It's fantastic Fair time this Week in Food

State Fair time = best time of the year
State Fair time = best time of the year

It's the Week in Food we wait for all year: Minnesota State Fair time. But man cannot live on grease alone, so we've packed this week's listings with everything from fair events to charity happy hours so you can spread out your gorging.

8/21 Tuesday night from 7 to 8:30 the Edina Barnes and Noble (Galleria) hosts the Star Tribune's Lee Svitak Dean and Bob MacDonald for their discussion on the rise of celebrity chefs, the healthy-eating movement, and a variety of trends in the world of food. Broders will supply hors d' oeuvres, and Svitak Dean will be bringing a special treat as well.

8/23 It's the day you've been waiting for all summer: The Minnesota State Fair opens Thursday, so come out and get your grease on at the "Great Minnesota Get-Together." There's plenty of new foods to try this year, including deep-fried lamb testicles courtesy of Holy Land Deli, bacon ice cream, red velvet funnel cake, cheeseburgers on a stick, and poutine (among others). You can enter the fair grounds from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. Thursday, and entry costs $12 for adults.

If you're waiting to hit up the fair until the weekend, then Thursday night is great chance to down some Summit beers for a good cause. The brewery is teaming up with Opportunity Partners to host a charity happy hour where you can enjoy beer, root beer, and delicious food at the Summit Brewing Company. You'll also have the chance to win some great Summit-themed prizes. All proceeds support the programs and services of Opportunity Partners. The event is $20 per person and runs 6-8:30 p.m. at the Summit Brewery.

The art of pickling, which unfortunately doesn't involve cows
The art of pickling, which unfortunately doesn't involve cows

8/25 The title tells you all you need to know: The Useful Art of Pickling will be held at the Oliver H. Kelley Farm Saturday to teach participates about the much-beloved process of preserving foods. Visitors will discover sweet and sour pickles and other varieties that were popular with the Kelleys and families like them. For just $2 per jar, visitors to the farm can make their own refrigerator pickles to take home. Horse-drawn trolley rides along the nature trail will also be available. The farm is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and entrance is $9 for adults, $6 for children ages 6-17; and free for children age 5 and under.

8/26 More fair happenings! This summer marks the 10th anniversary of the Minnesota Cooks program at the State Fair. Sunday's events begin at 9 a.m. with culinary demonstrations by Le Cordon Bleu students and live music from Noah Hoehn, and there will be six hourly presentations by Minnesota's premier chefs and cooks beginning at 10 a.m. As the chefs prepare their creations, emcees Mary Lahammer of Twin Cities Public Television and J.D. Fratzke of the Strip Club Meat & Fish will engage the chefs and a taster panel of farmers and local celebrities in lively discussions about their sustainable philosophies. All shows take place on the Minnesota Cooks Stage in Carousel Park, just south of the Grandstand.

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