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Fresh food demos Saturday

Chad Minor will be returning this year to demonstrate cooking with fresh produce. The demonstration will be Saturday in the bandshell and will offer food samples and recipes. (Brian Basham/DL Newspapers)

Back by popular demand, the Lakes Area Farmers Market chef demonstration is taking place Saturday, Aug. 8, in the Detroit Lakes City Park bandshell.

"The response was so much, we did it twice this year," Dallas Flynn said of last year's successful inaugural year.

Flynn helped organize the demonstrations and brings his produce to the Farmers Market each Tuesday and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The demonstration is Saturday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The chefs will prepare dishes to sample and give out free recipes.

Last year's chefs, Josh Hanson from Spanky's on Rose Lake and Chad Minor from Brainerd, were scheduled to return this year. Realizing at the last minute it's WE Fest weekend, Hanson had to take a rain check for this year.

But, Minor, head chef at Manhattan Beach Lodge, a restaurant in the Cross Lake area, is bringing along a sous-chef and will show people how to cook with fresh produce.

One added feature this year is "taking a plate of food and tracing it back to where it came from," Flynn said.

The project is called Community of a Plate and brings to life the stories of locally grown and harvested foods.

"The Midwest has some of the richest soils in the nation, yet very little of what we eat is grown locally," said Jan Joannides, the executive director of Renewing the Countryside, the non-profit organization that hosts Community of a Plate.

"We will always want to import some foods, but do we really need to import apples from across the country, or the world, in October," she said. "We can grow apples."

The economic benefits will be highlighted, as well as the environmental and cultural advantages of buying locally.

Those working with the project will spend several days documenting where a plate of food originated in the Detroit Lakes area, and will share their findings at the chef demonstrations.

"It's a way to learn new things, how to cook vegetables in season," Flynn added of the demonstration. "Everyone can have a small garden. Even if it's a tomato plant in a pot."