Chef demos, tastings, and garlic flavored ice cream at the Minnesota Garlic Festival

Chef demos, tastings, and garlic flavored ice cream at the Minnesota Garlic Festival
Photo by Muffet via Flickr

People generally fall into three different categories when it comes to garlic consumption: those who avoid the taste and smell at all cost, the secret lovers who enjoy garlic but avoid eating it in public, and the die-hard garlic enthusiasts who embrace the taste and smell, despite the moans of those subjected to their garlic breath.

Garlic enthusiasts, your day has finally come. On Saturday, farmers, chefs, and musicians will gather at McLeod County Fairgrounds in Hutchinson to celebrate the oft-loathed bulb to the fullest extent at the annual Minnesota Garlic Fest. The event comes just after harvest season, so plan on consuming the freshest (and most potent) garlic around.

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A handful of Minnesota chefs will prepare garlic-centered dishes at the festival cafe, the Great Scape. Restaurant Alma will offer a prime rib sandwich, the Bachelor Farmer will be making pork sausage with chard and potato, Birchwood will have a skirt steak po'boy, Common Roots will offer a veggie sandwich and garlic toast, the Corner Table will prepare garlic hush puppies, and Tilia will have "some sort of chicken." If you're feeling especially daring, you'll hunt down the garlic ice cream offered at the fest.

Chef demos will take place on the Lakewinds Local Foods Chef Demo Stage in thirty minute intervals from 10:30 am to 4:30 p.m. This year's fest will feature demos by Marshall Paulsen of Birchwood Cafe, Emmy Award-winning cookbook author Rhaghavan Iyer, Thomas Boemer of the Corner Table, Bryan Morcom of Restaurant Alma, Paul Backer of Tilia, and Matt Morgan of the Bachelor Farmer. If you can't bear to watch the chefs at work without sampling their creations, don't fret -- tastings will be offered between each demo.

Additional activities include kite building, family friendly games, the Rogue Runway Fashion show, and a garlic growing contest.

The event starts goes from 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. on Saturday. Tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for kids. Parking costs an additional $1.

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