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Feast on the Field: Schwan's Chef Collective takes US Bank Stadium

In 1952, a little Dodge van drove down the streets of Marshall, Minnesota, carrying ice cream treats. In 2017, a similar truck stood proudly on the field at US Bank Stadium during Schwan's Feast on the Field Event.

On September 14, Minneapolis socialites and foodies gathered on the field at the new US Bank Stadium (and soon home to the SuperBowl LII) to enjoy a meal together cultivated by the Schwan's Chef Collective.

The Collective includes local chefs such as Jamie Malone (Grand Cafe) and Ann Kim (Young Joni), chefs from across the country like Adrienne Cheatham (Red Rooster in New York), and even a few chefs from TV-- we’re looking at you, Jet Tila.

Members of the Collective are integral in the process of creating new dishes and products for the Schwan's company, making sure to fuse innovation with ease, and taste with excellence.

The evening began with a social hour, with Bittercube-advised cocktails and chef-inspired appetizers. Cocktails inspired by the seasons made for a wide range of choices, and each paired well with the fun, upscale comfort food. A four course dinner followed, featuring a venison tartar and pan seared duck breast. Dessert followed with the ever-popular ice cream treats and a DIY s’mores bar.

Food aside, and future forward, the event also served as the launch point for a $150,000 donation and charitable partnership between Schwan's and the Minnesota based non-profit, Youth Farm.


To learn more about Schwan's History and the Chef Collective (and where you can eat these delicious treats), visit their website:www.schwanscompany.com/schwans-chef-collective

 

Words and Photos by Lauren Cutshall

Brunch Menu Proves Lagos Is More Than Just Tacos

Lago Tacos Brunch_EatDrinkDishMPLS_KatieFraser

Few things are more divisive than brunch. First, there’s the choice between venturing to a new restaurant or staying with the tried-and-true. Then, there’s the decision of just how much breakfast type foods to incorporate into your meal. Finally, the ultimate question: mimosas or Bloody Mary’s? But, true foodies know, when it comes to brunch, you never truly have to pick. 

Lago Tacos Uptown_EatDrinkDishMPLS_KatieFraser

Lago Tacos is known for, what else, its tacos. The Mexican restaurant in Uptown, Minneapolis and Excelsior serves dozens of taco varieties, and nearly the same amount of tequila varieties. However, lesser known, is their weekend brunch menu. Served on Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., the menu features 12 breakfast dishes, cooked with the same Mexican flavors.

To help introduce this tried-and-true spot into the brunch world, Eat.Drink.Dish MPLS held it’s first-ever Exclusive Foodie Brunch at Lago Tacos in Uptown Sunday morning.

For those unfamiliar, Eat.Drink.DishMPLS introduces Minneapolitans and St. Paulites to the world of Twin Cities food through Instagram, Facebook and Exclusive Foodie Dinners. Em Beck describes her and her husband as “huge foodies.” They found Eat.Drink.Dish MPLS on Instagram and learned about the dinners as a result. “[We thought] they have great taste so we can handle them,” Beck laughed. “It’s nice because the newer restaurants are [always promoted.]” The dinners give restaurants a chance to show off their menu items – new or old – to food-lovers throughout the Twin Cities.

Lago Bloody Mary_EatDrinkDishMPLS_KatieFraser

Sunday’s foray into brunch featured six courses – five menu items and a specialty item made by the chef. Manager Kenny Robinson treated diners to the Breakfast Empanadas, Lago's Benedict, Tostada Stack, Pork Belly Omelet, French Toast and the chef’s choice. There were also Bloody Mary’s, mimosas and margaritas.

The menu featured a mix of traditional breakfast dishes and original flavors. For those eager for eggs, the empanadas were a deep-fried take on a breakfast burrito (of which there was another on the menu.) For those looking to branch out, the Tostada Stacks gave a morning twist to the typical tostada by adding eggs to their many layers.

Lago Tacos Benedict_EatDrinkDishMPLS_KatieFraser

But the star of the afternoon was truly the Lago's Benedict. A soft, sweet corn cake, cool guacamole, spicy chorizo and jalapeno, tangy hollandaise and yolk created the perfect blend of flavors and textures in one bite.

It was the true star.

The runner up was Chef Eric’s tamales. Chicken tamales covered in a salsa verde, the special dish for the exclusive meal packed a lot of flavor into each bite.

Also, for those with a sweet tooth, the French toast was perfectly balanced. The sweet hazelnut butter sauce was made milder when paired with the nutty candied pecans and light bananas.

Lago Tacos French Toast_EatDrinkDishMPLS_KatieFraser

With its blend of Mexican and traditional breakfast flavors, and it’s solid reputation, Lago is a brunch spot that is sure to end the divide and bring people together.

Lago Tacos is located in Uptown, Minneapolis at  2901 Lyndale Avenue or Excelsior at 30 Water Street. Both serve a weekend brunch.

To learn more about Exclusive Foodie Dinners, or other food news, follow Eat.Drink.Dish MPLS on Instagram or online.

 

 

 

 

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Katie Fraser is a burgeoning freelance writer in the food, hospitality and entertainment space. Prior to breaking out on her own, Fraser worked for three-and-a-half years at WCCO-TV as a web producer, where she wrote and created MNfusion and Tap Talk respectively. Her favorite brunch spot is Hola Arepa and she could eat pizza for every meal. As for beer, she favors LTD’s Emily’s Dream. Follow her on Twitter at @kayfray5, Instagram (@kay.fray5) or Linked In (Katie Fraser).

HIDDEN GEM: Viking Bar & Prairie Dogs

If you followed our InstaStories on Saturday, February 25th you saw that we visited the Viking Bar on the West Bank in Minneapolis. This hidden gem is newly renovated after being closed for 10 years.

The space includes a full bar, multiple flat screen TVs, a stage for live music, a digital jukebox, and a few popular arcade games. We sat in the back corner booth, as it had the best lighting for our visit. So, if you are an influencer and want to get some nice shots of your food, we highly recommend that spot.

As you may know, Prairie Dogs closed their Uptown location a few months ago and now you can find them at the Viking Bar. They may not have all the items they used to serve at their previous location, but they have all the signature items and everything we ordered was beyond what you call, "bar food."

From the All-American Dog that was stuffed with pork belly and topped with a fried egg to the Fried B&B (Bread and Butter) Pickles that came with a side of their house-made ranch dipping sauce, we were in foodie heaven!

For drinks, we kept it local, of course. We ordered the Du Nord Bloody Mary, a Summit Ale, and Vikre's Aquavit Gimlet.

On the weekend, you can snag a Du Nord Bloody Mary or Mimosa for only $5 from 10am-5pm. Otherwise, hit them up during their weekday happy hour from 4-7pm for discounted food and drinks like the $4.25 Viking Dogs and rail cocktails.

 

Behind the Scenes: Cochon555

On Sunday, February 19th we attended the highly anticipated Cochon555 in downtown Minneapolis at the Loews Hotel. 5 pigs, 5 winemakers, and 5 chefs competing in the ultimate pork competition.

Photo Credits: Sarah Ellen Photography

If you aren't into pork, this is definitely not the event for you. Everything and anything had some sort of pork attribute in it from the cocktails to the maple bacon cotton candy at the Handsome Hog table to the blood flan at the Surly Brewers Table.

They even brought in a whole dead pig for the butchering section of the event, which we didn't stay for, but it is definitely a sight to see - check it out in our album above.

As media, we were invited for the judging portion of the event where 5 local chefs prepared an innovative plate of various pork-influenced fare. Each chef crafted their own speech which eloquently described their creative work, and we were on the front lines doing our first ever Instagram Live video broadcasting. So, thank you for the ones that joined our feed that day!

The judges' table was full of other local chefs, media personnel, and we believe we spotted some other social media influencers as well but nobody we knew personally.

Once the judging was over the doors opened for the VIP ticket holders, who were waiting in the other room enjoying charcuterie food from other vendors, and the room quickly filled up.  Lines quickly formed at each vendor's table that were either offering samples of food, beer, spirits, or wine.

Each chef had a table represented joined by their crew sampling out the same items they offered to the judges during the competition. It took us about an hour to go around the room to taste the items we wanted to taste.

Midway through the event, they announced the winner of Cochon555 and the winner was Chef Grae Nonas of Tullibee.

Sarah Kaufman was our photographer that day and she captured some awesome shots that highlighted the event. So, peruse through the album and if you love it, share it on social!

Behind the Scenes: The Food Building

In early February, Eat.Drink.Dish MPLS was invited to The Food Building, located on Marshall St. and 14th in Northeast Minneapolis, for a more in depth and behind the scenes view and taste. To get your own view, check out our photo gallery:

Photo Credits: Sarah Ellen Photography 

The Food Building houses three different vendors in its space: Red Table Meat Co, making salumi from Minnesota pasture raised pigs; Baker's Field Flour and Bread, milling their flour and baking onsite; and The Lone Grazer Creamery, making delicious cheese from Minnesota grass fed cows. 

But the transparency at the Food Building doesn't stop with where its food comes from, but it's open for tours, allowing you to see the behind the scenes view of salumi making or bread baking. Whether you come for a self guided tour, or opt for a guided tour and a tasting, peaking into the windows gives a great idea of what these businesses do on the daily. 

After you go on a tour, there's a good chance you'll want to spend even more time in the industrially trendy space, but not to worry. The Food Building is available for rent, for parties and events, with plenty of meeting space. Choose from the entire building, or just a single room-- the Bubble Hall or the Tasting Room-- for your next locally based event. 

 

Q&A with Galaxy Foods

DSC_0373.jpg

This sponsored post was edited for length and clarity. 

Located in Richfield, Galaxy Foods is your go-to for all things Caribbean. As a lifestyle store more than anything else, Galaxy is offering plenty of authentic Caribbean foods so you can make your favorite dishes at home. We sat down to learn more, with Arun Motilall, whose family has owned the business for almost 30 years. 

 

EAT.DRINK.DISH MPLS: To begin at the beginning… how did you get started?

 

ARUN MOTILALL: Well it’s definitely not about me, it’s definitely about the family. So my family has been in business for 28 years, so we all started when we first came to the states, you know, a couple of years after being in the states. People in our community were looking to buy product that was familiar to them. And my family grew up in the supermarket, bar, restaurant kind of business even when they were back in our home country, in Guyana. So always running those types of establishments, they came here and they we're like ok so we’ve got some contacts, some ideas, and they just started some stuff. You know, like everybody else does, kind of humbly and small, in their garage or basement. As you grow, you grow into it.

My parents have been pretty liberal about finding your own path and finding what you want to do, so my siblings are accountants and you know, work in retail for companies like Best Buy. We’ve all kind of done that and I’ve flowed back into the business after 13 or 14 years of corporate work.

 

EDD: I’m curious to hear about how your family started this, by, as you say, recognizing that there was a need.

AM: I think an important part of business is understanding yourself a lot. So I think we all kind of look internally and see how it impacts us externally. The unique thing about our culture is that we fall into this umbrella of West Indian, Indo-Caribbean, and I think as we’ve all made this personal journey about ourselves, it’s helped us understand our business model as well. So we don’t fall into the type of people that go into an Indian food store. We’re partners with those stores, but they don’t carry the breadth of what we’re accustomed to in our native lands. And then you go into a traditional Asian store you’re not going to find-- again, you’re going to find some things-- but you’re not going to find the uniqueness that is the Caribbean, which is a melting pot of black, West African, Indians, and Chinese, almost specifically. It’s that melting of culture that’s so unique. So our foods are different, the way we prepare things are going to be different. With that, we had to lean into the uniqueness of our business.


I think that’s where we realized our business opportunity and need. There’s a specific business need for this. And that’s what has helped us diversify. Because we’re more of a lifestyle store, there’s clothes, food, religious spiritual stuff, there’s fish and meat that’s very specific to our areas. So that’s really helped us see the path forward.  

EDD: What else is unique about this store, in terms of services or products offered?

 

AM: We do a lot of shipping internationally because again, nobody else is shipping to the Caribbean. If you want to send charitable products to a church, to a school, to whatever, we’ll facilitate all that. You can’t just go to Fedex or the post office, it’s not economical.

Customers will say things like, "I’m so glad you guys are here, don’t ever go anywhere because I can’t find this stuff anywhere else!" And it reinforces the fact that you are like, oh I do serve a purpose, we are unique. And that’s appreciated.

 

EDD: You mentioned having partners in other companies-- what’s the demographic of your customers? Are they just people off the street, or mostly other companies, or a mix?

 

AM: Yeah, so we do a couple of things. Our biggest business and the anchor to our family is our retail business, so that’s anybody coming in off the street. I think our customer base falls pretty much into three categories-- those who move from their home and they are very attached to the lifestyle that they had, then the people who were either born elsewhere but came at a young age, or were born here but grew up in a household that predominantly followed those ways, and then the third category is people who are traveled. The Caribbean benefits from travel so we get a lot of people who are willing to try new things, and they love food and have been to the Caribbean in some form and they’re like "I want to recreate the dish I had."


We do run a wholesale operation as well, which has been with mostly other ethnic stores, or other stores that are interested in being more ethnically diverse. These places are catering to the Caribbean population, we work a lot in the Brooklyn Park area, St. Paul area, and then a bit in the South, like Eagan, Savage, Burnsville. Not everyone wants to drive to Richfield, so they’ll be able to go to [these other stores] for their flagship items, and get the key 80% of what they need.

 

EDD: So why Richfield?

AM: I think it was just good location, good property, good value. It was close to Minneapolis, which is where we grew up, and then my parents moved to Shakopee, so I guess this was in the middle of the two. We flirted with being further north, because there are so many populations in the north, but it’s hard because we’re really focused on running our one business, our one location and then running that location the best we can.

 

EDD: How often does your inventory change? Do you always carry certain things?

 

AM: We’re very consistent in what we carry, which I think people appreciate. It’s challenging when things are always moving, but I would say that 90% of the products in our store you will see every single time you come into the store. I would say that in the last 12 months, which coincides with the amount of time that I’ve been 100% invested in the business, we’ve done a lot more testing of products and brought in a lot of new stuff. I would say we generally keep those things. We know what’s going to work.

 

EDD: You have lots of specialty items, but is there something in particular people really come for?

 

AM: Jerk chicken! Like any kind of jerk seasoning. We’re pretty good at it. We know the breadth of products, we cook with it. We really balance growth-- like growing isn’t our mission. Serving people is our mission, so if you grow as a result of that, then great. But we cook with and have used almost every single product in the store.

 

EDD: What is the set up of roles in the store, in terms of you and your family-- everyone that runs the store.

 

AM: My mom, she’s the boss. We joke around about that-- we’re pretty much employees of hers. So she runs it, she does it all. She does all of our inventory, she does all of our ordering, as well as maintenance of our store. My dad is a lot more focused on the quality of product, specifically meat and fish. He works with specifically how we get the best, the most fresh [of a product.] He’s there building relationships with suppliers. I spend most of my time doing marketing, helping with operations, helping with management of inventory, but I spend the other half of my time with the wholesale operation. My sister is here part time, she does our accounting. And there's my brother, who lends his skills when necessary, but he’s not here operationally.

 

EDD: You mentioned earlier about changing people’s perceptions when it comes to Caribbean culture. Are there certain ways you’ve found to be especially effective in changing people’s perceptions?

 

AM: Yeah, I think part of it is that nothing beats conversation-- like real conversation. The kind of conversation when you are genuinely interested in what the person has to say, which is hard over social media. We’re very methodical about how we communicate with our customers, we don’t send a lot of stuff out, we don’t bombard people with product placement. It’s very much organic.

 

EDD: In terms of the future, do you have any plans for expansion or new store or projects?


AM: I think our expansion, looking at a 3 to 5 year plan, wouldn’t be more stores. It would be just focusing on our store here, and doing business better here, which means things like how can we be more environmentally friendly-- we are looking at solar panelling our roof. I think where we have opportunity is to be more holistic in our supplying from a wholesaler perspective. To be deeper with our customers, as in more products, and to touch more customers, especially in the restaurant space. It’s more important to us to serve our customers correctly, to be very proud of our work, than it is to take home a check that is empty numbers.

For More from Galaxy Foods, check out their recipe for Chow Mein!

5 Restaurants Delivered to Your Office

This is a sponsored post.

If you’ve ever worked in an office, the idea of corporate catering might be enough to make you cringe. Why,  with so many amazing local food options, would one waste their time with trays of cold cuts and subpar sandwiches? The Minneapolis food scene is unlike any out there and if you were to ask me, our lunch breaks should reflect that.

Fortunately for us, the attitude around eating at work is changing. A well-fed staff is happier, healthy, and more productive, so it’s no wonder that employers are starting to take notice.

Foodee, a corporate meal delivery service, is helping companies keep up - delivering meals from local restaurants to offices and other work-related environments. Partnering with a wide range of eateries, Foodee coordinates every aspect of the delivery, only relying on the restaurants to have the food ready at the allotted time.

If happiness, improved health, and kickass office meals aren't enough to convince you, here are five local hot spots to try at your next lunch meeting.

 

The Herbivorous Butcher

Photo Courtesy of The Herbivorous Butcher. 

Photo Courtesy of The Herbivorous Butcher. 

If you haven’t heard of The Herbivorous Butcher, it’s about time you did. This brother/sister duo is responsible for opening America’s first vegan butcher shop, providing meat-free-meats and cheese-free-cheeses in a fun and fresh environment. Their menu is constantly rotating, and includes a selection of sandwiches that are available through Foodee. Try their Turkey and Dill Havarti or their Italian Sub!

 

The Fresh Connection

Photo Courtesy of The Fresh Connection 

Photo Courtesy of The Fresh Connection 

If you’re into handcrafted, locally sourced meals, The Fresh Connection will be right up your alley. With a farm to desk philosophy, T.F.C. wants to make fresh, healthy, great tasting, and natural meals available to all in the workplace. It’s no surprise then they’ve partnered up with Foodee: it’s a match made in heaven.

 

Pizzeria Lola

Photo Courtesy of Pizzeria Lola

Photo Courtesy of Pizzeria Lola

Pizzeria Lola needs no introduction. Named after the dog of owner/operator/head chef, Ann Kim, Lola has amassed so many accolades its name is known world-wide. Actually. Pizzeria Lola was ranked the 18th best pizza joint in the world by Daniel Young in his book Where to Eat Pizza - a manual on must-have pizza. Your mouth has got to be watering by now.

 

Rustica

Photo Courtesy of Rustica Bakery. 

Photo Courtesy of Rustica Bakery. 

Already a Twin City institution, Rustica Bakery continues to turn heads with their dedication to taste, texture, and process. These pastries, boxed lunches, salads and cookies are all beautiful, but don’t let that fool you - they’re meant to be eaten. Quickly. Usually in one sitting.

 

The Copper Hen

Photo Courtesy of The Copper Hen. 

Photo Courtesy of The Copper Hen. 

The Copper Hen sources as many ingredients as possible from local farms and businesses, and are committed to making everything from scratch. With delicious desserts, sandwiches and starters, this brand of comfort food will lighten up even the most dreadful day at work.

 

 


The days of crappy corporate lunches are over. Check out the all the restaurant available through Foodee!

 

 

 

 

 

Q&A: Irina Kolosov, Executive Chef at Parma 8200

With a background at local restaurants like Palomino and Cafe and Bar Lurcat, local chef Irina Kolosov is bringing new flavors to Bloomington at Parma 8200. Pairing new concepts with tried and true Italian dishes, Chef Irina introduces a fun, fresh seasonal menu focusing on local ingredients. 

Eat.Drink.Dish MPLS sat down with Kolosov to hear more about how Parma 8200 is amping up their summertime menus. 

EAT.DRINK.DISH MPLS: So, Parma 8200— what drew you here? What drew you to cooking in general?

IRINA KOLOSOV: Well, I remember in high school when everyone was trying to figure out what they wanted to do, I think the first thing that came into my head was that I wanted to cook, I love cooking. My mom, she’s a huge inspiration. She cooked every single day; she worked two jobs and she’d come home and cook something different every single time. So I got to experience a lot of different flavors as a young kid. So right out of high school I went into culinary school, I completed my associate’s degree and got an internship at Palomino when it was still around. And I just remember being in it— super intense— and I think they saw something in me. So they threw me on the line. Super young, my first restaurant gig, and I had no idea how to even do it, you know. And we were doing like, 300 400 covers for lunch and I was doing it by myself, learning it as I go. That’s how I learned to be fast and you know, work, multitask. That kind of prepared me for Lurcat. So of course I learned a lot from working there, got to learn all the stations and it was a lot of fun and I knew it was my passion. I loved the intensity and you know, just working fast, thinking fast. 

 

EDD: Do you see certain trends or themes that you’ve seen throughout your career, certain things you like or have learned at other places— Lurcat or elsewhere— that you’ve brought here to Parma 8200?

 

SLIDERS.

SLIDERS.

IK: Teamwork. Teamwork is key. Being a leader, and leading a team is the most amazing experience. When they respect you and you respect them, it just flows so naturally. It just makes work so much more fun and easy, you know, when you have that solid team. Everyone has each other’s backs and you don’t even have to say anything. Everyone just helps each other and just having that— seeing that at Lurcat and bringing it to Parma— really helps the whole situation, even when it’s crazy busy. It’s so important. 

 

EDD: Are there certain culinary trends you are seeing and enjoying? Or ones that you just want to die already?

 

IK: I think the only trend I want to go is gluten free. That’s the only trend that bothers me. But I don’t mind the other trends because it also depends on how you use it. There’s so many different ingredients and so many different things you can do with it, it all depends on how you integrate it into the dish. If you make it fun and exciting, why not? I think it’s really awesome when chefs use ingredients that are not used very often and then bring it back with other fun ingredients. 

 

EDD: That’s great! In terms of flavors, I’ve read in the past that you pointed out the positive simplicity of Italian cuisine. What’s your take on Italian versus some of the other options out there?

 

BEET FETTUCCINE.

BEET FETTUCCINE.

IK: That’s why I love Italian food. You don’t need a lot of ingredients. You just need good, fresh ingredients. You make the dish pop and exciting. This summer, when I was creating this menu, that’s what I was going for— local, really fresh. It was easy after that, making these dishes. For instance we have a really exciting dish: it’s a cedar plank salmon. It’s wild Norwegian salmon and we cook it on a little cedar plank, and we broil it so it starts to smell and get really smokey. And everybody knows— the whole restaurant smells. The dish is very simple; there’s no oil, there’s no fat on the fish. It’s just cooked straight on the plank and we just season it with some herbs after it’s finished. It comes with grilled zucchini and roasted tomatoes and I just love that dish. It’s super healthy, it smells great, it’s fun, it’s something different. Again, it’s simple and it’s great. 

 

EDD: Wow that sounds wonderful. You mentioned a bit too, about the new Market Menu. Tell me more about your vision for that. 

 

IK: We’re using a lot of local vendors, for instance. We have an awesome beet fettuccine; we use fresh beet juice to make the dough. Again, really simple. We use this fun acid butter, that we put in there, with lemon juice and white wine. The same dish, we use Stickney Hill Farms which is also local. It’s fun because it’s something different that we’ve never done before.  I mean, local is awesome. Especially now that it’s summertime. We’re getting more products in and what I’m most excited about is going to the local markets— there’s so many— and actually going in and picking out veggies and ingredients and just using that. I think that’s going to be amazing.

 

EDD: How do you translate that to something like this, a larger restaurant. You’re doing these things on a larger scale. How does it translate in that sense? Is that difficult to use local ingredients on such a large scale?

 

CHOCOLATE TORTE.

CHOCOLATE TORTE.

IK: You know it’s something new for us, now that it is getting busier, I don’t think it’s that hard to get enough of those ingredients because they’re so readily available. Just waking up in the morning and visiting the local markets, it’s like a chef’s dream coming true. It works.

 

EDD: How about the market menu— tell me more about the process for creating that menu. 

 

IK:  We touch base right before we’re about to do a menu change. [I get] a run down of all the things that are available. So I take those ingredients and I think about what will pair really well with that— can I make it into a pasta dish? Can I do some sort of beef dish with it? For instance, zucchini is going to be available next month so I’m already thinking ahead like, well we can use zucchini squash blossoms and use burrata, which is also local. Things just start coming together. 

 

EDD: It seems like it allows for a lot more creativity too, on a scale where you’re not creating an entirely new menu each month either. 

 

CAPRESE SALAD.

CAPRESE SALAD.

IK: Yeah, what’s fun about it too, is that you’re constantly thinking. You don’t stop. You make this menu for June, and you already have to start thinking about July. You’re always thinking about ideas. You’re constantly thinking about what can go well with this, go well with that. That’s really fun. Plus I get to know vendors that I never knew of, doing all this research and talking with other local farmers, which helps them with business as well. 

 

EDD: Having some ideas about your atmosphere in the kitchen and how that translates to the atmosphere out here on the patio or in the dining room, what’s your perspective on what that’s like? Is there a strong threshold or does it feel cohesive throughout? 

 

IK: Right now I’m building my team. It’s really hard to find cooks right now so I started working the line a lot more. I realized how much I missed it, and how important it is for the chef to actually work the line with the cooks because you get to experience it in a different way. You get the lead the team again and you get to work next to them instead of being the usual cook-for chef that I was a little while ago. I miss this! It actually does— it becomes more of a team, more cohesive because you’re a part of it now. You’re working side by side and it’s different. I realize I need that more. 

 

EDD: I’m curious to know more about the unique side of this restaurant— compared to others in the Twin Cities and with Italian cuisine. Is it your menu that really sets you apart, or the atmosphere perhaps? 

 

IK: Well I think for the restaurant itself, the atmosphere is amazing. We have a great patio, it’s out in an area where it’s quiet, it’s beautiful, it’s grassy. That separates it from Minneapolis where it’s really noisy. When you come here you get to enjoy the air! Also I think what separates the menu is, I think we have a lot of fun doing what we do. The ingredients that we use, the seasoning— I like to add some flair when I cook, with different flavors that aren’t normally used in other restaurants. We have fresh pastas— our pastas are amazing. Some of the best I’ve had! I’m not just saying that. We have an awesome pasta guy that comes in at like, four in the morning and rolls fresh pasta every single day. I think that separates us. 

 

EDD: And you guys have music— live music. That doesn’t seem as common in finer diner places. 

 

IK: Yep! Thursday, Friday, Saturday we have live jazz bands. It’s nice, it’s consistent. You’re going to expect it. 

 

EDD: So, to wrap up. Tell us why you Eat.Drink.Dish.

 

IK: I Eat.Drink.Dish to have fun cooking and work with local ingredients.  

 

*This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

All photos by Lauren Cutshall.

 

 

An Instagram Worthy Dinner in Minneapolis

Eat.Drink.Dish MPLS partnered up with FireLake Grill for an Instagram Worthy Dinner to introduce the new spring menu created by Executive Chef Jim Kyndberg

Spicy Lamb Burger

Spicy Lamb Burger

Eat.Drink.Dish MPLS co-hosted an Instagram Worthy Dinner on Thursday, March 10th at FireLake Grill in downtown Minneapolis along with special guest Jason DeRusha from WCCO and Instagram foodie, Kim Ly Curry

The dinner was set for a small group of foodies in the partitioned private dining room nestled in the corner of FireLake Grill. Foodies mingled and connected with each other while two flat screen TVs were feeding in live tweets and Instagram posts with the hashtag, #InstaWorthyDinner

A 5-course dinner was served by the amazing staff of FIreLake Grill and each meal was explained by Chef Kyndberg before foodies tasted each dish. It was a very nice personable touch that complemented the small, 40-person dinner.

Lamb Trio - Rotisserie Lamb, BBQ Lamb Rib, Grilled Lamb Chop

Lamb Trio - Rotisserie Lamb, BBQ Lamb Rib, Grilled Lamb Chop

In true foodie tradition, Eat.Drink.Dish MPLS held a photo contest for the "Best Action Shot" of the night and it boded well with the highly anticipated whiskey luge shots off the bone marrow. The FireLake Grill staff administered the shots to foodies who had the courage to take down the delicious combination of fatty bone marrow and smooth whiskey. 

It was a very popular and memorable activity of the night!

The food was on point, tasty, generous, and kept foodies on their toes. The concept of the event was well received and it marks only the beginning of many more co-hosted events by the Instagram powerhouse, Eat.Drink.Dish MPLS.

Fritto Misto - Walleye, Rock Shrimp, Scallops, Spicy Pickled Vegetables, and Green Garlic Sauce

Fritto Misto - Walleye, Rock Shrimp, Scallops, Spicy Pickled Vegetables, and Green Garlic Sauce

If you are a restaurant owner/manager and are interested in co-hosting an event with Eat.Drink.Dish MPLS, send a message here with a short description of your event. 

 

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