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Around Town: New Menu, Healthy Win




Executive Chef Solomon Shaheer

Executive Chef Solomon Shaheer debuted his winter menu for Bank, the restaurant/bar inside the Westin Hotel in downtown Minneapolis for food bloggers and the media in mid-December.  Included on the menu was a family-style charcuterie plate,a tuna tartar tower, seafood linguini with a spicy tomato sauce, and venison medallions with a root vegetable dauphinoise. Accompanying the venison course was a tableside smoked Manhattan. Dessert was his signature dish a smoked bleu cheesecake, served with dried raisins, apricots and pineapples steeped in white wine. Diners went home with the makings of a Moscow mule, including an engraved copper mug and five chocolate coins, most likely retrieved from the bank vault (which is actually used as a wine cellar).

 Mucci’s is suspending its doughnut service, according to its Facebook page, which means that people will no longer need to line up outside the St. Paul restaurant in hopes of getting one of the unique pastries. They may be back, they may not. In the meantime, go ahead and sleep in on Saturday, your reason to get up early is gone. 

 

Superior Switchel is the winner of the Good Food Foundation’s first award honoring switchel. In addition to being a top scorer at a blind tasting in September (out of a pool of more than 2,000 entries), Superior Switchel’s Honey Cinnamon Kick Switchel met all of the Good Food Award’s responsible production criteria. Superior Switchel’s owner, Melina Lamer, accepted the formal honor as part of the 2019 Good Food Awards ceremony on January 11 in San Francisco. Hosted at the War Memorial’s Herbst Theatre in San Francisco, the Good Food Awards brings together 900 of the nation’s leading food producers, chefs, journalists, grocers, and activists to recognize the 200 winners for 2018. Superior Switchel’s entry won the Elixir category, which included juices, shrubs, sodas, syrups and bitters. The company is a 1% for the Planet company as well as a Certified B-Corp.

 

Kate Goodpaster, a 31-year-old baker with Patisserie 46 and Rose Street Bakery, qualified to take a spot on Team USA for the 2020 Coupe du Monde de la Boulangerie, an artisan baking competition held in Paris every three to four years. Her boss, John Kraus, won the bronze in the patisserie competition in 2015. The international competition is one of the highest recognitions of baking. 


Employment Bartering 

Nine years ago Glenn Visger was sipping his almost-daily cup of coffee at Dunn Bros on Lake and Bryant when he learned employees can drink coffee all day for free. “I was spending $300 a month (on coffee),” he remembers. He already was making a living as a dry cleaner and didn’t want to quit his day job, so he came up with a creative solution. He learned how to transform green cherries into aromatic coffee. One day a week he roasts beans for the Dunn Bros on Washington Avenue in the North Loop, and depending on how much he roasts, he takes his payment in 2 to 3 pounds of beans. Visger normally roasts on Fridays, but because of a funeral, he was roasting on a Saturday. As wages go up and workers get more expensive to find, maybe the lost art of bartering should make a comeback. We can picture any number of professions wanting to exchange time for tangible goods, but we think a natural fit would be accountants becoming part-time coffee roasters—after all, they’re already bean counters. 

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