Healthy Local Food Exhibit - Cooking Demonstrations


Minnesota State Fair • Eco Experience 2016

All demos are scheduled for 11am, 1pm and 3pm each day.



Thursday, August 25th

Joe Williams, Day Block Brewing

Day block brewing is located in a historic building in the Mill City District of Minneapolis. A brewery and a pizzeria, the restaurant has pizza flavors as diverse as beer flavors. They source their ingredients from local farmers and producers, and take pride in cooking from scratch and by hand. Joe Williams, chef at Day Block Brewing, will be embracing our “Forever Green” theme and demonstrating how to use unique summer perennial farmed and foraged foods in familiar dishes.


Friday, August 26th

Yia Vang, Union Kitchen

Yia Vang is Hmong, and he cooks dishes inspired by traditional Hmong cuisine. He is the chef at, and founder of, restaurant Union Kitchen, a new restaurant in St Paul that serves dishes that combine local traditions with those from back home. Union kitchen believes that in every meal there is an “unraveling of our solitude and the rewriting of our lives together”. Vang strives to cook from who he is, and share his self and his story in the dishes he makes. Vang will be cooking a Minnesota Hot Dish with a regional Hmong twist.


Saturday, August 27th

Christopher MacLeod, Luane Bread

Christopher MacLeod is the one man show behind Laune Bread, a subscription microbakery delivering bread by bike throughout Minneapolis. An accidental baker, Christopher’s bread journey began after discovering Brotzeit and the bread culture of Munich, Germany. MacLeod spent the past four years intensively working under bakers, and began Laune Bread in October. He bakes wholegrain-oriented sourdough bread using organic grains grown within 250 miles of Minneapolis, and he is all about minimal waste, and sharing knowledge. He will be showing us the process of making and shaping his sourdough bread.


Sunday, August 28th

Ross Logas, The Moral Omnivore

The Moral Omnivore is a small, family owned food truck based out of Minneapolis. It is committed to serving sustainably produced food while giving back to the community. All of its meat comes from local farms, and all of its produce is picked up at local markets each week. Ross Logas will be making Beet Crostinis with us using all locally sourced ingredients.


 Monday, August 29th

Frey Haile, Flamingo Cafe

Frewoini Haile, chef at Flamingo Restaurant, is a women activist, small business owner, community leader, and is from Eritrea. Her business partner, Shegitu Kebede, from Ethiopia, is the same. Their two homelands have been in conflict for the majority of the women’s lifetimes, but the two work together at Flamingo Cafe to make great food and work for peace. The Flamingo Restaurant is a destination for sophisticated East African Cuisine and famously warm hospitality.


 Tuesday, August 30th

Kim Olson, Grandma's Gourmets

Kim Olson learned preserving from her mom and started experimenting in the kitchen back in 1977. Out of her love of cooking came Grandma’s Gourmet, a company that “makes amazing pickles, salsa and jams just like grandma”. Grandma’s Gourmets is focused on providing products made in small batches from high quality ingredients.



 Wednesday, August 31st

 Emily Paul, The Good Acre

Emily believes people, places, and palates are uniting forces. She has a background in international relations and global affairs, but after her first set of careers, she moved on to food. After culinary school, Emily spent time on a food truck, in restaurant kitchens, and, most recently, directing a meals program for chronically homeless individuals in Washington DC. Emily is currently the Director of Kitchen Operations at The Good Acre, an organization with a mission to “enhance how food is grown and shared in the Twin Cities".  She curates and manages teaching kitchen programs, and will be showing us how to incorporate local, seasonal, Minnesota produce in every day meals.


Thursday, September 1st

 Marshall Paulsen, Birchwood Cafe

Chef Marshall Paulsen of the Birchwood Café grew up in St. Paul and began his restaurant career working as a busboy, waiter and bartender at the age of 15. He has been working at the Birchwood Café for the past nine years, making “Good Real Food” and creating relationships with local farmers in the area. Birchwood Café is all about seasonal, locally-grown, high quality foods, and Chef Marshall Paulsen helps to make that happen. He will be preparing tortillas from scratch using flour made from the perennial wheat Kernza™, and sampling them with locally-sourced toppings.


Friday, September 2nd

Jennifer Monsos, Tansy's on Main

Jennifer Monsos is coming to us from Alma WI. Her restaurant, Tansey’s on Main, provides home delivered, farm to table meals that use organic and locally raised meats and produce. Her food is primarily gluten, grain, and refined sugar free, and she makes everything from scratch, with love and care. Jennifer Monsos will be cooking us a dish from an assortment of local, seasonal vegetables.


 Saturday, September 3rd

Jim Bonvino, Gyst Fermentation Bar

Jim Bovino is Director of Fermentation at GYST Fermentation Bar. GYST Fermentation Bar is a family owned, producer driven food business that specializes in cheese and all things fermented. GYST sources directly from family owned farms and creameries, and supports local and regional producers whenever possible. They offer all things fermented: artisanal cheese, craft beer, wine, cider, kombucha, fermented foods, pickles, salami, yogurt creations, chocolate, coffee, and other fermented specialties. Jim Bovino will be demonstrating the basic technique of lacto-fermentation of local, organic vegetables.


 Sunday, September 4th

Karl Gerstenberger, Seward Co-op

Karl Gerstenberger is a co-op Meat Manager, and a Berkely CA trained local foods chef. He currently works at the Seward Co-op, a 14,000 owner natural foods cooperative operating in three locations in South Minneapolis. Karl is looking to increase the economic viability of local meat, and will be demonstrating how to make Paillard and Carpaccio using Minnesota meats.


 Monday, September 5th

Ruhel Islam, Gandhi Mahal

Gandhi Mahal is a small local business centered around community, sustainability, and supporting the local economy. They have an aquaponics system in their basement, two bee hives on the roof, and source from local farmers. They are also making a conscious effort to reduce their waste and donate to local initiatives. Not only that, but they serve high quality, healthy Indian cuisine. Chef and Owner Ruhel Islam, will be demonstrating how to make Sag Bajee using locally sourced spinach, onions and garlic.