LITTLE FALLS -- Students from three different central Minnesota schools will be featured artists at the indoor marketplace set from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Oct. 26 at Sprout in Little Falls.
Sprout Growers and Makers Marketplace highlights cultural arts through performances and cooking demonstrations at each monthly market. The October market will highlight talented students in both music and culinary arts, a news release stated. The market will also reveal a new art installation made by a young artist, as well as have free art activities for all ages.
Sprout Growers & Makers Marketplace season includes six monthly markets from October through March. The first of the season this month will gather a variety of food producers, artisans and artists who make their homegrown, handmade products available for community members to purchase. The market takes the form of a mini monthly festival, offering entertainment through performances and cooking demonstrations. The October performance is organized by Todd Peterson, Little Falls High School band teacher, and includes a mix of students and teachers in a first-of-its-kind jazz ensemble. The six member jazz combo includes Peterson; Joel Pohland, band director at Pierz Healy High School; and Carl Mathwig, Pierz Pioneer Elementary band teacher; as well as a student from each of the schools. Playing jazz standards from the Big Band and Swing eras, plus Latin and modern jazz, the group will perform three sets during the market from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Following the band performance, there will be a cooking demonstration at 1 p.m. in the Sprout kitchen, with samples available for market attendees. Students from Sauk Rapids-Rice High School’s ProStart Program will demonstrate a butternut squash-apple bruschetta, using ingredients sourced locally from Sprout’s Food Hub. Mary Levinski, the instructor for the program states, “This is a great recipe, we tried it out and the students loved it, even though they typically do not like squash.”
Sauk Rapids-Rice High School is one of 50 schools in Minnesota that offers the ProStart Program, a national two year culinary training program that provides real-life experience opportunities, culinary techniques and management skills to high school students. Market attendees are encouraged to come to the event hungry, to taste the samples and to dine at the Cabin Fever “pop-up restaurant” that will have lunch, craft brews, and wine available during the market. Local food and art producers interested in participating in the market can become a vendor by visiting www.sproutmn.com/vendors.
Another feature of the market is a new art installation by Andreas Nordrum, a young artist from Laporte, who created a life size Migizi, Ojibwe for “Eagle” out of red willow and cedar wood. The willow was woven to create the tail feathers, and the Migizi’s head was hand carved out of cedar wood. The majestic piece now hangs from the rafters of Sprout’s facility.
Due to a partnership with Hunger Solutions Minnesota, families and individuals eligible for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program can also double their dollar at the Sprout Growers & Makers Marketplace and the Sprout Mobile Market. Shoppers with SNAP can swipe their electronic benefit transfer card at the market to receive an additional dollar for every dollar spent up to $10 in “Market Bucks.” SNAP is a federal food assistance program. Benefits are placed on an EBT similar to a debit card. To find out if you qualify for SNAP, call the Minnesota Food HelpLine at 888-711-1151 or visit mnfoodhelpline.org for more information.
The activities are funded through a grant awarded to the Region Five Development Commission by ArtPlace America’s National Creative Placemaking Fund.
Sprout, a non-profit based in Little Falls that aims to connect and strengthen the local food system, has launched a new grocery store on wheels, the Mobile Market.
“Sprout has been doing CSAs, community sustainable agriculture, for a while now, but this mobile market was more like a portable grocery store that we could also bring around with us so people have more access to fruits and vegetables,” said Dawn Espe, Region 5 Development Commission planner.
The Sprout Mobile Market as well as the art cart hits the road every other Tuesday. Today, they stopped in Staples at the Sourcewell headquarters before traveling up to Pine River.
Sprout launched the Mobile Market in order to increase access to fresh local foods in rural areas.
“We were just recognizing that there’s parts in the region that maybe didn’t have the access to the fresh fruits and vegetables that other people did,” explained Espe. “So we’re trying to make sure that everybody has a great quality of life around the region and that kind of access.”
Traveling with the Mobile Market is Sprout’s À la cARTe Initiative, a cohort of four artists that have come together to build a mobile art studio.
“A lot of times, people don’t necessarily have access to those types of experiences outside of a larger city. The initiative is to have more arts experiences in our rural communities,” said Maria Ervasti, Sprout À la cARTe artist.
The Mobile Market and the À la cARTe Initiative are coordinated by Sprout, the Region 5 Development Commission, and the Five Wings Arts Council.
When is dinner more than just dinner? When stories are told. And connections made.
That's the premise of a new documentary, which focuses on the stories of immigrants and other minorities living in the small towns and rural areas of central Minnesota. "Who's At Your Table?" brings together people of widely varying experiences to share a family-style meal and tell their stories—where they came from; how their cultures shaped them; and how they find life and acceptance in Minnesota.
It's the extension of a TEDxGullLake Talk delivered in 2015 by Arlene Jones, a Brainerd farmer and founder of Sprout Growers and Makers Market in Little Falls. She cohosts the dinner with Martin Jennings, a grants administrator and member of the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe. Dinner guests include two Somali refugees, a Liberian refugee and entrepreneur, three former Amish members, a mother of seven multicultural children, and a chamber of commerce director in a small town finding new growth and conflict with the influx of first-generation Americans. Most of the dinner guests met each other for the first time at the gathering.
When to watch
What: "Who's At Your Table?"—television documentary.
When: 9 p.m. Monday, June 24, repeating 8 p.m. Thursday, June 27.
Where: Lakeland Public Broadcasting.
"The face of central Minnesota is changing," narrator Jennifer Smith of Brainerd said at the outset of "Who's At Your Table?" "There is more color to who we are. More depth to our traditions. More stories about from where we came."
With that introduction, the guests begin telling their own origin stories. Abdi Daisane, a Somali immigrant who now runs a preschool in St. Cloud, discusses growing up in a refugee camp and sharing what limited food was available. Fortuna Alexander, a Liberian immigrant, tells how she became an entrepreneur to finance an orphanage in a country ravaged by civil war and Ebola. Business owners and former Amish members Enos and Mary Schwartzentruber explain what it's like moving from one culture into another without ever leaving town.
The hour-long storytelling and discussion is more about cultural understanding than conflict, Jones pointed out in a news release.
"Food was the motivator," she stated. "The heritage behind the food was what we used as the platform to bring all these people together. To share a meal as you would with your family and begin to tell our stories about what it is like to live in central Minnesota to possibly be an immigrant and to possibly be someone who is here who is different, who has had a different struggle."
The documentary will premiere on Lakeland Public Broadcasting, beginning 9 p.m. June 24 and repeating 8 p.m. June 27. It was created by Resilient Living MN, a production arm of Happy Dancing Turtle in Pine River, which also organized the TEDxGullLake conference. Region Five Development Commission and ArtPlace provided funding, along with assistance from Sprout and Lakeland Public Broadcasting.
The "Who's At Your Table?" dinner represented a rare opportunity for people of differing cultures to come together, tell their stories and listen to others, said co-host Jennings. "Hopefully, this work and this conversation will help others think a little more differently about communities that they typically don't see or think about," he said.
By Sheila McCoy, Morrison County Record
Zero waste living. That’s what Little Falls native Stephanie (Chatfield) Wall strives for. Now living in Seattle, Wash. with her husband Zach, and their son, Wesley, Wall plan to return to Little Falls to share her passion.
The Zero Waste Living workshop will be held Wednesday, June 5, at 7 p.m., at Sprout, 609 13th Ave. NE, Door 8, in Little Falls. The event is co-hosted by Purple Carrot Market, Sprout and the Little Falls Farmers Market.
Stephanie (Chatfield) Wall shops with zero waste living in mind. Instead of purchasing yogurt in plastic containers, she brings along mason jars and gets many of her dry and wet goods in the bulk section or at Farmers Markets.
The concept of zero waste living is to examine habits and practices to find ways waste can be minimized.
“What I have learned since I started is that you can’t go back. You start thinking of all the ways you reduce waste. It’s inspiring and it’s fun,” she said.
Wall said although she grew up with her parents, Tom Chatfield and Joelle Zylka, instilling valuable conservation skills, it was ultimately a blog by Bea Johnson that inspired her in 2010.
“I’m not sure how I stumbled across that blog, but I was drawn to it because of her beautiful kitchen,” she said. “When I started reading her blog about how much trash we produce, it really got me thinking about my own waste.”
Wall said she was fascinated by the fact that Johnson, who had a family of four, had been able to minimize their waste to 1 liter of landfill waste per year.
“Now they’re down to a half a liter,” she said.
Wall said it’s easier to get started by just taking it room-by-room. For her, the kitchen was the starting point.
Instead of using plastic bags when she went shopping, she brought along reusable cloth bags.
Rather than buying packages of certain foods, she opted for filling up mason jars she brought in the bulk section of the store.
“That was one way I started reducing my personal waste. Then it just snowballed from there,” she said.
Other ways to minimize waste are to use bamboo toothbrushes, wool dryer balls, cotton towels, natural loofahs and kitchen scrubbers.
Using reusable water bottles, to-go coffee tumblers and utensils helps eliminate plastic water bottles, disposable coffee cups and plastic cutlery.
It is never too early to instill zero waste living in the younger generation. Pictured is Wesley, the son of Stephanie Wall, after a shopping trip to the bulk section.
Wall said reducing waste doesn’t just have a positive effect on the environment. It also produces a simplified life and has also saved her time and money as she is more mindful of what she accumulates.
By shopping locally, interacting with growers at the farmers market and other stores, she has gained various relationships, as many have become friends.
Wall is one of four co-founders of a grass roots community called “Seattle Zero Waste.” At first, the four started getting together over food and drink to talk about sustainability and zero waste living. About a year later, they started holding monthly meet-ups.
“We only had two people come the first time, but we kept putting out our invitation on our personal Instagram accounts for people to meet us,” she said.
As time went by, more and more people attended the meet-ups.
“We empower and inspire people to reduce their waste through meaningful relationships and collaboration,” she said.
The group continued to grow and started a group on Facebook, which now has nearly 1,800 members.
Wall believes the more people start to think about the waste they produce, the more potential it has to change policy.
She finds it challenging to see the amount of the trash that is produced worldwide.
“Not in a judgmental way, but seeing how much trash is produced, makes me think about the challenge of how do we move our society to a circular economy instead of a linear economy. Circular meaning products that are thought through in a way where they don’t go to a landfill, but they are either reused or can be composted,” Wall said.
Wall encourages people to come to the workshop to learn more about ways waste can be eliminated.
With three chefs, three courses and three mystery ingredients in each, only one could walk away with the title, “Master chef.” That’s what Minced, “The finer version of Chopped,” was about, May 10, when three chefs competed against each other at Sprout in Little Falls. It was the second year the event was held.
Each chef came with a different culinary background. This year’s winner, Matéo Mackbee, with 13 years of experience, found his roots of the culinary art in primarily Creole and Cajun dishes — New Orleans style.
“My grandfather, Renard Morril, was a chef on a ship from New Orleans to Africa. My summers were spent in New Orleans, watching him cook for us,” he said
Although Mackbee was passionate about food for as long as he can remember and showed an interest early on, he avoided pursuing a career in it.
“Food is something I have always been passionate about. One of my earliest childhood memories is walking home from kindergarten. Normally kids watch cartoons, but I would watch ‘Yan Can Cook’ on PBS,” he said. “The passion was there inside of me, but I ran away from it for a long time.”
But when he lost his job in IT in the stock market crash in 2008, Mackbee decided it was time for a change.
“When I lost my job in the crash, I wanted to try to find something I could do that would make me feel whole inside. So I went into cooking and never looked back,” he said.
Mackbee said he enrolled in a culinary art school shortly after.
Also competing in the final round was Jenna Brower Von Siebolds, who works as a chef at the “Prairie Bay Grill” in Baxter and with six years, she had the least amount of experience compared to the others.
Although she didn’t take home the master chef title, Brower Von Siebolds was awarded the “People’s Choice Award.”
The other chef, Thomas Kavanaugh, represented the ProStart program at Pillager High School. Despite his solid efforts, he was eliminated after the second round.
The secret ingredients the chefs had to work with were challenging. As the theme for the event was east African cuisine, the secret ingredients were obtained from Somali grocery stores in St. Cloud and did not disappoint.
In the first round for the appetizer, the chefs had to figure out how to include yellow potatoes, golden raisins and Somali coffee spice mix.
The secret ingredients for round two, the entrée, were goat meat, chick peas and pitted dates. When the judges shared their opinion of the chefs’ creations, Minced’s celebrity guest and judge, Kara Carlisle from the McKnight Foundation in Minneapolis, said she had eaten the goat meat despite being a vegetarian. After all, it looked so savory, she said.
The final round not only brought the judges dessert, but also the secret ingredients of black tea, guava juice drink and bananas.
While the chefs were given 30 minutes to complete the entrée, only 20 minutes were allowed for the appetizer and dessert rounds.
Despite the risk of the ice cream not hardening enough, Brower Von Siebolds amazingly pulled it off. Mackbee, on the other hand, impressed the judges with a recipe of an Ethiopian pancake with bananas foster topping and a berry sauce.
Although all of the chefs felt the pressure to finish each dish within the allotted time, Mackbee said he embraces competition.
"I’m an athlete at heart. I played soccer and basketball. Competing has always been a big thing for me,” he said.
Mackbee said the biggest challenge for him was being unfamiliar with the kitchen and not knowing where different things were, along with running back and forth.
Being named “Master Chef” was thrilling for Mackbee. But what made him even agree to compete was all Sprout stands for.
“I love this organization and everything that is going on in here,” he said.
By Pioneer Journal Staff on May 18, 2019 at 4:13 p.m.
Region Five Development Commission (R5DC) was awarded $92,500 from the Minnesota Department of Veterans Affairs (MDVA) through the (2018 Cycle II) Support Our Troops (SOT) license plate fund grant program. The MDVA SOT grant program offers a competitive grant process which allows organizations to apply for funding. These grants, ranging from $1,000 to $100,000, are focused on supporting and improving the lives of veterans and their families.
R5DC will use the funds to support a program for 50 veterans residing in the counties of Cass, Crow Wing, Morrison, Todd or Wadena. Participating veterans will receive a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) food package twice per month, for one year at no cost. Cooking demonstrations and classes will be offered monthly by local food experts, chefs and nutrition educators.
The goal of the VetCSA is to improve the overall quality of life for veterans and their families. This initiative delivers healthy foods and gives additional knowledge and skills on how to prepare them. Building a healthy lifestyle creates a positive effect on physical and mental health. The VetCSA brings veterans, families, growers and communities together, with food coming from Sprout MN and supporting regional growers and ranchers.
For details on MDVA's Support Our Troops License Plate program found on the MDVA Website at the following link: https://mn.gov/mdva/resources/supporttroopslicenseplates.jsp
By Brainerd Dispatch at 9:19 a.m.
LITTLE FALLS—Three central Minnesota chefs competed in a live cooking competition featuring mystery ingredients Friday, May 10, in front of a large crowd in Little Falls.
Taking home the 2019 Master Chef title at the Sprout-hosted event "Minced: The Finer Version of Chopped" was Mateo Mackbee of Model Citizen the Restaurant in New London. Also competing in the final round was Jenna Brower Von Siebolds of Prairie Bay Grill in Baxter, and eliminated after two rounds of competition was Tom Kavanaugh, representing the ProStart Program at Pillager High School.
This was the second year Sprout produced the live entertainment, which resembles the popular Food Network show "Chopped."
Chefs did not know ahead of time what mystery ingredients they would cook with, and ingredients represented and celebrated East African food culture. Ingredients were sourced from Somali grocery stores in St. Cloud and included goat meat, guava drink, black tea, Ethiopian spiced coffee mix and more.
Mackbee edged Brower Von Siebolds in the dessert round, impressing judges with his Ethiopian-style pancake topped with a bananas Foster topping and a fresh berry sauce. Brower Von Siebolds took home the People's Choice Award, voted on by the attending audience.
In addition to Model Citizen the Restaurant, Mackbee is also developing a new restaurant, Krewe, as well as a bakery in the 24 North Lofts in St. Joseph. The restaurant will feature a New Orleans-style menu, while the bakery will make French and Scandinavian pastries.
Judging the competition were Tomas Zimmerman, owner and chef of A.T. The Black & White Restaurant in Little Falls; Habso J. Mohamud, author of "It Only Takes One Yes!"; Meadow Roberts, 11-year-old contestant from Food Network's Kids Baking Championship; and Kara Carlisle of the McKnight Foundation.
The event was hosted by 2018 Master Chef Scotty Stocco and Brainerd Dispatch Community Editor Chelsey Perkins.
Minced was partially funded through a grant awarded to the Region Five Development Commission by ArtPlace America's National Creative Placemaking Fund. This event was presented by Sprout MN, Region Five Development Commission, Central Lakes College and Three Cheers Hospitality.
For more photos, go to https://bit.ly/2vQPfqf.
By Sheila McCoy - Staff Writer: email@example.com, Morrison County Record
Signing up for community supported agriculture (CSA) shares at Sprout in Little Falls not only gives members access to fresh vegetables. It’s also a great way to support local growers and know where the food came from, said Jessie Bavelli, food hub and marketplace director.
Shareholders can choose to either sign up for a full or a half share. A full share gives members the opportunity to pick up a three-quart bushel box of vegetables weekly for the 16-week season, from about mid-June to September.
Each box is carefully packed with a wide variety of products, such as vegetables, herbs and shelf-stable products.
What kind of vegetables are packed depends primarily on the time of the season they mature. Some of the vegetables that are included in the box are cucumbers, leeks, different types of tomatoes, hot and sweet peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, eggplant, Brussels sprouts, carrots, potatoes, onions, varieties of squash, spinach, kale and more.
Examples of herbs that are packed are rosemary, basil, thyme, oregano and more.
Products such as wild rice, honey, local flour breads, jams and jellies, maple syrup, fresh eggs and rhubarb are also included.
“All of the products are produced by multiple local farms. One of the benefits to the CSA model is that you have such a great variety. Through the season members can see well over 60 different products in their shares,” she said. The same amount of food in a box is given to the members who choose to go with the biweekly option. Instead of picking up the CSA share weekly, it is picked up every other week. Sprout has four pickup locations — Little Falls, Staples, Brainerd and Baxter.
Those who are interested in signing up for a CSA share can do so by visiting www.sproutmn.com and clicking on the food hub link.
Sprout works with several producers who are located within a 100-miles radius of Little Falls. Some of the growers are certified organic, while others are not certified, but follow the same principles as if they were, Bavelli said.
The CSA program at Sprout was established in 2013, a year after Sprout was founded. It was a way to expand Sprout’s marketing effort beyond the wholesale they do with institutional accounts, such as schools, restaurants, hospitals, senior care facilities and more. They knew the community agricultural motto and the shared system would be the way to go, Bavelli said.
“CSA help enhance the relationship between the grower and the consumer of that food. That relationship follows through the whole season,” she said. “As you sign up a member, you are essentially pledging to share any potential risks that come with growing in agriculture — the weather, droughts, crop failure and pest disease. Then of course, in return, you get to enjoy the benefits and the rewards from a successful farming season.”
During the CSA season, Sprout sends a weekly email product list to its members, about where it is coming from and who the producers are. Every so often, Sprout includes various recipes in the emails with suggestions about how the members can use some of the vegetables and how to store food safely.
“One of the benefits that is really important and is why we do this work is in general to support the small family farms that are producing this fresh and nutritious food,” Bavelli said. “They are a huge asset to our community and do a lot to help and better our communities through the work they do. Without them we wouldn’t be in this line of work,” Bavelli said.
It is also an opportunity to educate the members on ways to enhance their culinary skills.
LITTLE FALLS — A culinary cook-off Friday evening pits three Minnesota chefs against each other in an intense kitchen showdown.
Representing their home kitchens in Pillager, Brainerd and New London/St. Joseph, each competing chef has expressed confidence in their skills to accept the culinary challenge of Minced: The Finer Version of Chopped, taking place from 5 to 9 p.m. Friday at Sprout, 609 13th Ave. N.E., Little Falls.
Representing Model Citizen the Restaurant in New London is Matéo Mackbee. Model Citizen is located inside Goat Ridge Brewing Co.
Mackbee is also developing a new restaurant, Krewe, as well as a bakery in the 24 North Lofts in St. Joseph. The restaurant, expected to open in June, will feature a New Orleans-style menu, while the bakery will be making French and Scandinavian pastries.
Representing the Pillager High School ProStart Program in Pillager is Thomas Kavanaugh, with over 40 years of culinary experience. Kavanaugh's mentorship of the high school culinary art program recently earned Pillager's student chefs third place in the Minnesota ProStart Invitational in St. Paul.
Representing Prairie Bay Grill in Baxter is Jenna Brower Von Siebolds. Although Brower Von Siebolds has been in the kitchen business for just six years, she showcases a wanderlust illustrative of a global cuisine connoisseur.
This will be the second year Sprout has produced the live entertainment, which resembles the popular Food Network show "Chopped."
"The cooking competition is one way Sprout seeks to excite central Minnesotans around locally produced food, culinary art and food culture," organizers said in a news release.
The public is invited to attend and enjoy the show, and to learn more about Sprout's food access work, of which proceeds from the event will benefit.
"This unscripted, unsifted challenge will grill three local chefs as they face off in the Sprout Kitchen Stadium" says Minced organizer Natalie Keane in a news release. "We're not afraid to whip up the food puns for this fun event. We'll need that good humor, and so will the chefs when they find out what we have in store."
Inspired from the popular competitive cooking show, Minced will create cooking challenges by the introduction of unique ingredients in a mystery basket that must be used in the chefs' dish. Community members get to watch as the mystery basket foils the plans of contestants as they serve up a dish to impress Minnesota celebrity judges, like Meadow Roberts, the 10-year-old baking pro who competed on The Food Network's "Kids Baking Championship."
Chefs will not know what mystery ingredients they will have to work with, but ingredients will represent and celebrate East African food culture. Ingredients will be sourced from Somali grocery stores in St. Cloud which carry a variety of ingredients such as tamarind, cassava, cardamom, and goat meat, all of which could end up in the mystery basket for an appetizer, entrée, or even a dessert.
The winner of the first Minced competition in 2018 was Chef Scotty Stocco, who impressed the judges in the final round with a dessert featuring pork cracklings, purple hominy and dragon fruit.
Stocco will host this year's competition and follow the chefs in the kitchen with commentary for the audience. Stocco also won the People's Choice award in 2018, which was determined by audience vote during the event. Dinner and drinks will be available for purchase from pop-up restaurants and at a bar.
Tickets to attend Minced are $10 per person, $25 for a family (two adults and two children) and those age 12 and under are free. Tickets can be purchased by visiting sproutmn.com/minced or the Facebook event. The audience will help determine the Popular Choice prize by casting a donation vote.
By Sheila McCoy - Staff Writer - firstname.lastname@example.org - Morrison County Record
Three chefs — Thomas Kavanaugh, Jenna Brower Von Siebolds and Matéo Mackbee, are getting ready to compete in Sprout’s second annual “Minced.” event — the finer version of “Chopped.”
The live cooking competition will be held at Sprout, 609 13th Ave. NE, Door 8, in Little Falls, Friday, May 10, from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Racing against time, the chefs will be making three courses — an appetizer, an entrée and a dessert. Only one can be named “Master Chef” while the others get “Minced.”
The chefs come from different culinary backgrounds and are each given a box with a set of mystery ingredients.
Figuring out what to make with the mystery ingredients within 20 minutes can be quite a challenge, last year’s winner, Master Chef Scotty Stocco knows all too well.
Last year, he and the other remaining opponent were given pork rinds to use with the dessert they were making.
Creatively, Stocco ground the pork rinds and sprinkled it over the desert.
Stocco is returning to Minced this year. Not to impress the judges with his culinary skills, but to emcee the event.
“Winning the first Minced competition was a great honor and being invited to host the second is sublime,” he said.
Natalie Keane, who is the facility utilization director at Sprout, is looking forward to seeing how the chefs will do in the event. She is familiar with all three chefs.
Chef Thomas Kavanaugh has 42 years of experience in the culinary arts and is representing the ProStart program at Pillager High School.
“He is the mentor for the program at the high school that do culinary arts training for the students. Those students showcased Thomas’ skills because they went on to win third place at the state competition, the Minnesota ProStart Invitational,” Keane said.
Chef Jenna Brower Von Siebolds works as a chef at the “Prairie Bay Grill” in Baxter and with six years has the least amount of experience in the culinary arts compared to the other chefs.
“You wouldn’t know it though by tasting her food because she cooks as if she has been traveling around the globe for years,” Keane said. “She has a wanderlust style of cooking and likes to incorporate different techniques and ingredients from various culinary cultures.”
Matéo Mackbee is a chef at the “Model Citizen the Restaurant” in New London and specialize in “farm to table” as he works with a lot of the local growers. He is also planning to open a new restaurant and bakery in St. Joseph.
With 13 years of experience as a chef, Mackbee prepares primarily creole and cajun dishes — in New Orleans style.
“What is fun about the competition is that you see the chefs and maybe you have been to their restaurants before, but in the heat of the competition, working against the timer, anyone can really come out on top,” Keane said.
This year, the style of food Sprout is highlighting for the event is east African cuisine. “I think that will be a fun twist to the event,” she said.
The dishes the chefs prepare will be judged by four people. One of the judges, Meadow Roberts, is a 10-year-old girl from Minneapolis, who competed in the Food Network Kids Baking Championship.
Habso J. Mohamud is an author from St. Cloud and wrote the children’s book, “It Only Takes One Yes!”
The third judge is none other than Tomas Zimmerman, the celebrity chef who is co-owner of the A.T. The Black and White restaurant in Little Falls.
The Minced event’s celebrity guest and judge is Kara Carlisle from the McKnight Foundation in Minneapolis.
Keane said she is looking forward to the event.
“It is the best live entertainment,” she said.
Those who visit Minced will have the opportunity to watch a special preview of Common Ground’s final episode at 4:30 p.m. and at 9 p.m.