Turn farmers into celebrities at Cook St. Paul’s new Farmer-to-Table dinner series

Meet the guys who make your butter better.

Meet the guys who make your butter better. Star Tribune

Farm-to-table is such an overused mantra in modern restaurants that the phrase has lost its meaning.

Most food comes from a farm, no matter what kind of farm that may be. “Local” has lost its grip too, if it ever had one. Depending on where you live, a CAFO (concentrated animal feeding operation) could be quite local, indeed. It also qualifies as a “farm” under the letter of the law.

So what’s a concerned eater to do? Really and truly meet your farmer, for one. Famous chefs are a dime a dozen, but what about famous farmers? Can you name a single farmer? Any farmer?

Cook St. Paul aims to change some of that with their upcoming dinner series, “Farmer to Table.”

“We want to show our appreciation for the people that churn the butter, sow the seeds, butcher the livestock, gather the eggs, and put all the work into providing the amazing local ingredients we use to make our food what it is. And, we want the people that appreciate what these farmers do to be able to let them know that in person," Cook St. Paul owner Eddie Wu explains. 

The dinners will go like this: Guests will enjoy a prix-fixe meal with every course featuring product from the farm. And every meal will host the farmers and six of their guests, gratis. This way, if you know Hope Creamery butter (the first featured farm), you’re going to get to know the people who make it possible for you to slather that dollop of creamy sunshine on your toast every morning.

Cool, right?

The first dinner is scheduled for Saturday, April 1 at 6 p.m. Tickets are $75 and can be purchased here.

About Hope Creamery:

The Hope Creamery, a farmer cooperative since the 1920s, was purchase in 2001 by farmer Victor Mrotz. He bought the creamery and the land in order to produce a butter that, in his words, was “a thing of the past.”

The butter is made using an old but straightforward process: small batch quantities made fresh every week. Many large producers of butter manufacture and then freeze their product until it hits the shelf in the grocery store. Not Hope. Their business model is this: “We make butter, we sell butter, and then we make more butter. Simple.”