Vegan Drag Queen Mistress Ginger: "All My Many Lovers Have Been My Taste Testers"

Mistress Ginger

All of us, every one, would be wise to glean a little bit of the self-confidence the average drag queen has in her flamingo-painted fingernail. Why did Mistress Ginger, a.k.a. Justin Leaf, write a cookbook?

"To share with the world all the wonderful recipes that have made me the gorgeous showgirl that I am!"

But of course.

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10 Best Local Cookbooks and Food Guides

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John Kraus of Patisserie 46 on Coupe du Monde: "I've Never Been So Nervous In My Life"

Categories: Interview

Photo courtesy of Paul Strabbing

"Maybe if I was a Swiss watch maker people would understand it better."

Master pastry chef John Kraus, owner of Patisserie 46, is referring to the processes that go into making his pastries, each one a couple days' worth of labor. By way of illustration he holds up his hands. They're a worker's hands -- big and rough and strengthened by endless hours at the task.

Maybe you've stood at the cases at Patisserie 46 and thought about it: they're nothing more than sugar and butter and flour but under the hand of Kraus and his crew, they become little lemon yellow easter hats with a jaunty mad hatter's chocolate tag tucked in the side; a dome of electric lime; a shiny, lipstick red velveteen finger sandwich.

Anyway, you can't eat Swiss watches. Unless Kraus gets a crack at them. Maybe then.

See also:

Best French Restaurant Minneapolis 2014 - Patisserie 46

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Chef Shack in Seward Is Like Home, But With Fresh Donuts and Sangria

Categories: Interview

Mecca Bos
The women of Chef Shack empire: Lisa Carlson and Carrie Summer

I've never been to the downtown Minneapolis home of Lisa Carlson and Carrie Summer, but they tell me it's bright, with big windows, a tiny kitchen, and lots of cool stuff, because Summer is an avid collector but Carlson is a minimalist.

So I'll bet that means there's lots of interesting things to look at but it's nice and neat and never cluttered; there's probably great music going at all times and something good to drink and good smells wafting all around...

Wait. I have been to the home of Summer and Carlson, because I've been to both of their restaurants, the one in Seward but also the one in Bay City, Wisconsin and I'll be damned if I've ever felt more at home in any restaurant, ever, in my life.

Gracious doesn't begin to describe the experience of drinking and dining with them. Had a little too much to drink? They'll offer to call you an Uber. And then, pour you another glass of a luscious winter Sangria.

Their success lies very much in this hospitality ethic: "I don't want to sit at home tonight," says Carlson as she hands me that glass. "I want to make people happy with food. It's what I love to do."

See also:
Best Restaurant in Seward Minneapolis 2014 - Chef Shack Ranch

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Emily Torgrimson Throws Giant Dinner Parties for Charity

E. Katie Holm
Emily Torgrimson brings joy through Eat for Equity

One of the fascinating Twin Cities community members featured in City Pages' People 2015 issue. Check out our entire People 2015 issue.

The notion came to her in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Emily Torgrimson was attending Boston University, living in communal housing with 24 other people.

They each took turns cooking. When Torgrimson's time arrived, she chose to cook New Orleans-style fare, asking people to kick in "a buck or two" for storm victims. So began Eat for Equity.

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Surly's Todd Haug Has the Grit of a Metalhead and the Heart of a Cat Lady

E. Katie Holm
Todd Haug, Surly's head brewer

One of the fascinating Twin Cities community members featured in City Pages' People 2015 issue. Check out our entire People 2015 issue.

Surly Brewing is arguably the Twin Cities' biggest craft-beer success story. It's the namesake of the landmark "Surly Bill," which legalized taprooms in Minnesota. And it runs on the grit and finesse of a black-booted metalhead with the heart of a cat lady.

"My wife and I, we've got a few," says head brewer Todd Haug, gently nudging the conversation away from the actual count, since "there's a limit on the number of cats you're allowed to have in Minneapolis."

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Khati and Andrew French Are the 1 Percenters of Your Food Supply

E. Katie Holm
Khati and Andrew French are living the sustainable dream

One of the fascinating Twin Cities community members featured in City Pages' People 2015 issue. Check out our entire People 2015 issue.

If you can't stomach another headline about animal cruelty on a corporate farm, turn your attention to Khati and Andrew French.

Factory farms produce roughly 99 percent of all U.S. meat. The Frenches are the 1 percenters.

Their Living the Dream farm across the St. Croix in Oceola, Wisconsin, specializes in permaculture, the notion that raising animals, vegetables, and perennial crops should be sustainable. They supply duck eggs, pastured poultry and pork, and Highland beef to the Twin Cities.

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Dan Oskey's New Craft Distillery in Northeast: "Life's Too Short to Drink Crap"

Categories: Interview

Courtesy of Tattersall

Pick two colors. Imagine them as long strips in your mind, and weave them perpendicularly over each other. If you're like us, you'll recognize it as something plaid-ish, probably a flannel. Good.

This summer, that pervasive pattern is working its way into Northeast in the form of Tattersall. What's Tattersall? It's a fancy term for plaid, the checkered design that is Minneapolis's unofficial uniform -- and the name of the next distillery in Minnesota's burgeoning craft distillery scene.

See also:
Which Bargain Beer Should Be the Official Tallboy of Minnesota?

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Goodbye, Gastro Non Grata: "Even the Clusterfucks Were Good"

Categories: Interview

Photo via the Gastro Non Grata Facebook Page
Co-founders Craig Drehmel (left) and Jeff Mitchell immortalized Gastro Non Grata in the standard way.

"I just like fucking with people."

That's Craig Drehmel, co-founder (along with Jeff Mitchell) of Gastro Non Grata. And that's the succinct way he describes the semi-monthly food, booze, and rock event that took place mostly in bars around the Twin Cities for eight years.

They're retiring it because they're tired, because the dining landscape has changed, because the public is fickle. But, says Drehmel, even the clusterfucks were fun.

See also:
The Art of Gastro Non Grata

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Mike Phillips of Red Table Meat Really Wants You to Eat Kidney Fat

Categories: Interview

Photo courtesy Mike Phillips
Mike Phillips (right) and apprentice Tyler Montgomery break down a pig

Each morning, Mike Phillips, the most highly regarded salumiere and charcuterie master in the state if not the region, wakes at 4:30 a.m. He's on site at his shiny new northeast Minneapolis meat-curing facility by 5:15. He starts with a walk-through to examine cleanliness and adherence to USDA regulations. Then, this meat master and owner of Red Table Meat Co. is already thinking about lunch. Sort of.

See also:
This Is the Line of Locally Cured Meats You've Been Waiting For: Red Table Meat Co.

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PBS Revives Defunct Gardening Show, The Victory Garden

Categories: Interview

Screenshot from Victory Garden trailer
Filmmaker Daniel Klein's excellent, James Beard award-winning web series The Perennial Plate has taken him and his filming partner and wife Mirra Fine around Minnesota, around the country, and then around the world.

It all started with a realization: He was a white male with a free ride to college and this privilege obligated him to follow his dreams and to do something substantial in the world.

Now, together with Edibles Magazine, they've revived the the 14-years defunct PBS series The Victory Garden (Now The Victory Garden's Edible Feast).

See also:
Perennial Plate to launch world tour

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