Four Minnesotans are 2019 James Beard finalists

The finalists for the 2019 James Beard Foundation Awards were announced from Houston this morning, and four Minnesotans have punched their ticket to the awards galas. They are: Best Chef Midwest Ann Kim, Young Joni (See: Kim chats with Steve Hoffman about KFC and Kimchi) Jamie Malone, Grand Cafe (See: Steve Hoffman’s interview with Malone and … [ Read more]

A Tale of Two Butcher Shops: In a society where meat is usually mundane, two Minneapolis businesses break the mold

A friend called us recently, raving about a local butcher shop. She’d never been to one before and she spoke with all the gushy enthusiasm of the newly converted. “They have all the meat,” she said. “And they’ll do whatever you want to it—he spatchcocked my turkey!” And, to think, she could have had it ground, … [ Read more]

Dollars to Dumplings: Tim Niver’s relentless hustle keeps his culinary mini-empire current and profitable

If you watch Tim Niver casually assemble an order of bucatini all’amatriciana, you might easily mistake him for a chef. “I love that browning effect on the garlic,” he says, the smell of pancetta filling the kitchen at Mucci’s Italian. “You get that slight tinge of bitterness and you can even find some of those … [ Read more]

Private Recipe to Public Product: The Cost of Starting Up a Food Business

It starts with a cracker. Or, rather, the lack of a cracker—the perfect cracker; the exact cracker you want. You start experimenting in your kitchen, and experimentation leads to coming up with something you like. Soon, you discover it’s not just you who’s a fan: your moody teenagers love it, your crabby aunt loves it, the … [ Read more]

Behold: The Minnesota Taco Atlas!

It can be easy to lose sight of the fact that we live in a taco paradise. Legitimate taquerias—shops that make soulful, beautiful, ravishingly delicious food—are scattered all over the metro area and beyond, but they have a tendency to blend into the background. Their marketing and decor aren’t always as polished as the food, … [ Read more]

Wild-Fired Kitchen

For Ryan Stechschulte and KZ ProVisioning, feeding the Minnesota Wild is a job and a passion Deep in the bowels of the Treasure Island Center in downtown St. Paul, chef Ryan Stechschulte stands over two enormous metal pots of gourmet goulash and talks about Minnesota Wild hockey. If the TRIA Rink practice lair is the Batcave, Stechschulte is … [ Read more]

Little Shrimp on the Prairie

The uncertain future of the world’s oceans is propelling the establishment of saltwater farming in Minnesota No one believed that Paul Damhof had ordered 20 above-ground swimming pools. His credit card company flagged the purchase and called to verify it. The FedEx guy called believing the delivery was a mistake. The retailer was also perplexed—ultimately … [ Read more]

To Discover the Future of Food, Ask the Chefs

Three leading Minnesota chefs break bread, drink wine, and talk about the way food will be eaten—and cooked—in the decades to come W When we start talking about the future of food, we immediately consider questions of waste and sustainability, or whatever the cake-pop-like-object of the moment might be. It’s easy to get immersed in protein … [ Read more]

Minnesota Soul: A state with a sparse history of black-owned restaurants looks toward a bountiful future

It isn’t an accident that “Minnesota” and “soul food” are not exactly bedfellows.  Unlike other major northern cities, Minneapolis and St. Paul did not see a significant migration of African-Americans between the first and second World Wars. By the 1940 census, there were just 4,646 black people living in Minneapolis, and about as many in … [ Read more]

Bright Colors, Deep Flavors: In Hai Hai, chef Christina Nguyen has created an autobiographical powerhouse

Three facts about Christina Nguyen, chef-owner at Hai Hai and Hola Arepa: 1. She believes that the customer is right…unless the subject is omelette larb. “It’s the one dish I won’t allow people to get less spicy, because I am a total tyrant and crazy person,” she says. “There are certain things that you should … [ Read more]

Case Study: St. Paul’s upmarket Keg and Case food hall is a triumph—and a gamble

With 33,000 square feet of space and more than 20 upscale vendors, the newly opened Keg and Case West 7th Market is in immediate contention to be among Minnesota’s foremost food destinations. It’s architecturally significant—the renovated Schmidt Brewery keg house looms with a muscular, industrial power that is softened and streamlined by the addition of … [ Read more]

The Ramen Architect

John Ng of Zen Box Izakaya is a designer, engineer, and builder (of soup) If he weren’t a chef, John Ng of Zen Box Izakaya might be a kung fu master. This is literally true: the architect-turned-izakaya co-owner has been practicing martial arts for 16 years, having begun his training while living in San Francisco. … [ Read more]

First Course: Revolution!

A ‘Guerrilla Harvest Dinner’ heralded the birth of the Ashland and Bayfield chapter of the Wisconsin Farmers Union I. An Improvised Feast The spreadsheet for the harvest dinner stretched 49 lines deep. Each line was an offering from an individual that reflected a different aspect of the harvest: “Two pecks of apples and some onions.” … [ Read more]

Hunter, Writer, Butcher, Cook: Jamie Carlson and Minnesota’s wild foods movement

Jamie Carlson’s idea of a perfect field snack is a raw antelope liver, taken directly from the freshly killed animal itself. “Raw antelope liver is the sweetest thing you’re ever going to have,” he says while tending a campfire at Lebanon Hills Regional Park in Eagan. “Pull it out, rinse it off, put a little … [ Read more]

Last of the Embers: The final holdout of the Embers restaurant chain keeps the flames burning in Fridley

On a recent Thursday, we stopped by Ricky’s Embers Family Restaurant, just off 694 in Fridley. We’d arrived for the last Cruise Night of the summer season, and the parking lot was full of cars from every era, some more interesting than others—like a souped-up ’58 Ford Custom 300 with stainless steel dice on the … [ Read more]

A Blind Tasting beer festival

Taste & Rate 48 Minnesota Oktoberfests

Sept. 20, 2019 | 5:30–9pm
Upper Landing Park
Tickets: GA $40 | DD $20