What to expect at the upcoming Chipotle Cultivate Festival


If you're not ready to say goodbye to Twin Cities food and music festivals just yet, say hello to this year's Chipotle Cultivate Festival, coming up on August 23 at Loring Park.

The event will be host to six celebrity chefs, including Minnesota's own Jamie Malone and Andrew Zimmern, among others, and five live performances from bands such as Portugal the Man and Grouplove.

See also: Renaissance Festival 2014: How to enjoy ye olde Shakopee on a budget

Born in October of 2011, the Cultivate Festival is a free event hosted in a variety of cities every year and this year's tour includes San Francisco, Minneapolis, and Dallas-Ft. Worth. The event will involve chef demos (staggered between the musical acts) as well as exhibits on how to make the best guac, on GMOs and factory farms, and on how to distinguish between fresh and processed foods. Of course, there will also be plenty of food available for both sampling and purchase.

Participating chefs include Amanda Frietag of the Food Network's competition cooking show Chopped, celebrity chef Andrew Zimmern, and local chefs Jamie Malone, Jack Riebel, Paul Berglund, and Erik Anderson. In the artisan hall, guests will have a chance to sample goods from Nikkolette's Macarons, Patisserie 46, Rustica, Seven Sundays, and others.

"Minneapolis [has] a great food scene -- with really great restaurants and artisanal food producers -- and a great music scene," Chipotle's Chris Arnold says. "Those elements are so important in making these events work well."

The tasting hall will offer an impressive lineup of local breweries: Harriet, Lucid, Dangerous Man, Fulton, Surly, Sociable Cider Werks, Tin Whiskers, BauHaus, Summit, Brau Brothers, and others. With the participation of local breweries, as well as Carlos Creek Winery, you'll have more than enough Minnesota options when it comes to beverages. But we're most excited for the Cultivate Farmhouse Ale, a refreshing special edition beer from Surly.

Food-wise, we're ready to get our hands on the Shophouse rice bowl, which pairs pork, chicken, or tofu with goodies such as papaya slaw, green curry, and chili jam. We're also told Ben & Jerry's will be releasing a new flavor -- Holy Molé, a cinnamon ice cream with chocolate-covered cinnamon sugar crisps and a molé fudge swirl -- just for the occasion.

"People appreciate having the opportunity to learn something new and to try some food -- from the artisans or from us -- that they haven't had before," Arnold says. "We [hope people] leave the festival having learned something that they didn't know before, or with a renewed curiosity about food and where it comes from."

Check out the full event schedule, and for free admission, it just might be worth your time (as well as the additional money you'll fork over for food). The festival goes from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., with the first band, Hunter Hunted, kicking off the music lineup at 12:45 p.m. Did we mention it's [leashed] dog friendly?

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