As Val says, we all love hodgepodge!
Steve Irwin’s death is senseless. We all do crazy stuff on camera, he was that way off the camera, and the irony of his being killed by an animal is not lost on anyone. Privately, many of our colleagues are saying his death was a self-fulfilled prophecy. Steve was a risk-taker to say the least.
On September 17 you have your pick of the litter when it comes to great Twin Cities food events.
Twin Cities Rise! is hosting a fundraiser at Levain. The restaurant's chef, Steven Brown, one of the most talented chefs in the Midwest, will be cooking dinner alongside Todd Macdonald, the sous chef from Cru, one of my favorite restaurants in New York City, who is flying in for the event. His mother, Sue, is an event co-chair. TCR!, a locally born initiative, represents one of the nation's most successful anti-poverty initiatives, empowering participants to forever turn their backs on poverty and build a hopeful and productive life. Its work has become even more crucial as the number of poverty-stricken individuals in this community has risen. Partnering with corporations including Target and American Express, and local law firms such as Faegre & Benson, TCR! trains under- and unemployed adults for skilled jobs that pay a living wage of at least $20,000 annually.
The Levain event is expected to sell out and tickets can be purchased by calling Twin Cities Rise! at 612-279-5889 or visiting TCR!’s website.
Good thing Brown had a pal fly in because all the other chefs in the region that evening will be cooking at the Taste of the Nation event, benefiting Share Our Strength, at the Graves 601 Hotel. From La Belle Vie’s Tim McKee to Alma’s Alex Roberts, from 112 Eatery’s Isaac Becker to Corner Table’s Scott Pampuch, almost every other chef in town will be cooking dinner in a live interactive setting in the Graves 601 ballroom.
The event begins with a cocktail hour and silent auction of food- and wine-themed items and is followed by a multi-course gourmet dinner paired with exceptional wines. Each table of ten is hosted by a chef who prepares a creative multi-course dinner for their table. Sixteen top local chefs and two visiting guest chefs from Boston and Chicago will make this an unforgettable evening. Share Our Strength's Taste of the Nation, presented by American Express and Jenn-Air, is the nation's pre-eminent culinary benefit supporting anti-hunger and anti-poverty efforts. Every year, thousands of community leaders donate their product, time, and talents at more than sixty events throughout the U.S. and Canada. The events, which include food and wine tastings, seated dinners, brunches, and barbecues, raise both awareness and funds for anti hunger initiatives around the world. Click herefor tickets.
Walter Buffalo, the former sous chef at I Nonni and the chef at Nochee in Minneapolis, and a partner have bought the defunct Vintage Restaurant and Wine Bar on Selby Avenue in St Paul. This old building, dating back to 1888, has a shameful and appalling history of consistently serving some of the worst food I have ever eaten in a ‘nice’ restaurant. Here’s hoping that changes because the building is great. It needs to be opened up on the inside and remade into a functioning set of rooms that makes sense from a service and diner's viewpoint, but Buffalo has some talent. The biggest problem he had at Nochee was in the editing process. Too many gimmicks, too many ingredients. So many talented chefs these days would be better off if they had a process through which to vet their food, but the days of the owner who knew food because they grew up in the biz and could participate in a food decision have left us. Chefs control the process 100 percent now, and not all of them are up to the task. If Buffalo can keep it simple, like he did at I Nonni, his new venture will do very well in St. Paul.