Celebrating local and Indigenous foods: Dinner on the Farm and the Sioux Chef

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dinner_2-web.jpgIt’s a good time to be a foodie.

There are lots of food happenings around town, you just need to know

where to look. Dinner on the Farm is a good place to start.

During the summer, Dinner on the Farm

hosts chef-planned and prepared dinners on farms. They are fun

family-friendly events that also often include good, local beer or

wine. There’s special pricing for kids so please don’t tell the

organizers, but I have seen my kid eat her weight in beef then wash

is down with a gallon of strawberries and cream as she chases cows in

the field at these events. The dinners are summer highlights. It’s

a fun way to learn about a local farm (local may mean up to two hours

from the Twin Cities), an emerging chef and often local breweries or

other specialty food producers are included. The only way to find out

about them is sign up. (Pssst – signing up is free!)

During the winter, Dinner on the Farm

hosts Underground Dinner Parties – in art galleries, breweries,

Tiki rooms, haunted houses and other fun places. These are less

family friendly as they often have a higher level of alcohol content;

they also involve a lot less driving. It’s a fun way to meet other

foodies. (Be warned it’s not a place to pick up foodies since

mingling is minimal and most folks come in groups but with a little

effort and sometimes wine you get to meet the most interesting

people!)

This last weekend the underground

dinner turned to brunch at the Dogwood Coffee Roastery. I heard the

coffee was amazing. I’m not a coffee drinker but I was introduced

to Spruce Soda Ginger Beer drinker. I have been looking for something

to replace Diet Coke; this is on the shortlist. It’s sweet but not

syrupy or sugary. And it’s all natural.

The brunch included dry salamis from

Red Table. I will forego bacon with brunch any and every there’s

dry meats from Red Table on the buffet. Rise provided the bagels;

they feature only locally grown and organic ingredients. Soft on the

inside, a bite on the outside. Holds spreads and jams well!

The highlight was tasting delicacies

of Sean Sherman – the Sioux Chef. He cooks with traditional

indigenous foods – foods naturally found in the Midwest. Sherman

uses natural organic ingredients that kept his ancestors healthy

generations ago and now he is presenting them as a healthy option for

foodies today. He created a smoked whitefish spread that was creamy,

salty and not too fishy. That on a bagel mixed with a little

raspberry job is a perfect sweet and savory bite. His squash salad

was also delicious with a tart dressing and pepitas.

So as I said, a good time to be a

foodie. With focused chefs like Sherman and with tireless conveners

like Monica Walch who is heart of Dinner on the Farm. She manages to

gather an interesting array of chefs, food producers and happy eaters

and helps sell the story of better food by introducing local food,

chefs and places.

The Twin

Cities Daily Planet is a media partner that features news, events and

reviews in and around Minneapolis-St. Paul. To see more, visit their Web

site at www.tcdailyplanet.net.

PHOTO: A sample of the offering by the

Sioux Chef Sean Sherman (Photo by Ann Treacy).