You know you've said it. "Gosh, I bet I'd make a million dollars if I could sell (insert personally mastered food fabulosity here) at the Fair!" But as we dare to dream of success-on-a-stick, how many of us actaully make the plan, put up the cash, and go for it? Not many, except my friend Matt. I've had a mean brisket at his house and he's a man with a penchant for smoking meats, but other than that, he's just an average guy, not in the biz what-so-ever. Can that really translate into The Big Payoff? Matt's secured a site outside the main entrance gate in some guy's yard to set up his Smok'Shack BBQ where he's selling pulled pork sammies. Maybe he'll draw a few who are too hungry to wait and maybe a few more who are leaving with unfulfilled space in their gut. We'll see. This Fresh Forkin' Friday I'm saluting the dream and those who go for it.
Yes, D'Amico Kitchen is now open. Also open and rebranded is the rooftop lounge, rechristened Sid and Nancy's (no need for %$&#@! swearing, not with the D'Amicos!). The courtyard bar has been renamed Eden and hopes to provide a lush oasis for harried cityfolk. Today starts Eden's Friday Champagne happy hour (4-7 p.m.) with live music and build-your-own bubbly cocktail bar.
Black's Ford Eatery in Wayzata has closed. The small cafe, having undergone a recent renovation, was shut due to a family illness.
According to Lenny Russo, St. Paul might be losing Heartland due to myopic politicians with shadowy agendas. Western dwellers cheer.
CJ Van Proosdy replaced Matt Kempf (new Figlio/Cat-Cafe chef) as the chef at Salut in Edina and promptly instituted the tasting dinners he started while in St. Paul. On the second Tuesday of every month, CJ puts together a five course menu for $36.95. Next month's menu, served September 8th, features a salad with Anjou pears, braised pork belly, and Arctic char (that fish is SO HOT right now), among other tasty tib-bits.
If you need a little perspective at the Fair this weekend, check out the Community of a Plate exhibit in the Progress Center on Randall between Cooper and Snelling. The exhibit documents plates of food unique to our state's communities, by tracing their origins from farm to table and telling the stories of those involved.
If you or someone you know is starting culinary school this year due to Top Chef inspirations, make sure you read Letter to a Young Culinarian. There is honor in cleaning squid, I promise.
Every year people fall in love with those oddly puffy chickens at the Fair. Well, Seward Co-op is holding two Urban Chicken classes this month, and there's a Parade of Chicken Coops planned for September 12th so you can get an up-close view of the life with birds.
Those who wish a bigger picture view should sign up for Slow Food's Fowl Affair at Callister Farms, arguably one of the area's best fowl producers. On september 13th, they'll be serving fried Poulet Rouge, the traditional European breed raised according to the French Rouge protocols.