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11th annual Minnesota Cooks program at Fair on Sunday, August 25
By Communications Director

ST. PAUL, MN (August 19, 2013) – Now in its eleventh year, the Minnesota CooksTM program ( at the State Fair brings together those who value and support our sustainable food system: farmers, consumers, and chefs. Onstage, chefs will create amazing dishes using fresh ingredients supplied by 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 celebrities in lively and meaningful discussions about their sustainable philosophies. At the end of each demonstration, the panel, as well as fairgoers, will sample the mouthwatering, farm-fresh fare. 

The program begins at 9:00 a.m. with a fruit carving demonstration by Le Cordon Bleu students and live music from Laura Underwood and Jeff Bjorgo, jazz/blues musicians. There will be six hourly presentations by Minnesota’s premier chefs and cooks, beginning at 10:00 a.m. All shows take place on the Minnesota Cooks Stage in Carousel Park, just south of the Grandstand. 


“Join Minnesota Farmers Union as they present Minnesota CooksTM  Day at the State Fair, joining  farmers, chefs and consumers in a dirt to dinner plate discussion on farm-fresh food, its availability,  and challenges that farmers face in the new economy of food,” said Doug Peterson, Minnesota Farmers Union President and creator of Minnesota CooksTM   “The Minnesota CooksTM  program explores the edges of food production; some produce traditional and some non-traditional.  Our discussion and dialogue with farmers, consumers and chefs will prove to be interesting, educational, and delicious.” 

2013 farm/restaurant pairings:

10am: Mike & Brandon Braucher, Sunshine Harvest Farm with Steve Lott, Big River Pizza; Karla Pankow and Elizabeth Millard, Bossy Acres with Helen Walden & Theresa Cook, Anodyne Coffeehouse 

11am: Baylor Radtke & Mike Magnus, Victus Farm with Tony Beran, Lake Avenue Restaurant and Bar; and Lisa Ringer, Anna Jaffray and Kaitlin Knutson, Two Pony Gardens with Nick Rancone & Thomas Boemer, Corner Table 

12pm: Brian and Lisa Petersen, Greenleaf Gardens with Jennifer Richards & Jeremy Olson, Rainbow Cafe and Catering; and Kate Wall & Lynne Reeck, Singing Hills Goat Dairy with Ian Gray, The Gray House

1pm: Mel Wiens, Acorn Ridge Farm with Derek & Shari Olson, Harvest Thyme Bistro; and Mike Stine, Stonebridge Beef with Joe Wuestenhagen, Hell's Kitchen

2pm: Tom & Karen Bunkowski, Bunkowski Farm with Josh Hanson, Spanky's Stone Hearth; Dave Massey, Northwoods Organic Produce with Dick Trotter & Lisa Scribner, Trotter's Cafe

3pm: Erin Rupp & Kristy Allen, The Beez Kneez Honey with Abby Boone, The Lynn on Bryant; and Eric Larson, Stone's Throw Urban Farm; Hai Truong, Ngon Vietnamese Bistro

4pm: Bonus show - a "Mocktails Happy Hour!" Erik and James of Easy & Oskey DIY Bitters Kits will demonstrate how to use their bitters to make tasty, non-alcoholic cocktails.

Some of the taster panelists include: U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar; U.S. Senator Al Franken; Minnesota Commissioner of Agriculture Dave Frederickson; Don Shelby, formerly of WCCO; Lori Sturdevant, Minneapolis Star Tribune; and Natalie Kelly, Owner Twin Cities Local Food.

The beautiful 12-month Minnesota CooksTM calendar will continue its tradition of debuting at the event. This stunning publication will proudly feature gorgeous photography, stories about the rich relationships these farmers and chefs share, and stellar recipes. For the duration of the Fair, it will be available at the Minnesota Farmers Union’s building at 1635 Dan Patch Avenue.

Also, for more information about Minnesota CooksTM check out our new website,  Here you can find information about all of our farmers, chefs and restaurants, including recipes and locations of where to find the delicious food.

For a sneak peak at some of what the Minnesota CooksTM program has to offer, check out this video from one of our partners, Twin Cities Public Television, on the Farmers and Chefs of Minnesota,

Minnesota Cooks is presented by Minnesota Farmers Union. For more information about Minnesota Cooks, e-mail, or “like” Minnesota Cooks on Facebook,