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April 2015

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Current Issue

The Rise of Minnesota Microdistilleries

From the windowless 1,300-square-foot basement warehouse space where he started making vodka using a Summit beer keg, Scott Ervin increased the size of his operation 10-fold, taking over 13,000 square feet inside a building on Taft Street in December 2014.

Calorie Counts Coming to Restaurant Menus

Close to 150 pages of government-speak. That’s how Ken Schelper describes new rules from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration that require calorie information be listed on all menus.

Minneapolis Says So Long to Styrofoam

It’s Earth Day, yes, but not coincidentally it’s when Minneapolis launches Green to Go, otherwise known as the environmentally acceptable packaging ordinance.

There’s Lots to Enjoy This Month, Just Not Liquor on Sundays

Having moved to Minneapolis from Chicago, I remember being quite confused and a little frustrated when I first walked across the street to Lunds Wine & Spirits to find the store dark and the doors locked. What was going on?

Server Speak: What’s Your Favorite Restaurant Prank Story?

Servers in the restaurant industry speak out.

News and Noteworthy Around the Twin Cities

The Minnesota Food Truck Association hosted its first Food Trucker Awards at the Fulton Brewery taproom and more industry news.

Culinary Q&A With KARE 11’s Melissa Colorado

Melissa Colorado found her way from New York City to Minneapolis after attending Brooklyn College by way of Westchester and later Albuquerque, New Mexico, where she worked at KOAT as a general assignment reporter.

Chef’s Dish: Daniel Cleary Ups the Ante at Park Tavern

Originally from Fairbanks, Alaska, Daniel Cleary headed to Georgia to attend the Atlanta Culinary Academy and then set off across the country in search of different cuisines.

Culinary Curiosities: What’s the History of Punch?

Have you had punch lately? A real cup of spirited refreshment served from a crystal bowl? If not, it's high time you did.

Andrew Zimmern Talks Food’s Role in Culture

A​ndrew Zimmern has reinvented himself several times since his days in NYC. His latest reinvention was at the Westminster Town Hall Forum as a thought leader on food, culture and community.

Corner Table Chef Takes Cochon Pork Title

T​homas Boemer was the toast of the swine soiree last month as the Corner Table executive chef earned the Cochon 555 culinary competition title.

John Kraus Elevates the MN Baking Scene

There’s always been a place in the spotlight for attention hogs. But in the age of social media and reality shows, regular people are finding themselves thrust into the spotlight.

How 3 Chains Are Staying Competitive

P​erhaps one of the more useful takeaways from a recent store tour at Southdale Mall in Edina came from Buffalo Wild Wings’ Heather Pribyl when she sprinkled salt on her napkin so her perspiring glass of beer didn’t stick to it.

Eyeing Starbucks, Scooter’s Coffee Comes to Minnesota

What does it take to surpass Caribou Coffee? Don Eckles, co-founder and CEO of Scooter’s Coffee, says the secret sauce is focusing on impeccable quality.

St. Paul Restaurants Adjust to New Inspection Process

A​lmost two years after the City of St. Paul lost its authority to inspect restaurants, it and the state continue to work through changes brought about by the transition.

Midwest Pantry Connects Food Buyers, Producers

C​onnecting local producers with their wholesale-buying counterparts is what Midwest Pantry is all about, and it did just that March 16 when vendors set up shop in Minneapolis.

Suburbs, St. Cloud Welcome New Breweries

The southern suburb of Lakeville will see its first craft brewery open this summer after Angry Inch Brewing signed a lease for a 3,400-square-foot space on in what was the old Ace Hardware building.

Grocery Stores Expand With On-site Restaurant Options

As supermarkets nationwide look to capture their share of one of the fastest-growing segments in the grocery industry, local co-ops are also getting into the restaurant game.

MRA Report: Key Issues Impacting the Restaurant Industry

If you only read the newspaper or watch TV news it would be tempting to think the budget surplus, transportation funding, teacher standards and the future of MNCare are the biggest issues being discussed. That’s not true if you run a business.

Commodities Report: Market Deflation Continues

It's been more of the same in the commodity markets for the last month with "deflation" being the name of the game. The ARA Restaurant Commodity Index fell to its lowest level in over a year this winter.

Buy the Numbers: ‘The Bartmann Factor’ at Third Bird

I’ve been an admirer of prolific restaurateur Kim Bartmann for a number of years. When I was a CEO in the restaurant business, I viewed her as a leader in innovation, plus a clever businesswoman.

Common Foodsense: Precision Doesn’t Always Equal Progress

I think that aphorisms and superstitions spring up in the same places, and are cousins, at least. Both are trying to make order from chaos, acknowledging that there are forces beyond control, and trying to live with them and perhaps to placate them a little.

Hangin’ With Klecko: A Morning With the Man Behind Black Forest Inn

This month we’re going to start our story in the middle of a frozen bakery. It’s 3 a.m. and I’m alone, lighting the hearths. If you’ve ever worked the third shift by yourself, you know sometimes these quiet surroundings can produce surreal questions.

MN Teams Advance in National ProStart Invite

It was a day for repeat honors as teams from Elk River and Sauk Rapids-Rice high schools again took first place in their respective culinary and management competitions during the ninth annual ProStart Invitational.

People to Know and Places to Go

A family-run business spanning four generations, Minneapolis-based equipment and supply company Jos. F. Palen has seen its share of changes in the local restaurant industry.
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