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Chipotle's Cultivate Festival Returns to Minneapolis August 22

Andrew Zimmern, Richard Blais and Gavin Kaysen want to party with you.

Loring Park will play host to the second annual Minneapolis Chipotle Cultivate Festival on August 22nd. The Cultivate Festival, which is also held in Phoenix and Kansas City, strives to engage and educate attendees on topics such as sustainable food practices and what they call "the reality of processed foods." The free event is suitable for the entire family, with lots of kid centric activities like t-shirt making, a giant chalkboard and free, healthy snacks in the Kids’ Zone. Even Fido is invited, as long as he is kept on a leash and promises to behave himself.

Cooking demonstrations will run thoughout the day and will feature chefs Andrew Zimmern, Top Chef alumn Richard Blais, Gavin Kaysen, Jamie Malone, Erik Anderson, and Jim Christiansen. "We select our line-up to include chefs who we think are doing really interesting things," explained Manager of National Events and Minneapolis native Scott Robinson. "The Minneapolis group has done amazing things to build up our food scene here." The chefs will demonstrate the impact that food can have on society and the importance of using local, humanely raised ingredients using their own signature recipes. The Chipotle culinary team has also created a special menu available for purchase exclusively at the event. Items will include pork belly gorditas and chorizo tostadas. ShopHouse Southeast Asian Kitchen, Chipotle’s Asian cuisine concept, will also showcase their menu during the festival.

At the Artisan Hall, attendees can purchase goodies from local food artisans, and a selection of local brews, wine, and ciders will be available for sale in the Tasting Hall. In the Tasting Hall, guests of legal drinking age can sample a festival exclusive, the Cultivate Farmhouse Ale from Surly.

The impetus behind Cultivate is simple, according to Robinson. "It’s part of our mission at Chipotle to change the way people think about, and eat, fast food," he said. "Through the festival, we are looking to engage people, and to educate them or make them more curious about their food and where it comes from. We have long thought that the more people know about issues in food, the more they will choose better food." Amen to that.