Minnesota Food Bloggers Unite Part II: Corner Table Restaurant
These Minnesota Food Bloggers events must end! They’re just so damn fun that the next day is a bit of a let-down. Who’s making me dinner? Pouring me glasses of prosecco? Making me laugh maniacally? Chatting endlessly about food, cooking, ingredients, restaurants, events, new projects, and when we should next have dinner?
Spoiled food blogger brat, me.
Wednesday’s event was hosted by chef/owner Scott Pampuch, his right-hand-otherwise-known-as Meghan Likes, sous chef Dan Zeroth, and the rest of the awesome staff at Corner Table Restaurant. I put up the event registration a couple of weeks ago and within hours it was sold out with a long waiting list to boot.
Minnesota Food Bloggers Unite! Wow.
I think we have something amazing going on here, friends. Very exciting. (More coming soon, so stay tuned…)
In the end, 40 lucky bloggers arrived to find the dreamy spread pictured up top: Corner Table-cured meats, pickled vegetables, eggs, mustard, butter… Crostini with goat cheese and roasted beets… Perhaps other treats but I was talking, talking…
Needless to say, beautiful, local, delicious things.
As crazy-fun as we food bloggers are, Pampuch didn’t invite us to Corner Table (CT) for the sole pleasure of watching us empty his kitchen and drain his bar. He had a pitch to make, and he picked a good group to toss it to. As the cocktail hour wound down and he pulled together chairs to speak to the group, out came the cameras and phones: Twitter lit up with #MNFoodBloggers @CTKitchenTable @ScottPampuch; Andrew Zimmern tweeted in that he wished he could be there; and I had people from all over the world tweet-asking me what party they were missing.
Turns out, we kind of rock.
Pampuch welcomed the group and introduced CT’s latest endeavor, Farm & Table Community Supported Kitchen (CSK). All of the lovely treats everyone had just inhaled? Similar items will be available in CT’s single purchase or 4-, 6-, or 8-week CSK membership boxes, to be picked up at the restaurant on Friday evenings, starting April 1.
The contents of the boxes will vary each week, but will contain the ingredients for serious meals at home: Seasoned (marinated, brined, stuffed…) meats (pork, chicken, beef, duck…), ready for the oven or grill. Seasonal produce (radishes, carrots, ramps, beets…), cleaned, peeled, and ready to cook. Sides, stocks, seasonings, cured pork, cheeses, preserves or other good and lovely things to set in your empty fridge.
(For CSA veterans, the idea of a box of a few pretty, clean vegetables alongside the makings of an entire meal is kind of mind-blowing, right? I don’t know how many cabbage recipes I wrote the year of my first CSA share, but I pushed my marriage to the edge. I think John finally drew the line at a cabbage tart, although I thought it was pretty fabulous.)
CT had given out CSK test boxes to three busy couples a week before the event, then invited the group to chat with us about how easy it was to pull together meals from the box and even better – how much they enjoyed what they had prepared.
All hell broke loose when two real-live sample boxes made an appearance and we bloggers were invited to dig in and get cooking in CT’s kitchen. Whoosh, the dining room emptied, the kitchen filled, and things got wild. It turns out that food bloggers like to cook!
Or talk and eat and drink and watch and photograph each other cook.
In a flash there was marinated chicken stuffed with goat cheese, wrapped in bacon, and fried until crispy and melty and bacon-y ridiculous. I heard a rumor about sauteed cabbage, apples, and sausage (actually, I saw the pictures from my own camera, kindly taken by Dania Miwa – thanks dear) which I’m sorry that I missed.
The women in the kitchen swooned at the sight of a sunny-side-up egg sandwich, layered with bacon into a Rustica Bakery miche roll, topped with CT’s housemade kimchi…someone cut it in half (Pampuch?), eyelids fluttered, and I could not stop laughing.
Ditto the smoked trout cake topped with bacon, topped with pickled cabbage and carrots, topped with an egg poached in chicken broth, topped with sauce remoulade (photo by Amy B. Peterson).
Ooh, ahh, attack, inhale. (Guys, here’s a tip – poach an egg for your girl and be very glad. It takes 3 minutes.)
In case you’re too busy to cook anything at all, th
ere’s also a membership for what CT is calling Farm Dinner in a Box, in effect a box of fully cooked, scratch-made meals, ready to heat-n-eat. Menus will be posted weekly on the CT blog. As with the CSK box, order one at a time or subscribe for the summer. All good.
And if you can’t commit to a whole box of food, or you’re in CT having a fab din, or you’re picking up your box and decide you need more, more, more…there’s now a deli case full of bacon, sausages, preserves, eggs, butter, chicken liver pate, and other treats.
In addition to the Farm & Table CSK offerings, Pampuch also announced that beginning Sunday, April 3, CT will be offering breakfast-not-brunch. I predict bacon on the menu. Likely eggs too. If I weren’t going to be eating bacon & eggs in NYC that very day, I’d be there. You should go in my place.
He also announced that CT plans to soon close on Tuesday nights and instead offer cooking classes, including for children, details forthcoming.
Needless to say, huge thanks to CT for hosting us crazy bloggers. To say that the group had fun is like saying cured pork is amazing. I confess that I stood back and watched everyone food-geeking out and thought: I am never going to top this night.
It was a good feeling.
For more and other fun takes on the evening, check out: