Minnesota Cooks events at the State Fair: Celebrating 10 years

Local culinary organization celebrates a decade at the State Fair
Local culinary organization celebrates a decade at the State Fair
Courtesy Minnesota Cooks

For the last 10 years Minnesota Cooks, a local organization affiliated with the Minnesota Farmers Union, has held cooking demonstrations, discussions, and educational programs related to sustainable farming at the Sate Fair. On August 26, in honor of their big anniversary, Minnesota Cooks is presenting a day full of food-filled events (including free samples for audience members) and some local celebrity taste-testers. 

The festivities and panel discussions will be emceed by Mary Lahammer of Twin Cities Public Television and chef J.D. Fratzke of the Strip Club Meat & Fish. Here are some of the chefs, farmers, and politicians you can expect to see at this special State Fair event:

The day officially begins at 9 a.m. at the Minnesota Cooks stage, right near the Grandstand. Students from Le Cordon Bleu will get the party started doing demonstrations with ways to use produce from local family farmers.

Appearing onstage throughout the day are: Lori Brinkman of Elm Brink Farm (10 a.m.); Todd Churchill of Thousand Hills Cattle Company (11 a.m.); Alex Roberts of Brasa (12 p.m.); Arun Pokharel and Padam Sharma of Everest on Grand with John Hooper of Hooper's Yak Ranch (also 12 p.m.); Lenny Russo of Heartland and Russel Klein of Meritage (both at 1 p.m.); and Scott Graden of New Scenic Café in Duluth (2 p.m.), among others.

The final group of the day (3 p.m.) is a doozy, with Erica Strait of Foxy Falafel, Molly McNeil of Minnesota Peach, Dayna Burtness of Laughing Loon Farm, and chef Paul Berglund from the Bachelor Farmer.

The discussion and tasting panelists will share their thoughts and philosophies on Minnesota's sustainable farming practices, the future of the local farmer, and fostering partnerships between suppliers and restaurants. Some familiar panelists include: Senator Al Franken, former WCCO anchor and State Fair fixture Don Shelby, and Lori Sturdevant of the Minneapolis StarTribune.

Sounds like it will be an enlightening day filled with many opportunities for free samples of expertly prepared local food. What could be better?

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Related Location

Minnesota State Fair Grandstand

1265 Snelling Ave. N.
St. Paul, MN 55108



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