Launching Little Locavores on Sunday
This Sunday, Gastro Non Grata is co-hosting Little Locavores, a kid-centered food event at the Minnesota History Center. While it was tough for the Gastro guys to subtract the alcohol from their usual equation (good food + good music + good booze = a truly good time), they took pity on the child-rearing crowd and created this family-friendly event. We talked with Gastro co-founder Jeff Mitchell about the difficulties of going dry, finding kids' music that doesn't suck and conveying the message that "potatoes don't grow up crinkle cut."
1. How did Gastro Non Grata get interested in doing a kid-friendly event?
Craig and I wanted to do a show that focused on the people who get left at home during our Triple Rock shows. Craig has a young daughter, I've got a couple nephews and a lot of our friends have little ones. We wanted to create a Gastro Non Grata-style event that involved the whole family. This unfortunately means no alcohol, but I think we'll get through it.
2. Who initiated the Little Locavores collaboration, which brings together Gastro Non Grata, Seth Bixby Daugherty of Real Food Initiatives and the Minnesota History Center?
We've been working with the Minnesota History Center for about a year, co-producing DIY food workshops and a University Avenue food crawl. They have great family programming, a wonderful facility and people trust them with their kids. We thought it would be a great place to host the event. They agreed. Here we are.
Seth Bixby Daugherty was our first choice as guest chef due to his work with Real Food Initiatives. Seth stepped out of a high-profile chef position and dedicated himself to getting real, unprocessed, local, healthful foods into school lunch programs.
3. What will kids be learning about the state's agricultural heritage?
We want the kids to learn what real, whole food looks like--that food is better when it comes from a farmer's field to your greasy hands in fewer steps. Potatoes don't grow up crinkle cut, par-fried and frozen. Corn is not a syrup, and wild rice is not the mushy stuff in a can of soup. These are things that have been grown and harvested by people on the land of Minnesota for generations. It's a heritage that we should respect and celebrate through thoughtful consumption. History Center staff will give presentations on the agricultural history of the state and direct people to ag-related exhibits in the museum. And, if that's not enough, we will also be playing historic lawn games. Craig and I are gonna win.
4. How did you decide what would be "kid-friendly" music?
Music for children is generally horrible so we went with music by children. Walker West Jazz Ensemble starts the day, followed by School of Rock, hot off their First Avenue-headlining Gastro Non Grata show. Closing out the day will be MC/VL, who, while not technically children, will appeal to children and parents alike. They have a song called "How I Eat My Peas" and they promised not to swear or make too many humping gestures.
5. What's one of your fondest childhood food memories?
We always ate dinner together.