Fresh Taste, Tasting Fresh!

Got plans for Sunday? The first two posters to name a local chef committed to local, organic, and/or sustainable cooking will win a pair of tickets to the Fresh Taste Festival, the annual food and wine show put on by my magazine as a fundraiser for MPR.

If you’ve never heard of Fresh Taste, here’s the low-down. On Sunday we take over the Nicollet Island Pavillion from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. You show up at the door and either buy a ticket ($65) or hit will-call for the one you’ve bought online in advance ($55) or won (free!). We check your ID to make sure you’re 21, hand you a wine glass, and admit you to: A chance to sample 75 organic or biodynamic wines, a chance to circulate among tables and chat with and sample foods from local delicious organic standard-bearers like the Birchwood Café, the Corner Table, Hope Creamery, Thousand Hills Cattle, River Chocolate, Common Roots Café, Chowgirls Catering, and many, many more—and that’s not all! You can also watch cooking demonstrations by wonderful local cooks like Scott Pampuch of the Corner Table, J.D. Fratzke of the Strip Club Meats & Fish, and Raghavan Iyer of the hotly anticipated new downtown Minneapolis restaurant Om. And that’s not all! You will also be able to talk to winemakers like Shane Finley of Shane Wine Cellars, Eric Sothern of Robert Sinskey Vineyards, and Chad Johnson of Dusted Valley Vineyards (brother of Aaron Johnson, co-owner of St. Paul’s Strip Club). But that’s not even all! You’ll be able to sample these foods and wines and wander in and out of the beautiful sunshine (I hope) out on the Mississippi River while all proceeds go to a good cause (MPR), and at the end of the day there will be no waste! Or nearly none. This is called a “zero waste” event, which means that Eureka Recycling goes through all the waste, pulling out anything that can be used in some new form. Last year we ended up with only a single trash-bag of waste from the whole event.

What, you say you want more? Act now and I’ll throw in a free, free, free appearance on Kare-11 on Saturday’s morning show to promote the event. I’m scheduled around 8:30 a.m., and will be wearing my new straight platinum wig. Do I look weird as a blonde and should I go back to my Wynonna Judd look? Or should I return to the bubblegum-pink frivolity of a few years ago? Tune in and decide.

Till then: What’s green and sustainable and tipsy all over? You, if you act now.