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Cochon 555: A Sweatpants-clad Toast to the Restaurant Industry

Cooking a pork steak on a Zoom call with 150 other virtual people in pajamas is a far cry from the raucous pork-themed bacchanalia of a typical Cochon 555 event, but it was an enjoyable homebound reminder that the restaurant industry struggles onward as do the local farmers that support it.

Foodski Delivers to Boaters Adrift at Mealtime

Using drones was the original idea for delivering meals to boaters on White Bear Lake in Ramsey County, but “I thought that wouldn’t work with people who had a couple of drinks, the drones would end up in the water,” said Dylan Dierking, founder of Foodski, a jet ski delivery service. He next considered a dingy with a motor, which in turn was rejected, “because the food would be bumping around too much and you can’t have the food spilling, especially from nicer restaurants,” the University of St. Thomas junior said.

'In wine there's truth'—in red wine there are choices

August 28 is National Red Wine Day and while national survey responders touted pedestrian brands as their favorites, we went to local food pundits who run in oenophile circles to see what they had to say about which red wines they'd likely be uncorking today, tomorrow and into the near future.

Uprooted Youngsters pivot from Twins Stadium Gig to Helping Nonprofits

Roots for the Home Team participants still had their produce, they just didn’t have a home team to sell their salads to once baseball at Target Field opened to a fanbase of just cardboard cutouts in the stands. Their salad cart had been a mainstay at the baseball field for the last few seasons and served as both a healthy option for fans and real-world business training for the youth, who come up with the recipes, make the salads and then operate a small business selling them.

Wearing Mask, More Numbers and a Fair Parade

A round-up stories we're all talking about: Mandated masks, more numbers, another chance to donate to The Taste Fore the Tour and experiencing the cuisine of the Great Minnesota Get-Together via a very long drive-thru.

Yelp's Stats on Restaurant Closings and What You Can Do

Yelp's latest Economic Average report, released last week revealed that 60 percent of the U.S. restaurants that temporarily shuttered due to the pandemic have since permanently closed. Here are some of the high-profile closings in our area, plus a plan from Hospitality MN on what you can do to help stem the tide of closures.

Culinary Curiosities: They Called it ‘Butterine,’ But Its Popularity Never Spread

Sunday, August 2, is the anniversary of the Oleomargarine Act, signed by President Grover Cleveland in 1886, when the dairy constituency official denied “Butterine,” a nonbutter product, its place in the dairy case. After a heated Congressional debate, the Butter Act of 1886 was created and it remains the only standard of identity for a food product set by Congress.

Reopening amid New COVID-19 Indoor Air Guidelines

COVID-19 has shined a spotlight on indoor air quality and ventilation. Due to factors relating to COVID concerns, experts from the commercial building industry, U.S. EPA Energy Star program, and American Society of Heating, Refrigeration, Air-conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) met in May to discuss how to best operate HVAC and related systems, and to offer recommendations on Building HVAC Operations amid COVID-19.

For Want of a Door, A Taproom Almost Misses Patio Opportunity

When Clutch Brewing Co., opened its taproom inside the Keg and Case Market in St. Paul two years ago, they opted to wait on the expense of a patio. And because they were located inside a food hall, they saw no need to add a kitchen and become a brewpub. Both partners, Jordan Standish and Max Boete had worked in the restaurant business once upon a time and didn’t want that complication.

From Forest to Fork to Singing for Their Sales

Mike Kempenich toyed with the idea of incorporating the term mycology, the branch of biology dealing with fungi, into the name of his business, but only briefly. “It was a neat play on my name, but no one knew the term and [therefore]thought I was vain,” he said with a laugh.

Keg and Case Turns Itself Inside Out for Survival

Keg and Case is an experience that only functions when everything is open, said Gates Lindquist, executive director of the newly refurbished market in the former Schmidt brewery complex on St. Paul’s West 7th Street. Which means the current situation of a pandemic causing the market to abruptly close for three months, then partially reopen with sketchy details from the state on how to support compliance of 20-plus small retail and food businesses is a working pain in progress.

Advocacy Groups Looking for Input and Support for Hospitality

As the pandemic continues to keep restaurants at half capacity, advocacy groups for the industry are working diligently to ensure both local, state and national leaders understand their plight and make wise decisions that will help stem the tide of red ink.
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