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Harvest dinner to feature local food producers

Sam Glik and Lisa Baker of Bakers Acres enjoy a course at the first Summer Harvest Dinner. Submitted photo / Sprout

LITTLE FALLS—The second annual Summer Harvest Dinner will celebrate the tastes of the season with local farmers as the community is invited to dine alongside food producers.

The five-course meal July 27, will be at Sprout, 609 13th Ave. NE, Door 8, Little Falls. Each course is prepared by a different chef of the region utilizing local ingredients in the dish. The ingredients are sourced through Sprout's Food Hub operation, which works with a network of local growers to supply fresh local produce to schools, hospitals, co-ops and restaurants. Local growers who supply their product for the Summer Harvest Dinner are invited to the dinner to enjoy the fruits of their labor, share their stories and work with their neighbors, a news release stated.

The opportunity to dine alongside one's local food producer is one way that Sprout seeks to lift up the rich agricultural region of central Minnesota, the organization stated.

"Sprout aims to honor the work of growers and producers in our community by inviting them to take the night off to relax and enjoy a gourmet meal, eating their own carefully raised seasonal ingredients and getting to know customers who enjoy their food, as it is prepared and served by expert chefs," according to the release.

The dinner begins at 5 p.m. with cocktails and live music by Erik Espe on piano, guitar and vocals inspired by Led Zeppelin, The Beatles, Cat Stevens, as well as Broadway musicals and other favorites.

Five chefs will prepare the five-course meal using ingredients of central Minnesota and serve it with wine pairings by sommelier Scott Lindman of Paustis Wine Company.

Little Falls chef Tomas Zimmerman of A.T. The Black & White cafe participated in the first Summer Harvest Dinner and will appear again. Chef and owner of Zoomski's Midtown Cafe in Little Falls, Ron Lyschik, is a new addition to the chef lineup and will be preparing one of the two entrees of the five-course meal. Kate Stumvoll of Wildflower Chocolate in Nisswa will prepare the dessert course, exploring herb-infused chocolate ganache confections and enrobed caramels using local butter and cream.

Prairie Bay Grill in Baxter is one of the sponsors of the event, along with Region Five Development Commission and ArtPlace America. Prairie Bay Grill chefs participated in the first annual Summer Harvest Dinner and will bring new chefs from its team for this year's event. Last year, chef and co-owner of Prairie Bay Grill, Matt Annand, prepared a "Wok-ing Chicken Salad" featuring kohlrabi from Bakers' Acres Farm in Avon and chicken from Island Lake Farm in Deerwood.

"It was a very special experience to look around the room as our kohlrabi was served to all of the guests" said Lisa Baker of Bakers' Acres in the release. "It is really encouraging as a grower to see how your hard work can create such positive food experiences."

Reserve tickets for the event at $60 per person and available online through Eventbrite.com at https://tinyurl.com/SproutHarvestDinner.

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