ST. PAUL, MN (July 31, 2012) – Now in its tenth year, the Minnesota CooksTM program (www.minnesotacooks.org) at the State Fair brings together those who value and support our sustainable food system: farmers, consumers, and chefs. Onstage, chefs will create amazing dishes using fresh ingredients supplied by local stewards of the land. As they prepare their creations, emcees Mary Lahammer of Twin Cities Public Television and JD Fratzke of The Strip Club Meat & Fish will engage the chefs and a taster panel of farmers and local celebrities in lively and meaningful discussions about their sustainable philosophies. At the end of each demonstration, the panel, as well as fairgoers, will sample the mouthwatering, farm-fresh fare.
The program begins at 9:00 a.m. with culinary demonstrations by Le Cordon Bleu students and live music from Noah Hoehn, live looping musician. There will be six hourly presentations by Minnesota’s premier chefs and cooks, beginning at 10:00 a.m. All shows take place on the Minnesota Cooks Stage in Carousel Park, just south of the Grandstand.
(August 15, 2010) - As the county and state fair season spreads across America, farmers, ranchers and producer groups from Maryland and Montana will cook rib-eyes, whip up omelets, grill chicken, barbecue pork steaks, butter sweet corn and pour thick milkshakes for their non-farming customers from Baltimore to Billings and nearly everywhere in between.
This fresh, wholesome goodness will come with side dishes like firm handshakes, warm smiles and pleasant banter that will connect producers with consumers, makers with customers, farmers with non-farmers
In fact, this tasty, aromatic face-to-face meeting is the whole point of each farmer and rancher’s existence, the key link that farm and ranch groups spend big bucks and big time—think the $1.25 billion-a-year checkoff industry—to build every day. It’s honest and open and not forced or phony.
And it’s priceless; it’s retail meat-and-greet, chat-and-chew, cook-and-look, earn-and-learn for both sides.
If this interface is the top of the producer-customer pyramid—and it is—why then did three U.S. senators late this spring write a letter to U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack assaulting USDA’s “Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food” program? After all, KYF puts all 26 USDA agencies to work in unison to “better connect consumers with local producers.”