Chefs are the rockstars at Minnesota Garlic Festival, set for 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sat., Aug. 13, at the McLeod County Fairgrounds in Hutchinson, and the culinary lineup for this year has just been announced.
Leading the cooking demonstrations will be the festival’s “Chef Wrangler,” Mary Jane Miller, cookbook author, recipe consultant and regular on KSTP-TV’s “Twin Cities Live.” Her roster of gourmands includes Jorge Guzman, Executive Chef at Surly Beer Hall & Restaurant, who will be roasting an entire pig onsite over an open flame for 24 hours and served at 4:30 p.m. Also, Ian Heieie from The Bachelor Farmer will reveal his secrets for meatballs, marinated vegetables, and aged comte cheese; and Paul Backer of Tilia will work wonders with Black Garlic. See the rest of the chef demo lineup here.
For the 11th consecutive year, organic farmer Greg Reynolds is assembling a crew of culinary luminaries to produce the Garlic Festival’s pop-up restaurant, The Great Scape Cafe. Participating restaurants and food purveyors include Haute Dish, The Birchwood Cafe, Common Roots, Surly Beer Hall & Restaurant, Red Table Meats, Tilia, and The Bachelor Farmer.
While you’re digesting all that marvelous local food, you can take in some of the other offerings at “the best stinking festival in Minnesota.” The Ask the Expert stage is featuring a signing with Jason and Lucie Amundsen and their book, “Locally Laid,” about the joys and disasters they’ve experienced in starting a sustainable egg company. Other topics include helping pollinators, square foot gardening, deep winter greenhouses, and an exposé on the romance v. reality of starting a small farm.
Of course, growers from across the region will have the first of their fresh gourmet garlic crop at the festival to purchase – there are over 100 varieties of garlic grown here, all planted in the fall, harvested in July, and cured to perfection just in time for the festival.
The Garlic Festival is a perfect summer outing for the entire family, as activities include kite-flying, all-day kids programming, a funky parade, garlic ice cream, live music and more.
Admission is $5/adult and FREE for children 12 and under. Parking is $1/vehicle with proceeds going to a local boy scout troop. For more information on the festival, and to download a 2-for-1 ticket coupon, log-on to sfa-mn.org/garlicfest.