I travel a lot. You don’t joke about bombs in your carry-on, for fear of being taken seriously. At least I don’t. It’s a lot like crying "fire" in a movie theater these days. You take off your shoes, you get your liquids screened, you watch moms with sick kids subjected to incredible security gymnastics and endless questions . . . . But it used to be that you could at least crack a few one-liners in the men’s room while taking a leak. Kiss that luxury goodbye. Thanks Larry Craig.
And by the way, the burgers and fries at Ike’s at the airport are rock solid. Avoid the lobster corn dogs at all costs.
As we wrote last week, here is the latest on how you can eat your way toward helping out with the flood relief in southeastern Minnesota. I am hosting a live auction on Friday from 1–3 p.m. on my FM107.1 radio show, and more info about participating restaurants for the One Big Night Out, as well as live auction packages, can be found at the FM107 website. I got this e-mail yesterday from Scott Pampuch at Corner Table.
The rain began in southeastern Minnesota on the night of August 18. Up to seventeen inches fell the first day, and sporadic heavy rain continues as the flooded area grows. The region is home to many sustainable farmers, their employees, and related businesses. Eric Hoiland of Rushford, MN, lost all his turkeys. The fields at the Featherstone CSA farm lie under contaminated water. Others have lost their crops, their houses, their communities, their friends.
The Minnesota convivium of Slow Food is joining with local non-profits and chefs to raise money for farmers and their communities. At press time for the Food Chain, we know that many slow restaurants in the Twin Cities are dedicating their profits on September 8 to flood-relief efforts. The event is called “One Big Night Out.” In addition, Slow Food Minnesota is helping to put together an online auction with contributions from local chefs, food producers, and Slow Food members.
More information on fundraising efforts will be available soon on Slow Food Minnesota’s website: www.slowfoodmn.org. At this time contributions can be made to the Red Cross Winona chapter, 1660 Kramer Dr., Winona, MN 55987; 507-452-4258; Maggie Modjeski, Director, or online to the Sow the Seeds Fund, www.sowtheseedsfund.org.
One of the better sidebars in all of this is that the Slow Food convivium is getting ‘out there’ in the public eye. SFMN should be ten times the size it is and have a much larger public footprint given the work it does and what it stands for. Friends of mine who are members have lamented to me for years that the local group is plagued by internal squabbling and grandstanding, but new infusions of membership and new leadership might change that. About time.
Did anyone catch the C.J. column earlier this week about Vince Vaughn being in town? I missed him, but several friends of mine hung out with him for a while and told me he genuinely likes it here. If you ask me, I think he must have a MN lady pal. But here is the best part of C.J.’s story: She mentioned a server at Cue remarking to one of her tables that Vaughn was in the house. When the diners responded with disbelief, the server responded that Vaughn was right behind them. WHAT A RUBE! My lord, if I managed that restaurant, I would have a word with that server. As a restaurateur, you need to respect everyone’s privacy. Having staff call attention to public figures is classless, to say nothing of directing a table to Vaughn’s specific presence. Oy vey.