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Minnesota Cooks is an educational outreach program of Minnesota Farmers Union that celebrates Minnesota's dedicated family farmers and the talented local foods-minded chefs and restaurant owners who work tirelessly to highlight delicious farm-fresh foods on their menus.

Through its one-day event at the Minnesota State Fair and its accompanying calendar, Minnesota Cooks strengthens the health and fabric of Minnesota's farms, restaurants, households and economy by connecting consumers with locally-produced foods.

This year's local-foods celebration will take place on Sunday, August 24 at the Minnesota State Fair. Mark your calendars now!


Our participants have been selected and our talented Minnesota Cooks photographer is on-the-road visiting each farm and restaurant. Hopefully you've been following her journey on our Facebook page: MinnesotaCooks

Congrats to our 2014 participants! Here they are in order of their appearance on the Minnesota Cooks stage in Carousel Park:


  • Eric & Lisa Klein, Hidden Stream Farm paired with Robert Ulrich, Mendoberri
  • Michael Schumacher & Marina Lovell, Farmucopia paired with Reed Olson, Wild Hare Bistro


  • Jim & LeeAnn VanDerPol, Pastures A Plenty paired with TJ Rawitzer, Tiny Diner
  • John Peterson & Jane Peterson, Ferndale Market paired with Rashmi Battachan & Sarala Kattel, Gorkha Palace


  • Jim Riddle & Joyce Ford, Blue Fruit Farm paired with Tracy Singleton & Marshall Paulsen, Birchwood Cafe
  • Stephen & Megan Henry, Sundogs Prairie Farm paired with Matthew Jensen, Broadway Bistro


  • Dean Engelmann, Tangletown Gardens' Farm paired with Beth Fischer, Wise Acre Eatery
  • Stephen Trojahn & Catherine Eckert, Gastrotruck paired with Ian Silver-Ramp, Mississippi Mushrooms


  • Laura Dimler, Pampered Pumpkin paired with Craig Sharp & Tracy LeTourneau, Terra Waconia
  • Jason & Lucie Amundsen, Locally Laid Egg Company paired with Joe Lindgren & Danie Jimenez, Positively 3rd Street Bakery


  • John Bowron, Prairie Heights Bison paired with Skyler Hoiland, The Bluestem
  • Mike Randt, Kadejan, Inc. paired with Mike Rakun & Jourdan Morris, Mill Valley Kitchen

Additionally, we'll have a pre-show demonstration at 9am featuring TV personality Kirsten Shabaz of Valley Natural Foods. Kirsten will demonstrate how to whip together healthy breakfast options.

At 4pm, we'll wrap things up with an after-show mocktail demonstration by Erik Eastman of Easy & Oskey. He'll be using bitters from their Make Your Own Bitters Kits to create refreshing summertime drinks.  



 KSTP - Local Farmers & Chefs at the Fair:

We're delighted that several media outlets stopped by Carousel Park the day of our event and gave Minnesota Cooks' participants some well-deserved attention. Check out what Naomi from KSTP had to say in her short video:


Farm Fresh Road Trip:

tpt Channel 2 went on a Farm Fresh Road Trip recently to visit two of this year's Minnesota Cooks participants: Lake Avenue Restaurant and Bar in Duluth and Victus Farm in Silver Bay.

The Duluth Tribune came out to see what all the fuss was about and wrote a nice piece about their relationship. Check out what the Duluth Tribune had to say here about the possibilities for local lettuce in December:



Minnesota Cooks™ Partners with tpt Channel 2 Almanac

Minnesota Cooks™ is pleased to announce partnership with tpt Almanac show on Channel 2. To see the finished shows, celebrating Minnesota chefs, Minnesota farmers, and Minnesota locally grown foods, check out the Almanac archive.. Read More...

The Big Day is Approaching...


It's hard to believe that we're already approaching our 12th annual Minnesota Cooks event at the Minnesota State Fair. Mark your calendars for Sunday, August 24, and join us in Carousel Park at the Minnesota State Fair for a day that promises to be lively and entertaining. 

We'll be celebrating twelve respected Minnesota farmers and twelve premier Minnesota chefs and cooks who serve locally-produced foods from these farmers in their restaurants. The chefs and cooks will entertain audiences with their cooking demonstrations while the farmers and other local food heavyweights will weigh-in on Minnesota's vibrant food scene.

Minnesota Cooks is a great opportunity to meet your farmers, meet your chefs, and sample mouth-watering, farm-fresh fare! Come early and stay all day! 

To see some photos from last year's event, please visit our up-and-coming Facebook page: MinnesotaCooks

P.S. Don't forget about the "local foods passport" located inside your Minnesota Cooks calendar. It's a helpful resource and guide to many of our state's farm-to-table establishments. Remember, when you eat at a Minnesota Cooks restaurant, you're not only supporting that restaurant, you're also supporting the Minnesota farmers who grow the food. It's a win-win for everybody!

Dick Trotter

2014 Award Winner

Chef/owner Dick Trotter of Trotter's Cafe in St. Paul is the 2014 Jon Radle Award Winner. This award recognizes Dick as a true pioneer and acknowledges his loyal commitment to furthering awareness about local foods and sustainable agriculture.


Congratulations to Dick Trotter!


Request a Calendar

Click here to request your FREE Minnesota Cooks calendar!

While Supplies Last!

We have been amazed at the number of requests we've received for the Minnesota Cooks calendar. Thank you for your support of local foods!