January Program Recap: An Evening of Awesomeness

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On Thursday, January 10 FCS Professionals and guests gathered at the Cambria Gallery in downtown Minneapolis for “An Evening of Awesomeness”.  The evening began with an antipasti skewer paired with a glass of Cantina di Capri “Piazza Grande” Lambrusco Rose wine.  A time for mingling in the gallery was held prior to the official start of the program.


The Cambria Gallery is not just home to samples of beautiful countertops but also has a bar, kitchen space, and even a stage.  The walls are adorned with photographs and autographs from musicians who have stopped in for a concert in the gallery.  WCCO radio is located upstairs and several musicians who are touring the radio stations will then stop for a concert.  The Cambria Gallery offers free event space including a conference room for 10 and they can hold up to 250 people in the actual gallery space.

Program co-chair Gerry Luepke introduced the evening’s speaker Leslee Miller.  Leslee is a certified Sommelier and owner of Amusee and Sip Better . Amusee is her wine consulting business and Sip Better is a wine club.  When not working with her two businesses you can find her making appearances on local television like The Jason Show, sitting on the MN Grape Growers Association, and even teaches courses at the University of Minnesota.

Leslee provided a wealth of information during the course of the evening (too much to recap here!) but here are a few bits of information!

  • When pairing wine and food match to either the preparation of the dish, sauce, or the dressing
    • Heavier sauces (think Caesar or creamy) you can lighten up with something acidic.  Heavy food + lighter wine = balance
  • If your dish is spicy do not go acidic with the wine.  Try a Malbec
  • Pork and Syrah go well together
  • Pair a sparkly rose with a meat and cheese tray
  • Vegetarian dishes like curry —> Pinot Noir, Grenache
  • What grows together, goes together!


She also talked at length about health conscious choices with wine.  Many are concerned about monitoring sugar intake in food yet forget to think about how much sugar they are consuming in wine.  Popular brands like Apothic and Yellow Tail are full of sugar (as much as a can of Coke!).  Leslee recommends choosing old world wines with a lower alcohol concentration (9-13%) to reduce sugar consumption.  She said our first wine we tasted was between 0-5 calories per 5 oz glass.  This is a link to her recent segment on the Jason Show talking about this very topic!


The wines served throughout the evening were interesting and paired perfectly with our small bites.





December Program Recap: Quincy Street Kitchen

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On December 11, FCS Professionals and guests gathered at Quincy Street Kitchen in Minneapolis for our December meeting.  Quincy Street Kitchen is a new business started by FCS Professionals member Kristen Olson and Rose Daniels.  Kristen’s background is in food styling, food photography and recipe development. Rose is a designer and has owned a company called Rose&Co.  They met at Chef Camp where Rose is the creative director and Kristen is a counselor!  Their passion is food and drink and together they have formed a business that helps businesses (big and small) to support and build their food brands through strategy, design, recipe development, photo and video content.  They even host parties and events (such as ours) in their beautiful studio space.

Members and guests were treated to delicious food including a cheese &  charcuterie board, flatbread pizzas, spa water, hot apple cider, and assorted dessert bites while listening to Rose and Kristen describe their journey in the past year getting their business up and running!  As an added treat, they gave an excellent food photography demonstration in which they taught the group various tricks and tips in food styling and photography.






Take Charge of Your Career!

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As you move through your career after college, it’s important to plan your career path; don’t leave it to chance! Nicole Norfleet, a writer for the Minneapolis Star Tribune creates a list of initiatives that need focus during the various work life age decades to put yourself in charge of your career. Here is a sampling from her list:

* In your 20’s, gain work experience in your field, look for leadership opportunities, connect with good networking groups and find a mentor.

* In your 30’s, take charge of your career by identifying your long-term work goals and continue to look at the job market for a better or higher paying job via your network group.

* In your 40’s and early 50’s, determine if you need more education or certification for advancement and consult with a life coach (a mentor). If you want or need to look for a different job, the best place to look is within the network group.

* In your late 50’s and early 60’s, make a career exit plan, network with other others that have retired and look for self-satisfaction within your career world. Giving back through mentoring is an excellent way to share your career knowledge.

Three initiatives remain consistent throughout all the work life decades. They are leadership, networking, and mentoring. Food & Consumer Science Professionals offers members opportunities in those three areas; take advantage of them! If you aren’t a member or know of someone who should join, it can be done on our website FCSProfessionals.org.   The original Star Tribune article can be found here


Thank you to Marge Ryerson and Gerry Luepke for providing this article and summary. 

In the News: FCS Professionals Member Talks Keto Diet and More!

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Here are a few snippets from the world of food and consumer science!

  • In case you missed it, our own Debra Sheats was interviewed on WCCO-TV on the “Good Question” segment asking about the ketogenic diet craze.  The segment can be viewed HERE
  • Are you ready for this food trend for 2019?  Crickets?  Read about it HERE
  • Americans are eating 82% of meals at home (up from 75%) but…..only 31% of those meals are completely homemade! This article talks about the competition between restaurants (think take-out) and meal kits. Click HERE





New Year’s Resolution – Join a Professional Organization!

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When creating your new year’s resolutions, consider making one to enhance your career in 2019! According to Amy Lindgren, owner of a St. Paul career consulting firm, developing a focused career strategy is a way to make it flourish. She lists her “faithful five” career resolutions and number two is “Join A Professional Organization.” She believes the networking benefit alone is worth the cost of membership. Below is a link to the Pioneer Press article.

Food & Consumer Science Professionals welcomes new members. Check us out online at fcsprofessionals.org or come to meeting as a guest.

Working Strategies: Getting started on 5 New Year’s resolutions

October Meeting Recap: The Good Acre

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On Tuesday, October 30, FCS Professionals and guests gathered at The Good Acre in Falcon Heights. Our speaker for the evening was Emily Paul, Programs Director. Emily came to Minnesota via Washington DC where she was in charge of a soup kitchen that served 91,000 meals per year.  The soup kitchen was atypical–she described it as “a restaurant where no one pays.”  They focused on scratch cooking using fresh ingredients.  Her husband hails from Duluth and when in Minnesota for a wedding she connected with the executive director of The Good Acre.  His knowledge area was organic farming and needed someone with kitchen experience to run that side of the organization.

The Good Acre is a nonprofit organization founded by the Pohlad family.  They desired to develop a program that connected local farmers to institutions (like schools and hospitals) and to increase access to healthy produce for all consumers.  The Good Acre celebrated its third birthday the day of our program!

What do they do?  They have a multi-faceted approach to delivering on their mission.  For one, they are a food hub.  They warehouse produce from local farmers and distribute to institutions.  In essence, they collect and re-distribute produce.  At this point they are not set up for raw animal products from local farms.  They also house a shared commercial kitchen.  This kitchen is used by twenty one local businesses that pay an hourly rate to rent and create food items for their food businesses.  The kitchen is also used for cooking classes and culinary training.

The Good Acre is heavily involved in the Farm to School movement. Not only do they distribute locally grown produce to Twin Cities metro schools, but they also provide culinary training for school nutrition services staff and consulting on food service equipment.  In many schools, scratch cooking has not occurred in years and kitchens are not set up for prepping and cooking the produce efficiently.  The Good Acre also has created recipes and communications the school can use to promote their program and educate parents and families.

More recently, The Good Acre has partnered in a pilot program with Anoka-Hennepin school district’s FACS program to further the use of locally grown produce.  The kids are eating the produce in the lunchroom and now can learn more about where it has come from and how to prepare it themselves in the FACS classroom.  They have developed a lesson planning matrix that incorporated the frameworks of the state FCS standards.

After learning from Emily, participants went on a brief tour of the warehouse and the commercial kitchen.  The evening concluded with dinner:  BBQ pulled pork, mac and cheese, ginger glazed carrots, coleslaw, salad, and traditional apple pie.  Throughout the evening members and guests participated in a mentoring game, getting to know one another and connecting.



September Meeting Recap: Bell Museum

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The official kick off to 2018-19 FCS Professionals was held on Monday, September 24 at the brand new Bell Museum on the St. Paul campus of the University of Minnesota.  Members and guests were able to mingle and network for a time before heading into the beautiful Nucleus room.


Attendees dined on assorted cheeses with assorted crackers and crostini; delicious brie, pear and almond purses; beef satay; crispy asiago asparagus, and grilled vegetables with balsamic.  A beautiful tray of gourmet dessert bars provided a yummy ending.  Anyone who chose the S’mores bars were not disappointed!

Official business was conducted next.  Membership chair Marge Ryerson introduced the new incentive program for new members.  New members will receive a crisp ten dollar bill when they attend their first meeting!

President Jean Knaack spoke about the upcoming members-only (and spouse/partner) culinary trip to Puerto Vallarta Mexico that will be held January 3-9, 2019.  The deadline to register for this trip is November 1st.  A down payment of $400 is due at that time.  For more information or to register contact Deb at hello@fcsprofessionals.org.

Program co-chairs Colleen Glenn and Gerry Luepke talked about upcoming programs.  Our October program will be held Tuesday, October 30 at The Good Acre.  Registrations for this program are due Tuesday, October 23rd by noon.  On November 10th the annual joint meeting between FCS Professionals, TCHC, and MAFCS will be held at the Edina Country Club.  Speakers will be Brenda Langton, Chef and Restaurateur; and Becky Yurst, Professor of Housing at the University of Minnesota.  Watch for registration information soon!

A representative of the Bell Museum then gave an overview of the museum and tips for exploring.  Members and guests were then allowed to visit the exhibits on a self-guided tour.





In the News: World Food Day, 5 Easy Ways to find Happiness at Work, and Getting Paid to Eat!

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  • The International Federation for Home Economics (IFHE) presents World Food Day on October 16, 2018.  They have published a press release here
  • Membership in FCS Professionals can help you with item numbers 2, 3 & 5 on the 5 Easy Ways to Find Happiness at Work list!
  • To some members this may be a dream job!  Professional food taster at luxury resorts?  Click here

Benefits of Membership: Mentoring Program

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There are many amazing benefits of membership in FCS Professionals.  Today we are highlighting our mentorship program.

FCS Professionals members have a wealth of talent waiting to be shared! Through occasional, or regular contact, a trusted mentor can guide you for both professional growth and development as you review career issues or challenges. As a person outside of your workplace, a mentor can give confidential feedback regarding a work situation.

Perhaps you want information regarding a particular job or job skill? Or to learn how to seek challenging assignments and new responsibilities? Starting a consulting business and want information regarding the process? Want to develop a 10-second elevator speech? Maybe you want to take your computer or smart phone skills to the next level?

If the answer is “yes” to these or other questions you have regarding a job or life skill, sign up for the mentor program. It doesn’t have to be formal, you’re just asking or giving advice over coffee or lunch.

You can choose to have a mentor, be a mentor, or both – it is FREE for the asking for all members! To get started, fill out the form in the members-only section on our website

Contact Mentor Committee Chair Cindy Jurgensen at cindyjurgensen@gmail.com or 612-207-7337 with any questions.

In the News: Innovative Mayo Health Program, What’s Lurking in your Towels, and More!

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Here is what new in the world of Food and Consumer Science!

  • This article describes the new Mayo Clinic Healthy Living Program that includes nutrition, physical fitness, and stress management education and counseling. 
  • Culinary Tides (Founder Suzy Badaracco was our speaker at the 2016 annual meeting) is offering a free pdf of 5 food trends when signing up for their mailing list.  Click here if interested
  • What is lurking in your kitchen towels? How often should they be washed? Click here for an article from CBS News
  • Zero calorie gin?  An interesting read on a new gin “mist”. Click here 
  • Debunking 7 Myths of Gen Z’s Food Habits
  • And finally….got a great recipe using Oreo cookies?  Professional chefs or food service owners/operators are eligible to enter this recipe contest.  Winner earns $3,000 and a one year supply of Oreo cookies.  Contest details available here.  Hurry! Deadline is July 31!