— You only think you know how to picnic. While most of us are happy to schlep out to a beach with some soggy sandwiches and a carafe of grape juice, Stephanie March of Mpls./St. Paul Magazine packed her bag with a whole hog, bartender, watermelon with spigot, pies and one superstar chef. The Sculpture Garden served as a background and we respectfully request an invitation to the next spread.
— Innovative chef Ferran Adria, the man who redefined cooking through his use of molecular gastronomy at the world-famous El Bulli is coming to Minneapolis. Mia (formerly known as the Minneapolis Institute of Arts) is hosting an exhibit of his drawings. On October 9 he will participate in a panel discussion with Andrew Zimmern and the influential and enigmatic chef Jose Andres. Following the panel, there will be a separate dinner put on by a constellation of local chefs including Tim McKee, Lenny Russo, Russell Klein, Isaac Becker, Steven Brown, Erick Harcey, Michelle Gayer and many, many more. Tickets are $150 and go on sale August 25.
— Ever watched those folks on TV and thought, I can cook better than that! Your chance to go from armchair chef to MasterChef is at hand. Casting for season 7 is being held tomorrow at the downtown Hilton hotel from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Prospective contestants will be given three minutes to plate and serve a dish. There are no kitchens available on site - so, there's your first challenge. Here's the full rundown.
— Just as Haute Dish once made the North Loop a dining destination, Lyn 65 is drawing diners out of the city and into Richfield. Now, the two are teaming up for Haute65. On September 1 and 2 the two restaurants will be swapping chefs and menus. So, Lyn65 will be serving some of those General Tso's sweetbreads and Haute Dish will be serving dishes like the fried chicken with three flavors. It's worth checking out for the cocktails alone. With names like "lawyers, guns and honey" and "Mexican drugs," it's got to be a good time. Call the respective restaurants for reservations.
— What began as a backyard barbecue for chefs and wine fans has been opened up for the first time ever to the public. Chuck Kanski of Solo Vino, chef Jason Ross who is a head instructor at Le Cordon Bleu and chef Matt McArthur who owns Cheeky Monkey Deli used to put a whole lamb on the barbecue in Ross' backyard and open the call to friends and family. Acquaintances would clamor for invites (I attended last year and the spread of food was breathtaking. The wine bottles occupied the entire Ross family garage). This year Lambfest 7.0 will take place September 19, include lamb prepared by 5 chefs and benefit the Jared P. Stene Student Leadership scholarship.