Jan/Feb
2016

Hot Bartender: Making Drinks in Downtown Rochester

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Written by Dawn Sanborn Photography By Dawn Sanborn Photography

GETTING TO KNOW GUESTS

Meet Amanda Prince, born and raised in Rochester, Minnesota. She is the bartender at Salute Wine Bar & More located in the Marriot Hotel downtown on the Peace Plaza at 101 First Avenue SW, Rochester.  Salute is rated four out of five on TripAdvisor and ranked in the top 75 of 275 restaurants in Rochester. 

“I would say that 95 percent of our business at Salute comes from Mayo Clinic patients and employees. We are so convenient for those guests because we are located right downtown,” explains Amanda.

The customers and the visitors make Amanda love her job. “Our guests are from all over the world. I love talking to them and listening to stories about their lives and where they are from,” Amanda says. “Remember what guests drink and their names. They will appreciate that you remembered them, and it’s a great way to get to know people.”

 

Nov/Dec
2015

Women and Wine: Shop Local Wineries for Unique Holiday Gifts

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Written by By Nicole L. Czarnomski, Photography by Fagan Studios

We’ve compiled a shopping guide for those of us who like to shop locally and appreciate wine. We visited several wineries in southeastern Minnesota and found a collection of gifts ranging from quirky to classy. We even discovered a few gift ideas for non-wine drinkers.

SHOPPING BETWEEN THE WINES

We started our tour at Four Daughters Vineyard & Winery located in Spring Valley. Vicky Vogt, co-owner, says, “We’re changing up the [merchandise] all the time. There’s always something different in our shop.” 

 

Nov/Dec
2015

Hot Chef: Justin Schoville

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Written by By Dawn Sanborn, Photography By Dawn Sanborn Photography

FIRE IN HIS CULINARY DESIRE

Justin Schoville started his culinary career as a dishwasher at a small breakfast restaurant in his hometown of Dodgeville, Wisconsin, but that didn’t last long. He did a short stint at a local bar and grill, then packed his bags and boarded a plane to New Zealand for a 32-day backpacking trip. “There was just something about New Zealand that started a fire in my culinary desire that has yet to burn out,” he says.

In September 2006, Justin moved to Rochester and opened Sontes as their executive chef. After a few years, he decided it was time to try something new, so he began working at Zzest. “I have been here ever since [I left Sontes]. I have left a couple of times to work in Chicago and California, but the atmosphere and family camaraderie [at Zzest] has always brought me back.”

 

The holidays can end up being a time of stress and burden, trying to keep up with spiritual traditions, work gatherings, friends’ parties and gift giving. If you are hosting this year, make it easy. We have many caterers in town that will do the hard part for you. All you have to do is get dressed up and clean the house. (You can hire a professional for that too).

Instead of planning recipes, I gathered caterers’ menus and information to make your holiday party plans go smoothly and without the stress. If you love a party but don’t like the planning and cooking (and cleaning) that go with it, check out these options.

 

Sep/Oct
2015

Women & Wine: Making Your Own Wine

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Written by By Nicole L. Czarnomski, Photography by Mike Hardwick Photography

It started as a wine club with friends. It progressed to wine tasting at local vineyards, and with a nudge from her friend, Brenda Davis visited Von Klopp’s Brew Shop and purchased her first winemaking kit. 

BEM’S BASEMENT WINE

With the purchase of her first wine making kit in 2011, Bem’s Basement Wine was born. Most amateur winemakers use ingredients from the kit because it’s easier; however, Davis uses a scratch kit and produces wine with local organic fruit that she grows or buys from the Amish. Her wine is semisweet and includes a variety of fruit combinations like strawberry and rhubarb, apple and grape or plum and cherry.

As she starts the process, Davis has her diary with recipes and notes from previous batches and a dining room table covered in sterilized supplies. While explaining her process for making wine, she refers to her recipe and begins mixing items into a large plastic container. She adds ingredients into the container of organic apple juice she purchased from People’s Food Co-op. 

 

Sep/Oct
2015

HOT CHEF: Youness Bojji

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Written by By Dawn Sanborn, Photography by Dawn Sanborn Photography

From Morocco to Rochester

Born in Morocco, Youness Bojji grew up in Europe; he lived in France and Spain. Learning to be a chef came from his need to feed himself. “I thought, I have got to feed myself, and I started experimenting with food,” he says. If you like great food, you’ll like everything about his experimenting.

Youness came to Rochester in 1998 with a friend. “I’ve worked in a good 15 restaurants here: Victoria’s, Chester’s, Pescara and Michael’s, just to name a few,” he recalls. He was not able to read or speak English when he arrived in the U.S. He taught himself by looking at the kitchen printer. “I read English my way,” says Youness. “I knew what the items were, even though I read them wrong or said them wrong or pronounced them wrong, but, many things are universal.”  

His Style

To find inspiration for dishes at his restaurant, he looks to his guests. “My guests smile,” he says.  “[I am inspired] when I put the plate in front of somebody, and their first impression makes me want to go beyond the next time.” 

Youness describes his cooking style as “traveling to Europe without leaving town.” His food has a European influence, with lots of French cuisine, but he twists it to make it something else. “I take a lot from Mexican, and I make a twist from it,” he shares. “Everything we make here has a twist to it. Nothing stays the same. That way, we make it our own.”

 

 

Sep/Oct
2015

PIZZA! Throw it on the grill

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Written by By Dawn Sanborn, Photography by Dawn Sanborn Photography

There are few foods that conjure up as much emotional attachment and enjoyment as pizza. It’s no wonder this amazing creation has risen from humble beginnings to become one of the world’s most exciting, popular and interesting foods. 

If pizza is on your mind for dinner tonight, do not be afraid to try something different than just the usual pepperoni and cheese. Using fresh, farmer’s market ingredients is the best. Here are a few recipe combinations that are delicious and fun to try. But don’t let these limit you: “The pizza crust is your palette and you are the artist!”

HOW TO GRILL A PIZZA

Cooking a pizza in a traditional oven is good, but many believe the tastiest way is in a wood-fired oven. Most of us don’t own a wood-fired pizza oven, so the next best thing is the grill. Prepare your dough and toppings. Grill veggies first, so they are tender. 

If you are using a charcoal grill, make sure all the ashes are out of the bottom of the grill. Start the charcoal and let it ash over (turn white). Then spread the coals around evenly. Close the lid and open the dampers. Let it preheat for about 5 minutes. If you are using a gas grill, preheat on medium-high for about 15 minutes.

 

 

 

 

Jul/Aug
2015

Summer Sips: Refreshing summer drink recipes

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Written by By Dawn Sanborn, Photography by Dawn Sanborn Photography

The dog days of summer are upon us, and one of my favorite things to do in the heat is sittin’ on the front porch and sippin’ a refreshing cool drink. Imagine yourself sitting in that Adirondack chair or swinging in the hammock, birds chirping, sun shining warmth on your face and a big ol’ cool drink in your hand. Now that’s livin’! 

From infused water to sangria or cucumber vodka, we’ve got you covered for a long summer of fantastic, refreshing drinks. If you love fruity, sweet, tart or sparkling, the drink recipes here will give you a reason for an outdoor party. Find your favorite summer quencher below and take a long, cool sip. Skål! Cheers! Prosit!! Salut! L’chaim! Bottoms up! Down the hatch! Here’s mud in your eye!

 

Jul/Aug
2015

HOT CHEF: Dawn Hodapp of Top Tier Delights

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Written by By Dawn Sanborn, Photography by Dawn Sanborn Photography

Born in California, Dawn has lived all across the United States, finally she settled here in Minnesota with her husband and son two and a half years ago. 

Dawn studied at Johnson & Wales University. She loves the more creative outlet of the pastry arts. “It’s a different passion, and what’s funny about it is, most bakers can cook, most of us are pretty mean cooks, but most of the culinary people cannot bake,” she states.

There was no defining moment that Dawn knew she was going to be a chef. She says, “When we were in Arkansas, all my friends were going to be a nurse or a teacher. Needles freak me out. Teaching could be fun but no. I grew up in the kitchen. I used to make dinner for [my parents)] and bake for them all the time. Then one of my older brothers said, ‘You know there are culinary schools. You should look into it,’ and I did.”

 

May/Jun
2015

Women & Wine: Unleash Your Inner Picasso

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Written by By Nicole L. Czarnomski

I’m a creative person, but I have a myriad of projects sitting in closets and drawers waiting to be finished. For some of you, I bet the same thing has happened, or maybe you feel the creative gene skipped over you and you are afraid to even try. Either way, Rochester offers several opportunities to teach you how to channel your inner Picasso.

 

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