MFU presents 16th annual Minnesota Cooks Day
Aug. 20, 2018
The Minnesota CooksTM program at the State Fair will once again celebrate partnerships between distinguished restaurants with family farmers from around the state for a day of entertaining cooking demonstrations, discussions and free samples of farm-fresh cuisine cooked onstage. 2018 marks the 16th year for the Minnesota Cooks summer celebration, an educational outreach program of the family farm organization Minnesota Farmers Union (MFU).
This year’s lineup includes a diverse mix of 12 restaurants and 12 farms that demonstrate the rich tapestry that makes up our state’s food scene.
“Minnesota Farmers Union promotes locally grown foods through Minnesota Cooks because it’s proven to be a viable option for families to earn a living on the farm. And we support and promote restaurants who work closely with our farmers, which supports local communities,” said Gary Wertish, President of MFU.
Beginning at 10 a.m., there will be six hourly presentations throughout the day, running until 4 p.m. All shows take place on the Minnesota Cooks stage in Dan Patch Park, just south of the Grandstand. The day will begin with Americana music from the local band The Home Fires at 9 a.m.
Minnesota Cooks is the ultimate celebration of our state’s agriculture and the people who bring good food to life. Chefs will create mouthwatering dishes using fresh ingredients supplied by local farmers. As they prepare their creations, emcees Emmy-winning Mary Lahammer of Twin Cities Public Television and Tracy Singleton of Birchwood Cafe will engage with the chefs and a panel of farmers and local food enthusiasts in meaningful discussions about our state’s food system. At the end of each demonstration, the panel, as well as attendees, will sample the farm-fresh fare.
2018 Minnesota Cooks lineup
The Home Fires will entertain audiences with original Americana music and familiar favorites steeped in blues, folk, and traditional country.
French Meadow & Larry Schultz Farms: Quiche Lorraine with Potato Crust
Truce Juice & Big River Farms via Shared Ground Cooperative: Pesto Zucchini Noodles
At Sara’s Table Chester Creek Café & Yker Acres: Chorizo Biscuits and Gravy
Young Joni & Untiedt’s Vegetable Farm: Summer Market Vegetable Panzanella
River Rock Kitchen & Bakery & Ben Penner Farms – Ben’s Organic Brown Bread
Birchwood Cafe & Hmong American Farmers Association – Heirloom Tomato & Sweet Corn BLT
A.T. The Black and White & Bakers’ Acres: Fall Harvest Salad with Pan Roasted Chicken
Four Daughters Vineyard & Winery & Driftless Fish: Pan Fried Trout with Lemon Beurre Blanc
Tillie’s Farmhouse & Countryside Apple Farms: Hasselback Sweet Potato
Breaking Bread & Urban Agriculture: Collard Wraps with Garden Pesto
Jules’ Bistro & Stony Creek Dairy: Jules’ Dill Pickle Soup
Bar Brigade & Thousand Hills Cattle Company: Grilled Hanger Steaks with Swiss Chard and Tomato
In addition to this year’s selected farmers, the Minnesota Cooks taster panels will feature local media, political and arts personalities, including: Lori Sturdevant, Star Tribune; Rodrigo Cala, Shared Ground Cooperative; Karen Lanthier, Minnesota Grown; Jason DeRusha, WCCO; Elizabeth Dunbar, Minnesota Public Radio; MFU President Gary Wertish; North Dakota Farmers Union President Mark Watne; Minnesota Agriculture Commissioner Dave Frederickson; restaurateur Kim Bartmann; Helene Murray of the Minnesota Institute for Sustainable Agriculture; and lifestyle author Jasmine Brett Stringer. Journalists and bloggers are welcome to stop by the Minnesota Cooks event for personal interviews with the hosts, chefs, farmers and tasters.
Minnesota Cooks calendar
The 2019 Minnesota Cooks™ calendar will also debut at the State Fair. This stunning publication, previously called “Best Giveaway at the Fair” by Star Tribune food columnist Rick Nelson, will feature original photography by Katie Cannon, enticing stories about the relationships these farmers and chefs share, and recipes submitted from each participating restaurant. It will be available at the newly remodeled Farmers Union Coffee Shop at 1635 Dan Patch Avenue, as well as at the Minnesota Cooks Day event. All current MFU members will receive the calendar in the mail.
Minnesota Cooks is presented by MFU with support from Minnesota Grown, Farmers Union Insurance Agency and Farmers Union Industries. For more information about Minnesota Cooks, please visit the website at www.minnesotacooks.org, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or like Minnesota Cooks on Facebook or follow us on Twitter and Instagram @minnesotacooks.
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Minnesota Farmers Union—Standing for Agriculture, Working for Farmers