Plants: It’s What’s For Dinner

A new crop of vegans and vegetarian food purveyors are progressing a scene started by pioneering restaurants For many local carnivores, the thought of even entering a vegan or vegetarian restaurant is frightening. Why would they want to spend their money on quinoa when there are so many great meats out there? While there truly … [ Read more]

Vilcek Foundation to award $50,000 for immigrant culinary arts professionals

The Vilcek Foundation is awarding $50,000 to three immigrant culinary arts professionals for 2019’s Vilcek Prizes for Creative Promise. Since 2009, the nonprofit has awarded Prizes for Creative Promise to encourage and support emerging immigrants who have demonstrated exceptional achievements. Awarded annually in biomedical science and in one rotating category of the arts, it was announced that … [ Read more]

The Very Visible Yia Vang

You can’t miss Yia Vang. If you dine with any regularity around the Twin Cities, you’ll run into him somewhere. His food is always popping up at Lowry Hill Meats. Cook St. Paul. Birchwood Cafe. The Bird in Loring Park. The Good Acre. Dumpling in Minneapolis. The Minnesota Craft Brewers Guild’s Winterfest. And that’s just … [ Read more]

10 Essential Items for a Minimalist Kitchen

If there’s a room in a person’s home that can go from zero to complete mess in no time flat, it’s the kitchen. Bottomless pots and pans, gadgets like dehydrators, immersion blenders, panini presses, waffle irons, and all those utensils—the amount of stuff in kitchens can be simply overwhelming. To clear out the clutter, we … [ Read more]

The Animal at the Table: Better living through whole-bird butchery

The first thing you should do is hold the chicken in your hands. Consider the weight of its body as you wipe it dry with a paper towel, tracing its flesh and bone, dabbing each crevice on its gangly mass. Feel the stippling on the skin, notice the joints and the muscles. It was an … [ Read more]

Carry-on Chicken: An Essay by MaiThao Xiong

My mom used to say, “Peb ruam ruam,” meaning “We are stupid,” to describe herself and my father. At the time, I wasn’t aware that she didn’t mean this literally—it was her way to motivate us to work harder than her and to be more than she could be. Her encouragement and love are not … [ Read more]

Minnesota Spoon: West Indies Soul with Sharon Richards-Noel

The lunch menu at the High School for Recording Arts in St. Paul looks similar to any other high school’s—full of things like corn dogs and pizza, those few cafeteria staples that satisfy both the kids’ appetites and the state’s nutritional requirements. Except Wednesdays are different. Just before noon, the aroma of garlic, ginger, turmeric, … [ Read more]

In The Weeds: Creating a culture of self-care in the restaurant industry

Several years ago, chef J.D. Fratzke went missing from family photos. Juggling his role as co-owner and chef at The Strip Club Meat & Fish in St. Paul and opening a new venture, Saint Dinette, meant he was rarely at home with his wife and his daughter. Instead, he’d arrive at Strip Club around 11am, … [ Read more]

Eat the Invasion: Does it make sense to promote the idea of controlling non-native species by eating them?

In the 1890s, a group of Shakespeare fanatics in New York devised a romantic plan to honor the bard: release a member of every animal species mentioned in his plays into the wilds of America. After a few false starts, a group of stocky black starlings, casually mentioned in “Henry IV,” flew into the sky … [ Read more]

Minnesota Spoon: Beyond barbecue—Thomas Boemer’s expansive vision for cooking with fire

Chef Thomas Boemer’s eyes are watering. He’s standing in front of an improvised outdoor kitchen, made up of a cinder block fire well, with a steel-mesh grate laid across it for a cooktop, and a two-course block wall stacked on top of that for a windbreak. It is so rough-hewn and brawny looking as to … [ Read more]

Recipe: Thomas Boemer’s Turtle Soup

In December, Thomas Boemer invited Minnesota Spoon’s Steve Hoffman to witness him work magic over a makeshift outdoor wood-fire stove, which is serving as the de facto test kitchen for Boemer and business partner Nick Rancone’s new restaurant concept in the Keg & Case Market. Over open flames, Boemer prepared Lake Superior herring fillet, pork … [ Read more]

Minnesota Spoon: The culinary languages of Adam Eaton

Developing the dishes for a new restaurant menu is a little bit like giving birth. There is the initial joyful conception. There is a long and sometimes painful gestation period, and there is the final delivery into the world of something that is both part of its creator, and that will ultimately have to interact … [ Read more]

The Mill: Mortimer’s Bar to add a music venue

Mortimer’s Bar & Restaurant, the longstanding South Minneapolis dive bar taken over in June by Nightingale owners Jasha Johnston and Carrie McCabe-Johnston, will be adding on a music venue in the bar area. The renovation to add a stage and separate dining area is underway, with the first show tentatively scheduled for December 27. McCabe-Johnston … [ Read more]

Minnesota Spoon: Bibimbap, Urban Roots, and Eddie Wu

We live in a world saturated by the pursuit of brand and audience. Social media has turned us all into intimate personal entrepreneurs marketing the product of our curated selves. We present to the world evidence that we lead enviable lives, and that we command a following, more or less loyal, that is supposed to … [ Read more]

From Eat Streets to Food Deserts: Nonprofits aim to fix a broken food system in the Twin Cities

A thriving, nationally recognized food scene is one part of living in the Twin Cities. So is the troubling existence of food deserts in economically disadvantaged neighborhoods. We’re surrounded by fertile farmland. We’re a recognized destination for creative chefs and adventurous diners. Yet while it may seem that the Twin Cities would be a place that feeds all … [ Read more]