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November 2016

Helpful Hints for Thanksgiving

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Here are a few articles to help get you through Thanksgiving this year!

Forget the cranberries—lingonberries are all the rage!  Click here

Whiskey instead of wine with turkey?  The LA Times says YES!  Click here

Wondering what wine goes with pie? The Tasting Table has it covered. Click here

……….And after all of that—15 ways to avoid holiday weight gain can be accessed here

Upcoming Meeting: Behind-the-Scenes Tour of US Bank Stadium

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FCS Professionals are headed to US Bank Stadium–home of the Minnesota Vikings, on Monday, December 5 for a behind-the-scenes tour of the food service operation lead by Executive Chef Gregg Malsbury.  The tour is currently SOLD OUT.  If you are interested in the tour, we are maintaining a waiting list.  Email if you would like to be added to the list.  In addition, if you have reserved a spot and can no longer attend this event, please notify ASAP so another person can take your place.

After the tour (3:45-5:00 p.m.)there is an optional happy hour being held at the new Erik the Red Nordic BBQ & Bar.  It is housed in the former Hubert’s next to the stadium.  Erik Forsberg, the proprietor promises to stop by our gathering to chat about his establishments (Devil’s Advocate, Dan Kelly’s and Erik the Red).  Food and drink expenses are on your own.

In the News: Rat Burgers, Office Space, Job Searching and More!

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Here’s what is in the news!

What’s for dinner?  Rat you say?  An article by The Guardian on Moscow’s new food craze.  Click here

Looking for office space for your start-up?  Woodbury is welcoming “The Reserve” a workspace rental building in February.  Click here

How a short walking break each day improved the well-being of one woman.  Click here 

Land O’Lakes adding an 80 million dollar expansion.  Click here

Looking for a job change but not ready to quit? How can you job search while in your current position.  Click here

Travel and Leisure recommends the three brands of pasta “worth buying”.  Click here

New study shows Facebook usage and engagement is on the rise.  Click here

“Clean eating” is the latest craze.  Is it the new “natural” on food labeling?  Click here


November Feature Article: Trip Report to the Faroe Islands

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FCS Professionals Member Karen Smith brings us this month’s feature travel article.  Thank you Karen!

Five years ago, our youngest daughter, Kayla, came home from school as a 9th grader and said she wanted to be a foreign exchange student.  She had big dreams of studying abroad while in high school.  She continued to pursue her dream the next two years researching potential organizations to go with and countries to live.  Our family decided to host an exchange student, so she could see first hand what it is like to get off a plane, meet a family for the first time whom you would live with for several months.  Kayla continued to be passionate about her dream of being a foreign exchange student.  We helped her choose the Rotary Exchange program. She selected the Faroe Islands as her #1 choice and would be an exchange student her senior year of high school. At 17 years of age, we took her to the airport to go to a country we had never heard of a few months earlier and did not know anyone who had ever been there.   

When Kayla told us she wanted to live in the Faroe Islands, we thought they were warm, tropical islands. Instead, the islands lie northwest of Scotland and halfway between Iceland and Norway. The 18 islands have weather that is maritime and quite changeable, from moments of brilliant sunshine to misty hill fog, to showers. Faroese is the national language and is rooted in Old Norse.  The fishing industry is the most important source of income for the Faroese people.  The total population is only around 50,000 people with more sheep living on the islands than people.  

National Geographic conducted a survey of 111 island communities throughout the world.  A panel of 522 well-traveled experts in sustainable tourism assessed the islands, rating them on a list of the most unspoiled.  Faroe Islands came out on top as the most appealing destination in the world.  “Lovely unspoiled islands–a delight to the traveler” the islands earned high marks for preservation of nature, historic architecture, and local pride.

Our family decided to visit Kayla last June while she was there to meet the families she stayed with, meet her friends, and see the beautiful islands.  What an incredible trip!  One of the highlights was a day spent on the island of Mykines.  We hiked for the day, seeing unbelievable landscape and even had the chance to get close to wild puffins!  We stayed with one of her host families while there.  They took off time from work and showed us their homeland each day!   This country was unlike anything I have ever seen and I was blown away by the breathtaking landscapes. I am thankful that not only my daughter had the opportunity to experience the culture and beauty of the Faroe Islands but my family did too.

Meeting Recap: Best Practices & Hidden Dangers in Minneapolis Kitchens

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On Monday, October 24th FCS Professionals members and guests gathered at the Midtown Global Market conference room for a tasty meal, organization updates, and featured guest speaker, Justo Garcia.

Chef and Owner Hassan Ziadi welcomed our group and explained each food item.

The delicious meal was catered by Moroccan Flavors Minneapolis .

Tomato & Cucumber Salad
Roasted Beets
Marinated Olives
Oranges with Rosewater & Cinnamon
Chicken Tagine
Vegetable Couscous
Balsamic Rice
Traditional Mint Tea

President Verna Ludvigson welcomed members and guests.  New members and guests were introduced.

Justo Garcia, a City of Minneapolis Food Inspector, was our featured speaker of the evening.  Justo began his career in food safety in an unusual way.  He career goal as a college student in Colombia was to become a marine biologist.  As an intern, he knew that HAACP had something to do with food safety and he quickly became in charge of figuring out how the company could become HACCP compliant in six months!   He went from intern to full time employee and enjoyed his new wages while trying to figure out this HACCP thing!  After completing this challenge successfully he traveled the world.  Eventually he landed in the United States and got a job with Cub Foods.

Justo Garcia explaining his role as a Minneapolis Food Inspector

Garcia explained that his role of food inspector is not to be the “bad guy” who tries to ruin eating establishments.  He wants to partner with them to ensure a safe eating environment.  He explained that most eateries want to do the right thing–in many cases its a matter of education and training.

In his time as inspector, food citations have gone down by 50 percent and closures have also gone down by 70 percent.  He said the most important figure is that outbreaks of food borne illnesses have decreased.  The goal is not to shut down establishments–the goal is to prevent food borne illness outbreaks.

The inspector’s office not only inspects restaurants and eateries, but also large festivals, hotels, schools, food processing centers, pools/spas, and farmer’s markets. Minnesota has very strict food safety standards.

The five major risk factors for food borne illness outbreaks are:

  1. Improper hot/cold holding temperatures
  2. Improper cooking temperatures
  3. Contaminated utensils
  4. Poor employee health and hygiene
  5. Food from unsafe sources

Surprisingly, pests and filth are not considered a critical violation.  The main risk factor of a facility is the people.  Many workers come from various cultural backgrounds that have different views as what is considered “safe” food practices.  It is most important to provide excellent training to food service personnel. Garcia also briefly touched on the intentional contamination of food, also known as food terrorism.  There has been one instance of this in Minneapolis.

Thank you to everyone who participated in this very informative meeting of FCS Professionals!


October Feature: North Carolina Trip Report

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Recently FCS Professionals member Cindy Jurgenson traveled to the North Carolina and Kentucky.  Here is a photo tour of her road trip!


Highlight #1: Cleremont, Kentucky, for a bourbon distillery tour and tasting at Jim Beam Distillery Such an education we received on the 90-minute tour which concluded with three ½-ounce tastings in a take-away etched glass souvenir. Seven generations of the Beam family have been involved in whiskey production for the company since 1795, interrupted only by Prohibition. 200 gallons per minute and 10,000 cases per day!

Bourbon barrels

Minnesota Vikings decanter from the 1960’s

Storage shed turned black from microflora given off from bourbon production


Highlight#2 : Asheville, North Carolina, for dinner at rising star Chef Katie Button’s Spanish tapas restaurant, Cúrate. Actually, Chef Katie Button is done rising – she’s risen to the top!  We had Brandada de bacalao: cod & potato puree w/hot crisp bread, Pan con tomate: toasted bread w/tomato fresco, Pincho moruno: lamb skewers marinated in Moorish spices, homemade pickles, and Pimientos de piquillo y queso de cabra: piquillo peppers stuffed w/Spanish goat cheese.

Chef carving Iberico smoked ham

Cod & potato puree w/hot crisp bread

Toasted bread w/tomato fresco

Lamb skewers marinated in Moorish spices, homemade pickles

Highlight #3: DuPont State Recreational Forest  five mile hike to see High Falls along the Little River, Hooker Falls and Triple Falls, side-stepping 15 minutes to see the covered bridge at the top of High Falls. Plus several Blue Ridge Parkway drives and hikes.

Highlight #4 Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.  was a refreshing reward after hiking. The 1 ½ year old eastern outpost of the Chico, California, beer company was started with repurposed dairy equipment and hops from Yakima, Washington. Playing bags with a brew at New Belgium and Wedge Brewing  was also a hit. Asheville and (West North Carolina) is home to dozens upon dozens of breweries.

Highlight #5 : 12 Bones Smokehouse in Asheville  worked for The Obamas and it worked for us, especially the Blueberry Chipotle ribs and Corn Pudding. Check out the Press on the place, no wonder the line was out the door!


Highlight #6: Chow Chow, a frequent (mystery to us) menu item, is a delicious condiment of cabbage, peppers, onion, vinegar, sugar and spices, made by Blue Ridge Jams . In the south, and particularly in the mountains where they grow huge heads of crisp cabbage, chow-chow is a favorite relish to be eaten with a bowl of pinto beans. We loved it on grilled brats. We purchased it (and some pinto beans) at the West North Carolina Farmer’s Market , one of four regional Farmer’s Markets owned by the State of North Carolina and operated by the NC Dept. of Ag & Consumer Services, a huge, multi-building, covered operation. We also fell in love with cheeky but delicious mustards from Lusty Monk


Highlight #7: Mingus Mill  was a favorite stop, a picturesque 1886 grist mill with demonstrations of its still-functional sluice, turbine & other machinery.

Highlight #8: The Biltmore. We enjoyed walking the grounds and all the tours the Biltmore had to offer and many drives on the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Highlight #9:  Wonderful meals! We had delicious meals at both the Edison and Sunset Terrace Restaurants at the historic Grove Park Inn

Highlight #10: Are Minnesotans everywhere? They sure are…hiking to the top of Clingman’s Dome on a portion of the Appalachian Trail we ran into Jann Atkins from General Mills.

We will certainly return to this beautiful area of America!

Continuing Education: Free Webinar “Youth Wellness Interventions from Home to School”

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The Midwest Dairy Council is sponsoring a free webinar, “Youth Wellness Interventions from Home to School” on Monday, November 7 from 3:00-4:00 CST.

USDA Deputy Under Secretary for Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services, Dr. Katie Wilson will be joined by Dr. Susan Johnson Professor and Early Childhood Nutritionist at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. Dr. Wilson will highlight school nutrition intervention programs and showcase proven strategies. Dr. Johnson will present on environmental and developmental influences on children’s food preferences and dietary intake.

To register, click here