The Missing Women of Mpls. St. Paul Magazine's Cover Photo

Categories: Dish-cussion

flickr Photosharing

By now it's an all too familiar sight. You spy a "Best Restaurants" story on the cover of Minneapolis-St. Paul Magazine, piled on the countertop mail hill between the light bill and Chinese restaurant coupons. The photo shows 15 chefs, all men, right down to the Minnesota-fashionable plaid shirts and hoodies. They chat in comfortable, man-spread repose.

You could almost miss it, but once again: Females forgotten.

See also:
The Twin Cities' Most Humble Chefs

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10 Reasons Minneapolis Should Have a Dog Cafe

Categories: Dish-cussion

Nanette Castro

Last week, downtown Los Angeles hosted the city's very first dog cafe. The cafe opened as a pop-up from January 22-25, serving a simple menu of coffee, tea, and the overwhelming inner peace one can only achieve while holding a puppy in a tiny sweatshirt. Organizers hope to turn it into a full-time dog cafe once they reach their funding goals.

So should the Twin Cities follow suit? Is that even a question?

See also:
Dog Mayor of Cormorant, Minn. Was Pretty Chill About Losing "Dog of the Year" Bid

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Five Twin Cities Restaurants Have Closed So Far This Year. Here's Why.

Categories: Dish-cussion

Jackie via Flickr
Surfing's fun, but so is keeping a business afloat. We hope we don't see more restaurants shutter in 2015.

Last year's boom of 100 or so new restaurants was exciting indeed, but any time one talks of boom, the next talk is of bubble, and then bust.

With each passing day of the new year, we seem to hear news of another closing. Only three weeks into 2015, already five spots have shuttered. A little obit for each, in passing order:

See also:
10 Restaurants That Bit the Dust in 2014

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Is It Time to Do Away With Tipping? Maybe.

Categories: Dish-cussion

Dave Dugdale
Since minimum wage is on the rise for all employees, maybe its time to give tipping the axe.

At worst, restaurateurs say the recent minimum wage hike, minus a tip credit, will be their demise. At best, they say it's going to hurt.

The issue continues to be a touchy one in the legislature, because organized labor is keeping a watchful eye on any sleights of hand when it comes to touching the wage increase. The Minnesota Restaurant Association is backing restaurant owners on this one, but Governor Dayton says he's not budging, at least not for now, in spite of input from his Bachelor Farmer-owning sons.

So what does that mean for restaurateurs? They may have to start getting creative.

See also:
Governor Dayton will not change minimum wage law for tipped employees -- yet

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Is Culinary School Going the Way of the Dinosaur?

Categories: Dish-cussion

Carissa Glarner
Is a culinary school education becoming a thing of the past?
It's always been my contention that culinary school is mostly unnecessary. Though I can understand the urge -- how can one possibly understand all that equipment, all that jargon, all that technique, without going? -- the answer is simply, you don't need it. You never understand it all, you never learn it all, you never master it all. And that is the beauty of food. The moment one chapter has closed, another begins. You never learn it all, not in 10 lifetimes.

The culinary industry can be an intimidating one to enter. The first time I read Kitchen Confidential I was convinced I would never work in a restaurant, though I desperately wanted to. Tales of miscreant cooks bagging chicks on flour sacks, screaming younger cooks out of the kitchen for minor infractions, and chopping lines of coke on the prep table terrified me.

But most of those tales are made for TV (even though some of it happens, sometimes) and any serious restaurant has zero tolerance for the above behaviors (except maybe the shouting part).

So rather than knocking on the back door of a half dozen of the best restaurants in town, and telling them you'll do anything, including (especially) dishes in order to learn, culinary school can perhaps seem like a more painless way to get your foot in the door.

See also:
Nick O'Leary of Coup d'Etat: "These Kids Come Out of Culinary School Worthless"

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#Grapegate: 5 Dishes the New York Times Could Have Chosen

Categories: Dish-cussion

Christian Schnettelker

My Minnesota grandma's ubiquitous holiday salad was what was colloquially referred to as an "ambrosia."

Your grandma probably had one, too: Jello whipped together with Cool Whip, Maraschino cherries, mandarin oranges, mini-marshmallows, and pecans. As a kid, the nuts made me look at the thing with an accusatory eye each time it hit the table, for every single holiday, in my great-grandmother's beveled crystal bowl. But dutiful kid that I was, I'd still take a dollop of the sugar bomb, fish out the marshmallows, and cast aside the nuts.

Maybe the now-infamous "Minnesota Grape Salad" was someone's grandma's iteration of an ambrosia?

Maybe. But still...

See also:
#Grapegate: Top Tweets From the Great Grape Salad Controvery of 2014

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#Grapegate: Top Tweets From the Great Grape Salad Controvery of 2014

Maccheek on Wikipedia
The tastiest of controversies
For those of you who don't spend all day on social media, yesterday the New York Times ran a post entitled "The United States of Thanksgiving," in which NYT food writers "scoured the nation for recipes that evoke each of the 50 states."

For Minnesota, they chose grape salad, which led hundreds to beg the question on Twitter and Facebook: What the fuck is a grape salad?

See also:
Where to Get Thanksgiving To-Go in the Twin Cities

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Step away from the trough: A call for more formality in dining

Categories: Dish-cussion
Flickr - Amanda King
What ever happened to formality?
Editor's note: A few weeks ago, Hot Dish explored the idea that traditional manners are passé, an outdated formality that dampens the dining experience. Now, we're looking at whether formality should in fact have more of a place at the table.

While there's no reason to return to the days of stuffy formality, most people need a little refresher on dining decorum. Channeling our baser instincts is good from time to time (and it's humbling to remind ourselves that we are, indeed, animals), but not while eating. Slurping, slouching, and smacking don't just look bad -- they're downright offensive.

See also: Embrace your eating instincts: A call for an end to table manners

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Embrace your eating instincts: A call for an end to table manners

Categories: Dish-cussion

Photo by Jonesing1 via Flickr
It's Friday night. You and your significant other are celebrating the end of a long week with a candlelit dinner at Capital Grille. The waiter fills your water glass, from which you take delicate sips. No chugging. No slurping. You silently berate yourself for the millisecond during which your elbow brushed against the table. Is your partner using the right fork? You decide to let it slide.

Let's rewind.

You're two years old. Your mother has seated you in a wooden high chair and is presenting you with a plate of chopped up hot dogs and watermelon chunks. She places a fork in your hand. You throw it on the floor. She demonstrates the proper way to eat a watermelon chunk. You smash it into your forehead. You can eat however you want, so long as some of the food ends up in your stomach.

See also:
Manners 101: Etiquette queen Angelyn Davis gives it to us straight

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Bike to dinner: St. Paul edition

Dawn Brodey
The chariot of the dining bicyclist.

Dare we say it -- summer has finally arrived -- and as it does, increased numbers of weather-weary Twin Citians are taking to their bicycles and hitting the town. They pedal the Lakes, the Grand Rounds, the Greenway, or any of the many urban bike lanes. It is for good reason that we are regularly voted among the most bike-friendly cities in the country.

But bike-friendly isn't the only feather in our cap -- we are also regularly voted among the best cities for foodies. So why not combine the two?

A few weeks ago Hot Dish brought you a course for your courses -- a bike-friendly route with recommended stops for appetizers, dinner and dessert. Beginning and ending in Minneapolis, the 10-mile course was a big hit.

Now Hot Dish pedals East and presents a course for your courses in St. Paul. This seven-mile route hits some of Saint Paul's classic locations and new favorites -- and burns a lot of calories along the way.

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