Miss Minnesota will trade crown for Chipotle

Newly crowned Miss Minnesota Kathryn Knuttila is everything you want representing our state: the Detroit Lakes native is a junior at McNally Smith in piano performance and classical composition, is a tireless promoter of the Children's Miracle Network, and she can easily pack away a Chipotle burrito bowl and still be hungry for more.

As a pageant contestant, she's no doubt used to improvising answers in interviews, so we thought we'd throw a few food-related questions her way:

1.You hail from Detroit Lakes. When you're back home, what are some of your favorite places to dine out? Who considers you a regular?
Miguels! It is the cutest little Mexican place that I eat at any chance I can get. I don't know what it is about their soft shell tacos but they are so delicious! The family of a high school classmate of mine owns it so any time I go there, they know who I am! It's not really a dine-in sort of place but it brings me to my happy place.

2. Do you eat before a pageant (and if so, what), or do nerves not allow for that to happen?
I don't know why it is, but I am absolutely starving the entire time of a pageant! The day of swimsuit competition at Miss Minnesota, we were given Chipotle burrito bowls and I ate my entire bowl and was hungry an hour later! I think it is the nerves and excitement that makes me want to just eat!

3. Between being Miss Twin Cities, attending McNally Smith College, teaching piano, and all the appearances that come with your new role as Miss Minnesota, is cooking something you fit into your schedule or do you eat on the fly? If it's the former, what kinds of things do you like to make for yourself?
I am not much of a cook, but I think it is because I haven't had the time to be one. I do eat a lot on the run, so I snack a lot on almonds, hard boiled eggs, jerky or granola bars. When I am at home, I can make up a mean strawberry/chicken/almond salad or scrambled eggs, and if I am feeling really ambitious, I make a stir-fry with tons of vegetables and shrimp or chicken.

4. You mentioned on your blog that you used to be a waitress. When/where did you work, and what did you like most about being part of the restaurant industry?
I was a waitress at a nice restaurant across from my family's lake cabin called Spanky's Stone Hearth. I worked there from the summer of 2004-2006. I liked being a part of the restaurant industry because it gave me a deeper appreciation for how hard everyone in the industry works! I was treated really great there, but I have seen some cases where customers treat the staff rudely. They sometimes forget that those are real people just trying to do their job. I've always said that I think everyone should waiter/waitress at some point in their life so they can truly appreciate the job! I also really enjoyed waitressing because I love the feeling of serving others, and getting to meet people from all over Minnesota is always fascinating to me!

5. If you had to take one food to the Miss America pageant to represent Minnesota, what would it be? Minnesota wild rice! I love wild rice soup or stuffed in a chicken breast. Wild rice is Minnesota's state grain and is almost as old as history itself!

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