Don Saunders on Climbing the Ranks, Opening the Kenwood, and Training for Iron Fork

Each week, we'll interview one of the chefs participating in our 2014 Iron Fork competition. On November 6, these six culinary masterminds will go head to head to see who can create the most appetizing and healthful dish using a secret ingredient. Tickets are on sale now.

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Keane Amdahl
Don Saunders, chef/owner of the Kenwood, is one of this year's Iron Fork competitors

If you're a lifelong restaurateur, you know that losing is part of the game. Ideally, if you're as committed as Don Saunders, owner and head chef at the Kenwood, you also know what it feels like to win.

Saunders has had his share of ups and downs, openings and closings in his career on the Twin Cities dining scene. He'll bring that experience and a veteran chef''s composure to the 2014 Iron Fork Competition in November, where maybe he'll score himself another win.

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


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Zen Box's Ramen Massive Attack Brings Ramen Burgers to the Twin Cities This Sunday

Categories: Events, Food, News

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photo courtesy of Sasha Landskov
Zen Box Izakaya to host second annual Ramen Massive Attack at Mill City Museum this weekend

All of you ramen fans out there better get ready to hold onto your hats, because one of the biggest names in Twin Cities ramen is throwing down with a party of epic proportions. John Ng and Lina Goh of downtown Minneapolis's Zen Box Izakaya are hosting their second annual Ramen Massive Attack! and celebrating three years in business -- and bringing in a couple of big names to help them do it.

See also:
Zen Box Izakaya brings worldly inspiration to ramen

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The Wedge 40th anniversary keeps block party season going this weekend

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Courtesy of the Wedge
Think summer festivities are over? Think again. Community co-op the Wedge is throwing a block party this Sunday, September 7 in celebration of its 40th anniversary.

See also:
The Wedge expands to Eat Street


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Red Stag to host Friends of James Beard benefit dinner

Categories: Events, Food, News

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Buckle up your seatbelts Minneapolis, because the James Beard Foundation is coming to town in a big way. On Sunday, October 5, the Red Stag Supper Club will host a benefit dinner for the foundation, and the event roster is filled to the brim with top chefs from across the Twin Cities.

The host chef for the event will be La Belle Vie alum T.J. Rawitzer, who is currently serving as the executive chef for Kim Bartmann's vast Twin Cities culinary empire. Other guest chefs include Doug Flicker, Erik Anderson, Sarah Master, and last, but not least, Mike Brown, Bob Gerken, and James Winberg from Travail.

See also: Twin Cities chefs among the James Beard Award finalists


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Haute Dish celebrates the State Fair with (really good) food on a stick

Categories: Events, Food, News

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Next week Haute Dish will host its second annual Haute Dish on a Stick
If you just happen to be joining us here in Minnesota/on earth, it's officially State Fair season. But that doesn't necessarily mean that you have to head over to the fairgrounds to get a taste of the action. Next week, for the second year in a row, Haute Dish will host a three-day, State Fair-inspired celebration of its own. Dubbed "Haute Dish on a Stick," this dim sum-style menu is an homage to the Great Minnesota Get-Together.

See also:
The 10 new State Fair foods we can't wait to try


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Chef demos, tastings, and garlic flavored ice cream at the Minnesota Garlic Festival

Categories: Events, Road Trip

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Photo by Muffet via Flickr
People generally fall into three different categories when it comes to garlic consumption: those who avoid the taste and smell at all cost, the secret lovers who enjoy garlic but avoid eating it in public, and the die-hard garlic enthusiasts who embrace the taste and smell, despite the moans of those subjected to their garlic breath.

Garlic enthusiasts, your day has finally come. On Saturday, farmers, chefs, and musicians will gather at McLeod County Fairgrounds in Hutchinson to celebrate the oft-loathed bulb to the fullest extent at the annual Minnesota Garlic Fest. The event comes just after harvest season, so plan on consuming the freshest (and most potent) garlic around.

See also:
Brooklyn Brewery comes to town to celebrate craft beer culture


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Taproom Cinema event series combines local beers and cult classics

Categories: Events

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Photo by QuinnDombrowski via Flickr
Americans are always on the lookout for new ways to enliven their film-watching experiences. Movies at the park are great on nice days, but mother nature is always capable of turning family fun into great escapes from torrential downpours or mosquito hell. VIP seating at the theater is always an option, but there comes a time when we can longer justify paying for overpriced popcorn and beers --especially after the already expensive movie tickets.

Chris Meyer gets us. The Minneapolis resident recently debuted Taproom Cinema, a series of film showings that will take place at a new microbrewery each month. The concept is mutually beneficial for participating breweries and patrons in that films will be shown for free, but you'll still be expected to supplement the economy by paying for locally crafted beer and snacks.

See also:
Gluten-free brewery goes against the grain

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Vincent A Restaurant crafts specialty burgers for different stages of the Tour de France

Categories: Events, Food, News
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Courtesy of the Vincent A Restaurant Facebook page
Vincent's Basque Burger
One of the Twin Cities' favorite Frenchmen is about to prove his Gallic mettle with his own take on the Tour de France. Vincent Francoual, chef and owner of downtown Minneapolis's Vincent A Restaurant, has plans to launch a line of burgers in honor of the world's biggest cycling event.

The burgers are designed to coincide with six different stages of the tour and each specialty burger will only be available during its respective stage. The tour starts pedaling on July 5 and runs through July 26. 

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June's best green, eco-friendly, and local events

Categories: Events
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Marsha Trainer
Sometimes it's hard to put your best green foot forward without being in the know. Here's a quick list of some great Twin Cities events that will keep your month's eating, growing, and dating(!) sustainable and eco-tastic. 

Early in the month, it's all about education, mid-month you can dig into some farming, and as June winds down, some great new green markets will be opening. And yes, for the eco-conscious and lovelorn, we've tracked down an event that combines singles, a romantic evening, and getting dirty.

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Haute Dish will soon get a BBQ joint makeover

Categories: Events, Food, News
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Photo courtesy of Haute Dish
From June 24 to 26, Haute Dish will undergo a limited-time-only BBQ-joint transformation
Pop-up restaurants are more and more common these days in the Twin Cities, but it's not too often (or ever, really) that we get to see a restaurant completely transform itself for a limited-time-only event. In a recent announcement on their Facebook page, the masterminds behind downtown Minneapolis's Haute Dish revealed plans to transform their top-shelf comfort food restaurant into a full-fledged, southern-style BBQ joint.

Starting on June 24 and running through the 26, Haute Dish will become HauteQue Soul Hut and completely revamp its menu to feature a variety of specialized BBQ offerings complete with all the fixings. The temporary change-over will also include a redecorating of the restaurant to complete the overall motif.

See also:
Chef Landon Schoenefeld talks about being Iron Fork overlord and his love of Kewpie mayoMore »

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