LITTLE FALLS, Minn. – July 1, 2019 – Sprout’s Third Annual Summer Harvest Dinner celebrates the tastes of local food growing this season and creates a platform where expert chefs showcase their gourmet cooking. Three of the five chefs featured at this year’s dinner competed at Sprout’s cooking contest, MINCED: The Finer Version of Chopped. At the Summer Harvest Dinner, the competition will be set aside so that local food can be the star of the show. The five-course meal will be held on Friday, July 26 at Sprout (609 13th Ave NE, Door 8, Little Falls, MN 56345). Each course is prepared by a different chef and features a local food producer who is invited to attend the dinner and speak on behalf of their growing operation.
The Summer Harvest Dinner event begins at 5:00 p.m. with cocktails, followed by a five-course meal of two appetizers, two entrees, and dessert. Each of the courses is paired with wine, selected by sommelier Scott Lindman of Paustis Wine Company. Lindman is also the host of the evening, entertaining the audience with his take on wine tasting education. The ingredients for the meal are sourced through Sprout’s Food Hub operation which works with a network of local growers to supply fresh local produce to schools, hospitals, co-ops, and restaurants. Local growers who supply their product for the Summer Harvest Dinner are invited to the dinner to enjoy the fruits of their labor and share stories of their work with their neighbors, how and why they produce their meat, produce, grains, and other products.
The expert chefs preparing the menu include all three competitors of the intense culinary cook-off, MINCED, that occurred just two months ago in May. The winner of the 2019 MINCED Master Chef title, Mateo Mackbee of Model Citizen the Restaurant (New London, Minn.) will be preparing an Entree for the Summer Harvest Dinner, while MINCED competitor Chef Thomas Kavanaugh, mentor to the Pillager High School ProStart Program will be preparing a dessert. Chef Jenna Brower Von Siebolds of Prairie Bay Grill (Baxter, Minn) who won the 2019 MINCED People’s Choice award says, “I can’t wait to be in the kitchen with Mateo and Thomas again, especially now that we don’t have to compete.” Chef Jenna will be preparing one of the two appetizers of the meal. “I’m planning on doing a new take on tapas, with six different appetizer bites on one plate,” she says.
Two chefs from Little Falls, Minn. will also be preparing a course at the 2019 Summer Harvest Dinner. Ron Lyschik of Zoomski's Midtown Cafe and Tomas Zimmerman of A.T. The Black & White Restaurant participated in the previous year’s dinner and will showcase new local producers in their course this year.
The community is invited to attend the meal by reserving tickets which are $60 per person and available online through www.sproutmn.com/harvestdinner. There is a limited number of tickets available and tickets must be reserved in advance.
This event is sponsored by Region Five Development Commission, ArtPlaceAmerica, and Prairie Bay Grill.
The Summer Harvest Dinner is supported by a grant awarded to Region Five Development Commission by ArtPlace America’s National Creative Placemaking Fund. The ArtPlace funds are providing Sprout and partners the support needed to host an expansion of economic opportunities, social and cultural experiences, and learning for local growers, artists, makers, producers, chefs, and the public. Sprout and partners will also build out the Marketplace's physical space over the next three years using commissioned functional art from local artists, with priority granted to Latino, East African, Native American, Amish, grower, and youth communities.
The community is invited to shop the Sprout Growers & Makers Marketplace vendors selling local food and art on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on October 26, November 16, and December 14. In the months of July, August, and September, Sprout hosts cooking classes, fundraising events, and educational opportunities for growers, makers, and artists. Interested growers, artists, chefs, community members, and educators who want to learn more, visit www.SproutMN.com and follow Sprout MN on Facebook.