
‘Better Than a Bagel’ pizza at Margie’s Kitchen + Cocktails

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

Our food writers share the highlights of their weekly dining experiences.
All Saints opened in the former Bardo.

Now open: All Saints in Minneapolis makes the most of its location – and wood-burning grill

Two Esker Grove veterans have transformed the Minneapolis space that was most recently home to Bardo.
Owamni opened in July along the Mississippi River in Minneapolis.

Owamni, Sooki & Mimi make New York Times' top restaurant list

The two Minneapolis restaurants were among the Times' "50 places in America we're most excited about right now."
The Drive In is easy to find, just look for the gigantic rotating mug of root beer.

These 5 restaurants belong on the itineraries of autumn-leaves gazers

Follow the colors through Minnesota and Wisconsin.
Vegetable toast from A-Side Public House.

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.
Heather Dalzen and Brad Ptacek are looking to open their Band Box diner after an 18-month hiatus.

Fans are rallying to save Minneapolis' oldest diner, the Band Box

The historic diner has been closed since the start of the pandemic and its owners are now getting a financial boost from its supporters.
Annette Gustafson’s Cinnamon Cookie Butter Sandwich Cookies were a 2020 finalist.

Deadline for holiday cookie contest quickly approaching

Submitting your recipe is the first step to winning the 19th annual Star Tribune's Holiday Cookie Contest.
The original Green Mill, which opened on Hamline Av. in St. Paul 46 years ago, has a new look and a new market/deli concept.

The original Green Mill restaurant in St. Paul reopens with a new look

The Hamline Avenue outpost of the pizza-and-wings chain has also added a market/takeout counter.
Angela Fida at her Dari-ette Drive-In on St. Paul’s Minnehaha Avenue in 2015.

St. Paul's 70-year-old Dari-ette Drive-In closes

The East Side summer hotspot was one of the Twin Cities' last remaining drive-in restaurants.
Caramel apple from Abdallah Candies

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

The Taste team shares the favorites of their weekly dining experiences.
Streets were filled with shoppers at the Nicollet Farmers Market on a Thursday afternoon in downtown Minneapolis.

There are just a few more weeks for these 40 Twin Cities outdoor farmers markets

As the seasons change, so do the vendors' offerings.
Vanilla Bean Sables from Sarah Kieffer’s “Baking for the Holidays.”

For bakers, it's the most wonderful time of the year

Twin Cities author and blogger Sarah Kieffer celebrates the season with her new cookbook, "Baking for the Holidays."
Mother Dough will replace the skyway-level Peace Coffee in downtown Minneapolis.

Fhima family to open new bakery/cafe in former Peace Coffee shops in downtown Mpls.

The bakery/cafe setup will take over two former Peace Coffee locations in the Capella Tower.
Decades of Betty: Betty Crocker’s likeness, starting at the top left in 1936, 1955, 1965, 1969. At the bottom left is 1972, then moving right to 198

Minnesota baking icon Betty Crocker turns 100

To mark the centennial of "America's most trusted cook," a collection of 100 favorite recipes celebrates all things Betty Crocker.
The Kingfisher in Durand, Wis., overlooks the Chippewa River.

5 dining ideas for your leaf-peeping tour in Minnesota, Wisconsin

Check out these fine dining spots from Winona to St. Joseph.
Cardigan Donuts is a sweet stop in the skyway system.

6 lunch destinations in the Minneapolis skyways

There are plenty of options for workers and downtown residents.
Peavey Plaza in downtown Minneapolis.

See Twin Cities parks in a whole new way with guided tours, new database

Free tours of landscapes kick off the launch of a user-friendly database.
Breakfast sandwich at Honey & Rye Bakehouse.

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

Restaurant critic Rick Nelson and food writer Sharyn Jackson highlight the favorites of their weekly dining experiences.
Minnesota-grown First Kiss apple.

Get picking at these 32 Minnesota apple orchards

Apple orchards are starting to open for another U-pick season.
Each fall Sweetland Orchard owners Mike and Gretchen Perbix set some apples aside to make these gotta-have doughnuts.

An orchard known for hard ciders is making apple cider doughnuts a thing in Minnesota

Sweetland showcases the sweet side of apples.
Rick Nelson • Star Tribune
Charcuterie plate at Myriel in St. Paul.

First look: St. Paul's buzzy new restaurant Myriel is a team effort

Karyn Tomlinson, former chef at Corner Table, runs a tiny kitchen on the power of her team.
Mocha Cappuccino Cookies ___The 15th year of the Taste cookie contest includes, Chocolate Toffee Cookies, Cranberry Cornmeal Shortbread Cookies (winne

The 19th annual Holiday Cookie Contest is officially underway

Submitting your recipe is the first step to winning the Star Tribune's Holiday Cookie Contest.
Rick Nelson • Star Tribune  The burger at Sidebar at Surdyk’s in Minneapolis.

6 must-try burgers from Twin Cities restaurants

Six promising new restaurants have diverse styles but share a common trait: fabulous cheeseburgers.