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Weingartner Monroe Returns to Managing Editor Role

If you’re surprised to turn to this page and not see Laura Michaels’ smiling face, don’t be alarmed: She’s still here. Laura will continue covering the local food scene, but she’s also taking on more responsibilities for our sister publication, Franchise Times. Therefore, she’s stepping down from the day-to-day duties of running Foodservice News and I’m stepping up.

This will be my third time as managing editor and I always consider it an honor to tell the stories of this vibrant foodcentric community. There is, however, a lot more work to do this time around because FSN is partnering with Sue Zelickson and Scott Mayer to produce the Charlies, the award show that celebrates the food and beverage industries in the greater Twin Cities area. We are thrilled to be involved.

Waiting for autographed copy of the book by Soile Anderson, right, and Eleanor Ostman.

I’ve been busy catching up this past month with both FSN events and the Charlie Awards. To find out some of my adventures, check out the newsfeed on our website, www.foodservicenews.net.

My first welcome back was at Midland Hills Country Club, where longtime PR maven, Pat Lindquist, introduced me to the delightful Soile Anderson, who wrote a book with Eleanor Ostman about her catering expertise. My most memorable birthday cake, a towering banana split confection, came from her Taste of Scandinavia bakery in Woodbury a few months after I moved here from Denver. Her book, "Celebrations to Remember," tells stories (such as catering events for former President Obama and the Dali Lama), shows pictures from elaborate catering jobs and gives detailed recipes. 

I found another connection in our columnist

Fruit Ninja Patrick O’Brien’s tale of two veggies: The Titanic hits an iceberg

Klecko’s offering this month. His interview subject talked about Andrew, a server he worked with at Nighthawks, whom he wished he could be more like. When I moved to the North Loop a couple of years ago, Andrew was a server at Toast, a wine bar just steps from my front door. He was a welcoming presence who turned Toast into Cheers, exactly what I needed at the time. If servers ever wonder if they’re doing more than earning a living, here’s a tip: You can make or break the dining experience. And Andrew certainly made mine.

May was an event-filled month as you'll see from our food show and conference coverage. Sales Rep Greg DeMarco and I drove up to Duluth to attend the Upper Lakes show. On the way home we stopped for a late lunch at the Lake Avenue Restaurant and Bar. I had Buttered Popcorn Gnocchi, Greg had Yker Roasted Pork Belly and we split the Charred Shishito Peppers. I know! You're probably thinking the same thing our boss did: Really? You needed to eat after spending all day at a food show? It was a lot of calories, but I'd do it again. 

The very next day we were on the Vikings' field for the US Foods show. From the Fruit Carving Ninja, I learned how to make a joke with vegetables (see above). Finally I have an excuse to play with my food. 

I'm not the only one with adventures to share, our columnists have serious news to report, and there's a variety of points of view from our writers, so enjoy. And please, keep me in your loop, email your news and story ideas to nancyw@foodservicenews.net

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