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Check out the Minnesota Cooks schedule for the State Fair!
By Communications Director

On Sunday, August 24, 2014, Minnesota Farmers Union Presents Minnesota Cooks™, a Local Foods Cooking Event at the State Fairgrounds


SAINT PAUL, Minn. – The Minnesota CooksTM program ( at the State Fair is poised to host its twelfth annual celebration honoring relationships among premier Minnesota chefs and cooks, local farmers, and consumers. The day will feature cooking demonstrations, discussions, and sampling of delicious, sustainable cuisine.


The program will begin at 9:00 AM with a culinary demonstration of quick, healthy breakfast options by Kirsten Shabaz of Valley Natural Foods and live music from jazz and blues musicians Laura Underwood and Jeff Bjorgo.


Beginning at 10 AM, there will be six hourly presentations throughout the day by Minnesota’s premier chefs and cooks. All shows take place on the Minnesota Cooks Stage in Carousel Park, just south of the Grandstand.


Minnesota Cooks brings together those who value and support our local food system: farmers, consumers, and chefs. Onstage, these chefs and cooks will create amazing dishes using fresh ingredients supplied by our local stewards of the land. As they prepare their creations, emcees Mary Lahammer of Twin Cities Public Television and JD Fratzke of The Strip Club Meat & Fish will engage the chefs and a taster panel of farmers and local food heavyweights in lively and meaningful discussions about their sustainable food philosophies. At the end of each demonstration, the panel, as well as fairgoers, will sample the mouthwatering, farm-fresh fare.


“I'm very proud of what this program has accomplished. We've been in lockstep with consumers' increasing concern about where their food comes from and who produces it,” said Doug Peterson, Minnesota Farmers Union President and creator of Minnesota Cooks. “We're pleased to educate about not only where to purchase these products, including restaurants and retailers, but also the community connection that purchasing local, farm-fresh foods brings about."


2014 farm/restaurant pairings:



▪          Eric & Lisa Klein, Hidden Stream Farm and Robert Ulrich, Mendoberri

▪          Michael Schumacher & Marina Lovell, Farmucopia and Reed Olson, Wild Hare Bistro


▪          Jim & LeeAnn VanDerPol, Pastures A Plenty and TJ Rawitzer, Tiny Diner

▪          John Peterson & Jane Peterson, Ferndale Market and Rashmi Battachan & Sarala Kattel, Gorkha Palace


▪          Jim Riddle & Joyce Ford, Blue Fruit Farm and Tracy Singleton & Marshall Paulsen, Birchwood Cafe

▪          Megan & Stephan Henry, Sundogs Prairie Farm and Matthew Jensen, Broadway Bistro


▪          Dean Engelmann & Scott Endres, Tangletown Gardens’ Farm and Beth Fisher, Wise Acre Eatery

▪          Ian Silver-Ramp, Mississippi Mushrooms and Stephen Trojahn & Catherine Eckert, Gastrotruck


▪          Laura Dimler, Pampered Pumpkin and Craig Sharp & Tracy LeTourneau, Terra Waconia

▪          Joe Lindgren & Danie Jimenez, Positively 3rd Street Bakery and Jason & Lucie Amundsen, Locally Laid Egg Company


▪          John Bowron, Prairie Heights Bison and Skyler Hoiland, The Bluestem

▪          Weston Gienger, Kadejan, Inc. and Jourdan Morris and Mike Rakun, Mill Valley Kitchen


At 4pm, Erik Eastman & James Eastman of Easy & Oskey will demonstrate inventive mocktails using bitters from their popular Make Your Own Bitters Kit. Mary DuShane and Nicholas Jordan of The Moonlight Duo will entertain afternoon audiences with Southern roots and bluegrass music.


In addition to this year’s selected farmers, the Minnesota Cooks taster panels will feature local food heavyweights eager to weigh-in on our state’s food scene - politicans, authors, food bloggers, and radio personalities: Lori Sturdevant of Star Tribune, Sue Zelickson of The Charlie Awards and Women Who Really Cook, author Atina Diffley, Fresh Tart blogger Stephanie Meyer, WCCO news anchor Jason DeRusha, and many others.


The beautiful 12-month Minnesota Cooks™ calendar will continue its tradition of debuting at the event. This stunning publication will proudly feature original gorgeous photography, enticing stories about the rich relationships these farmers and chefs share, and stellar recipes. For the duration of the fair, it will be available at Minnesota Farmers Union’s building at 1635 Dan Patch Avenue. After the fair, calendars can be requested through the Minnesota Cooks website ( or through the 2014 participating restaurants and farmers.


Minnesota Cooks is presented by Minnesota Farmers Union with significant support from Minnesota Grown, Farmers Union Insurance Agency, and Farmers Union Industries. For more information about Minnesota Cooks, please visit the website at, e-mail, or like Minnesota Cooks on Facebook,