Minnesota State Fair • Eco Experience 2017

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



Thursday, August 24th

Joe Hatch-Surisook, Sen Yai Sen Lek

Joe Hatch-Surisook’s Thai culinary experience was initiated in his family’s kitchens in Bangkok and later in Chicago. He learned traditional techniques and careful balancing of flavors by observing and participating in the preparation of family meals. Joe has worked at the much beloved former Chet’s Taverna and Nicollet Island Inn. When his children were young and he was primarily a stay at home dad, Joe taught cooking classes at several local schools, including Kitchen Window. During this time he refined his recipes and restaurant concept. In 2008, Joe and his wife opened Sen Yai Sen Lek in Northeast Minneapolis. Sen Yai Sen Lek offers authentic preparations of traditional Thai dishes. Community involvement, family ownership and an emphasis on local growers and producers round out the restaurant’s guiding principles.



Friday, August 25th

Yia Vang, Union Kitchen

Yia Vang is Hmong, and he cooks dishes inspired by traditional Hmong cuisine. He is the chef at, and found 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 Hmong Sausage with Pok Pok Radish Salad and Tiger Bite Sauce.



Saturday, August 26th

Nicholas Nelson, The Wedge

The Wedge is a grocery store, café, catering company, wholesale distributor and sustainable food leader. For over 40 years they’ve worked to support small farmers and organic producers. You can find more that 5,000 local products on their shelves. The Wedge’s mission is rooted in the belief that providing access to real food made by real people makes a difference in our lives, our neighborhood and for our planet. Nicholas Nelson, chef at The Wedge, will be making a Grilled Zucchini Salad with Millet and Herb-Yogurt Dressing.



Sunday, August 27th

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 Butternut squash taco bowl and exporing the economic and racial factors in organic and local farming. 



Monday, August 28th

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.


Tuesday, August 29th

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 preparing local organic produce for the fermentation process. 


 Wednesday, August 30st

Kim Olson, Grandma's Gourmet

Kim Olson started experimenting in the kitchen back in 1977. She has developed different styles and techniques through work in the restaurant industry, learning from her mother, and using the recipes of her grandmother and great-grandmother. With Grandma Gourmet’s Kim Olson does catering and also sells a wide range of gourmet foods, from jams and jellies to salsa and pickles. She will be making a salad using her pickled beets.



Thursday, August 31st

 Marshall Paulsen, Birchwood Cafe

Chef Marshall Paulsen grew up in St. Paul and began his restaurant career working as a busboy, waiter + bartender at the age of 15. After moving to Wisconsin to attend school he began working as a line cook and eventually executive chef. Nine years ago, Marshall found a perfect match with the Birchwood Cafe and as chef he has been creating "Good Real Food" for multitudes. In his thirteen years as a chef he has established many long-standing relationships with farmers - knowing that seasonal, locally-grown produce and meats are of much higher quality than when shipped from elsewhere. Located in the Seward neighborhood of Minneapolis, Birchwood Cafe is in its 22nd year of business, recently underwent a large remodel and expansion, and just published a cookbook. He will be preparing cucumber gazpacho.



Friday, September 1st

Susan Brown, Mademoiselle Miel

With rooftop apiaries in both Saint Paul and Minneapolis, Susan Brown - owner and founder of Mademoiselle Miel, has a sweet view of the Twin Cities. The exceptional urban honey collected is featured in distinctive Honey Bon-bons and she also crafts bean-to-bar chocolate sweetened with locally sourced maple sugar. The Honey Kitchen & Showroom where these confections are created is located at 342 Kellogg Blvd W in Saint Paul, directly across from the Minnesota History Center and is open Tuesdays thru Saturdays. 




 Saturday, September 2nd

Karl Gerstenberger, Waldmann Brewery and Wurstery

Karl Gerstenberger is a coop Meat Manager, and a Berkely CA trained local foods chef. He currently works at the Waldmann Brewery and Wurstery in St. Paul, Minnesota. The Waldmann is housed in the oldest surviving commercial building in the Twin Cities. Using old-world horizontal fermenting techniques and noble and heritage hops, the Waldmann brewing team makes traditional German-style lagers, which perfectly complement the German-inspured cooking from the Wurstery kitchen, including freshly made sausages. They use locally sourced and organic ingredients whenever possible. Karl will be making Wickelklosse, traditional German potato dumplings made with heritage wheat and locally cured ham.



 Sunday, September 3rd

Lachelle Cunningham, Breaking Bread Foods

Lachelle Cunningham recently joined the Appetite for Change team as the Kindred Kitchen Manager and Executive Chef of Breaking Bread Cafe & Catering. Lachelle has been cooking her entire life, although she has an extensive 15 year history in the administrative field.  She became a cooking instructor for Minneapolis Public Schools Adult Community Education Programs, where she taught a series of cooking classes called “Comfort Foods Around the World.”  In 2013, Lachelle started Chelles’ Kitchen, LLC, a full service catering service, and to enhance her culinary talent and expertise, she obtained her Associate of Applied Science degree in Culinary Arts from The International Culinary School at The Art Institutes in Minneapolis.



 Monday, September 4th

Tammy Wong, Rainbow Chinese Restaurant and Bar

Tammy Wong discovered her passion for food as the child of ethnic Chinese parents growing up in Vietnam. From an early age, she enjoyed cooking rice over an open fire and helping her grandmother roll tamarind candies for sale at a nearby outdoor market. After moving to Minneapolis in 1983, she worked at a number of Asian eateries before opening The Rainbow in 1987. As an award-winning owner and chef, Tammy continues to play a vital role in her community and to impress diners with her unique and beautiful style of Asian cuisine.


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


Past years:






Thursday, August 25

Day Block Brewing

Fermented Foods

Joe Williams

Friday, August 26

Union Kitchen

Hmong Hot Dish

Yia Vang

Saturday, August 27

Laune Bread

Sourdough Bread

Christopher MacLeod

Sunday, August 28

The Moral Omnivore

Beet Crostinis

Ross Logas

Monday, August 29

Flamingo Cafe


Frey Haile

Tuesday, August 30

Grandmas Gourmets


Kim Olson

Wednesday, August 31

The Good Acre

Gazpacho and other cold soups                  

Emily Paul

Thursday, September 1

The Birchwood Cafe

Kernza Tortillas

Marshall Paulsen

Friday, September 2

Tansey's on Main

Vegetable Stir Fry

Jennifer Monsos

Saturday, September 3

Gyst Fermentation Bar              

Lacto-Fermentation Jim Bonvino

Sunday, September 4

Karl Gerstenberger Paillard and Carpaccio Seward Co-op
Monday, September 5 Gandhi Mahal Sag Bahee Ruhel Islam 






Thursday, August 27

Sen Yai Sen Lek

Naam Prik Ong

Joe Hatch-Surisook

Friday, August 28

Sioux Chef / Tatanka Truck

Cedar Maple Iced-T and Native Granola

Sean Sherman

Saturday, August 29

Sioux Chef / Tatanka Truck

Cedar Maple Iced-T and Native Granola

Sean Sherman

Sunday, August 30

Red Table Meats


Mike Phillips

Monday, August 31

Flamingo Cafe

Alicha and timtimo miser

Frey Haile

Tuesday, September 1

Breaking Bread Cafe

Local Fruit & Veggie Smoothies and Banana Berry Frozen Treats

Lachelle Cunningham

Wednesday, September 2

Rainbow Chinese Restaurant and Bar

Sweet Corn Rice Pudding

Tammy Wong

Thursday, September 3

Chin Dian Cafe

Pork and Chive Dumplings

Nina Wong

Friday, September 4

El Burrito Mercado

Tostones, Maduros and Roasted Jalapeno Salsa

Milissa Silva-Diaz

Saturday, September 5

Ghandi Mahal

Bangla Tilapia Ruhel Islam

Sunday, September 6

For the Love of Ghee Tangy and Spicy Chickpea Curry Shamim Rashid
Monday, September 7  Hmong American Farmers Association (HAFA) Hmong farming folklore and traiditional cuisine  Pakou Hang







Thursday, August 21

Whole Foods Market


Chef Ani

Friday, August 22

Whole Foods Market


Chef Ani

Saturday, August 23

Whole Foods Market


Chef Ani

Sunday, August 24

Whole Foods Market


Chef Ani

Monday, August 25




Tuesday, August 26

Birchwood Cafe


Chef Marshall Paulsen

Wednesday, August 27




Thursday, August 28

Whole Foods Market


Chef Ani

Friday, August 29

Whole Foods Market


Chef Ani

Saturday, August 30

Whole Foods Market

  Chef Ani

Sunday, August 31

Whole Foods Market   Chef Ani
Monday, September 1