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Culinary School Collaborates With Illusion Theater for ‘Recipe Crawl’

Chef Mike Autenrieth, director of culinary arts at AII, joins junior culinary student Daniela Antillon, who is participating in Grandma's Recipe Crawl Friday, February 26, at the Gourmet Gallery.

Danielle McFarland

The Gourmet Gallery at Art Institutes International in Minneapolis will host Grandma’s Recipe Crawl, an event showcasing culinary students as they present small plates representing their heritage and recipes that have been passed down through generations. The pre-show event Friday, February 26, is part of The Sophie Series, exploring themes of Illusion Theater’s “Only One Sophie.”

“This event will be a great way for our students to connect with their family traditions and showcase their talents to a wider audience,” said Mike Autenrieth, academic director of culinary arts and hospitality management at AII. “Our students will have an opportunity to explain their dishes while answering questions posed by the audience.”

AII is funding the space, staff and resources to host the pre-show event, which was inspired by an original screenplay written by a Minneapolis native.

“Only One Sophie,” written by local director Michael Robins, was inspired by his grandmother, a Jewish immigrant who held on to tradition through post-WWII modern America. Scenes are played out by a cast portraying traditions such as Shiva, the seven-day mourning period following burial.

One student from AII is of German-French heritage and hails from Costa Rica, where her grandmother owned a restaurant. She spoke to the inspiration of the dish she is serving.

“Rice, beans, tropical fruits, corn, root vegetables, variations of milk products and lots of seafood and fish,” said Daniela Antillon, 22. “Mostly she taught me how to really enjoy it.”

Grandma’s Recipe Crawl kicks off at AII’s Gourmet Gallery, 15 S. 9th Street. After the tasting, ticket holders walk three blocks to the eighth floor of the Illusion Theater at 528 Hennepin Ave.

“Mike and the staff have been great to work with and are able to make the leap from the school to the theater with ease and imagination,” said Robins. “[I’m] looking forward to what the students come up with for us to taste.”

Get tickets for Grandma’s Recipe Crawl online at www.illusiontheater.org. The event is free for holders of tickets to the February 26 showing of “Only One Sophie.”


Friday, February 26,

Grandma’s Recipe Crawl

Arts Institute International Minnesota, Gourmet Gallery

15 S. 9th St., Minneapolis

6–7:30 p.m.

“Only One Sophie”

Illusion Theater

528 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis

8 p.m.

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