Holy Land's Majdi Wadi on eating during the holy month of Ramadan in Minnesota

Categories: Interview

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Sean McPherson
Majdi Wadi, the CEO of Holy Land

In the past couple of weeks, perhaps you noticed large insulated tents going up in the parking lots of Middle Eastern restaurants around town. From June 28 to today, July 28, practicing Muslims in the Twin Cities have been celebrating the holy month of Ramadan, a period marked by daytime fasting and a daily feast at sundown known as Iftar. Majdi Wadi, the CEO of Holy Land Grocery and Deli, tells us more about the rituals, principles, and philosophy behind the holiest month of the Muslim calendar and the unique experiences that Minnesota's short and long days create.

See also:
100 Favorite Dishes: No. 64, Holy Land Deli's Baklava


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Anne Rucker of Bogart's Doughnut Co. on success, new flavors, and quitting her day job

Categories: Interview

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Hannah Sayle
Anne Rucker in her dream doughnut shop
Anne Rucker of Bogart's Doughnut Co. -- south Minneapolis's latest pastry shop sensation -- has worn many hats in her lifetime. Rucker's former job as an attorney left her craving a creative outlet, which she eventually found in the form of Bogart Loves, a food blog named after her great aunt Esther Bogart, who taught her the basics of baking as a child.

Having achieved success on the blogosphere, Rucker took another step and began selling her baked goods at the Kingfield Farmers market, offering 15 to 20 rotating items, including brioche doughnuts. By the third year, she was strictly selling her doughnuts, which were popular enough for Rucker to set her sights on opening a brick-and-mortar doughnut shop.

Bogart's Doughnut Co. opened on May 30 on the corner of 36th and Bryant in south Minneapolis. Within days, customers desperate for a taste of Rucker's rich creations were lined up out the door.

This week, Hot Dish touched base with Rucker about her beginnings, goals for the future, and, of course, doughnuts.

See also:
First Look: Bogart's Doughnut Co. hosts grand opening tomorrow in south Minneapolis


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Rise Bagel Co. brings dense, handcrafted bagels to Minneapolis

Categories: Interview

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Emily Eveland
Besides being blood-related, sisters Jen and Kate Lloyd have one major thing in common: their love for artisan bagels. But a little digging on their part revealed some major holes in Minneapolis's bagel scene. Where were the locally grown and organic ingredients? The traditional techniques? Where were the dense, handcrafted wonders that dominate the streets of New York and Montreal?

Lacking an answer, they came up with their own. They would start their own artisan bagel company using organic and locally sourced ingredients. After a year and a half of tinkering with countless recipes and taking bagel-centric trips to New York, Montreal, and Oakland, they landed on a method that stuck and reached out to farmers markets that might be interested in having them on board.

See also:
First Look: Bogart's Doughnut Co.


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Ky Guse gives us the gist of GYST, an upcoming fermentation bar on Eat Street [VIDEO]

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Photography by Katie Wamsley, courtesy Gyst Fermentation Bar

Miso. Kimchi. Kombucha.

These are all fermented foods that were unrecognizable to the average diner a decade ago, but have since worked their way into our regular diets. Yes, they might smell a little strange and taste a little strong, but these pungent items are probiotic powerhouses, doing more good work in the gut than a week's worth of Activia while also providing crunch, texture, and acidic balance.

With such a long of list of pros, we wondered why some savvy food entrepreneurs hadn't opened up a restaurant entirely dedicated to all things fermented. Little did we know, sisters Mel and Ky Guse and their business partner Jill Mott already had something, ahem, brewing.

See also:
The best food trucks that don't exist yet

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Heyday's Lorin Zinter on what makes a good server and why he covets criticism

Categories: Interview
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Open for only a few months, Heyday is easily an early contender for best new restaurant of the year. In addition to the exceptionally well conceived and executed menu, the Lyn-Lake restaurant also offers exemplary service. Co-owner, front-of-house manager, and La Belle Vie alum Lorin Zinter gives the lowdown on just what goes into putting together a new restaurant of this caliber and why he wants your criticism.

See also: Heyday and the new face of New American dining

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Minnesota's craft beer boom is the focus of new documentary film

Categories: Interview

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Bala Sivakumar

Remember a time before weekly brew updates and brewery crawls? A time before Minnesota passed the Surly Bill and opened up a world of taprooms and destination breweries? It feels like a distant memory, but it was really just a few years ago, in 2011, the same year local filmmaker Dave Okar set out to capture Minnesota's changing craft beer scene on film.

The end result of Okar's quest, Crafted to Last: Minnesota Beer Blossoms, premieres next month at Parkway Theater. In it, Okar visits 16 breweries and brewpubs from across the state, from August Schell's in New Ulm to Olvalde Farm and Brewing Company in Rollingstone.

See also:
Olvalde's Ode to a Russian Shipwright: A tart, sweet porter worth cellaring


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Corner Table chef Thomas Boemer talks fried chicken, Alain Ducasse, and Revival

Categories: Interview
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Grant Tillery
Boemer prepping for a Thursday dinner rush at Corner Table.
When Chef Thomas Boemer assumed the helm at Corner Table in south Minneapolis, he transformed this neighborhood eatery to a destination restaurant. Three years later, the chef with a pedigree that includes a stint at Alain Ducasse's Mix in Las Vegas, has shepherded the restaurant to its new location further down Nicollet Avenue. Now, just one month into the new Corner Table 3.0 location, Boemer and crew are busier still -- putting the finishing touches on Revival, his new Southern joint due late this summer in the original Corner Table spot.  


See also:
First Look: Brunch at the new Corner TableMore »

Pastry Chef Alicia Hinze talks Cupcake Wars, ice cream, and the Buttered Tin's first year

Categories: Interview

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Alicia Hinze in front of the Buttered Tin

In just under a year, The Buttered Tin's pastry chef and co-owner Alicia Hinze has seen her restaurant become a beloved part of St. Paul life. On a recent Saturday morning, with the place packed with customers inside and out, Hinze took time out to chat about her inspirations, her baby (the restaurant), and what a difference a year makes.

See also:
Best Restaurant in Lowertown 2014

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Competitive eater Yasir Salem on training: "I drink a gallon of water in under a minute"

Categories: Interview

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Photo via YouTube
Last weekend, Yasir Salem polished off 30 hot dogs in a little over 10 minutes.

Salem, the world's 12th ranked competitive eater and top cannoli eater, wolfed down the first 27 and a half hot dogs during regulation time and another two and a half during the tie-breaking eat-off at the qualifying round of Nathan's Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest in St. Paul. Hot Dish caught up with Salem to learn how he got his start, his training schedule, and the ethics of the sport.

See also:
Nathan's Famous hot dog-eating contest to host qualifying round in St. Paul


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Kyatchi's Hide Tozawa on Minnesota sushi bars: "Most aren't doing it right"

Categories: Interview

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Sean McPherson
Hide Tozawa in the kitchen at Kyatchi

Hide Tozawa is a chef on a mission to show Minnesota a different type of Japanese restaurant. His team at Kyatchi wants to take some of the cream cheese out of your roll and let you chew on something you might actually find in Tokyo. Hot Dish caught up with Tozawa on a recent Monday after he had finished prepping for dinner service.

See also:
Kyatchi strikes out and hits some home runs


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