Climate Change Takes Center Stage at Twin Cities Local Foods Restaurants

Local legend, Will Steger, is known for his multiple ambitious polar expeditions, but Steger is more than an explorer – he’s also an educator who cares deeply about the effects of climate change. To that end, he founded the Will Steger Foundation to educate and empower people to engage in solutions to climate change.

Inspired by the Dining Out for Life dinner event that raises money for AIDS service organizations, the Will Steger Foundation is partnering with local farm-to-table restaurants in an ongoing event series this winter called “Dine for Climate,” as they attempt to highlight the connection between climate change and the food on our plates. These Dine for Climate events at local restaurants will show consumers how the food choices we make impact climate change. The next event takes place Thursday, December 11 at French Meadow Bakery & Café in Minneapolis and St. Paul.

“French Meadow Bakery & Café has had a longstanding relationship with Will Steger,” explained Will Steger Executive Director, Nicole Rom. “The Dine for Climate event at the Minneapolis location will celebrate the story of French Meadow Founder and Co-Owner, Lynn Gordon, baking bread for Will’s early polar expeditions.”

The French Meadow Minneapolis location dinner special will feature arctic char, grilled fennel, organic carrots, golden raisins, celery root purée, smoked paprika and broth. Rom says Gordon’s famous polar expedition bread will also be served. French Meadow’s new St. Paul location will offer a local root vegetable shepherd’s pie, Lake Erie walleye with Minnesota wild rice pilaf, and Tim Fischer pork schnitzel with smoked paprika spaetzle.

30% proceeds from the event on Thursday evening will go to support the Will Steger Foundation. No speakers are scheduled, but Will Steger staff will be at the event and available to answer questions about the connections between climate change and our food system.

Rom said that in addition to attending these dinners, folks can get involved with the Will Steger Foundation through their Minnesota Stories in a Changing Climate storytelling event this spring, which will include the development of 12 statewide public forums, 2-4 educator workshops, and peer support groups designed to engage in behavior change through place-based solutions. 

“For us, what’s really important, is making climate change relevant for people in their own backyard,” said Rom. “We have a really strong organic, local food network in the Twin Cities, and we wanted to highlight that and show people how a sustainable, locally based food system can help solve climate change.”

Dine for Climate events are the following Thursday evenings 5-9pm:

November 13, 2014 – Birchwood Cafe (past)

December 11, 2014 – French Meadow Bakery & Café (Mpls. and St. Paul locations) and Bluestem Bar

January 8, 2015 – Spoonriver Restaurant

March 12, 2015 – Lucia’s Restaurant