It sounds dramatic to admit that one night or one meal could change a life's direction. But I remember my first experience dining at Aquavit in Minneapolis (now defunct) and it did, indeed, influence the path I decided to take. That evening demonstrated to me that my Swedish heritage is more than meatballs and potatoes, and that the act of cooking or eating can elevate the cook or the eater to a spiritual and artistic place.
Last week Aquavit chef and owner Marcus Samuelsson came back to Minnesota to promote his new cookbook, New American Table. Wednesday evening he demonstrated several recipes from the book at Cooks on Grand Avenue. Guests were treated to a beautiful meal and an ongoing dialogue with Marcus about his food philosophy. In America, a country of immigrants, we have an opportunity and obligation to learn about each other, and we can do this by eating one another's foods. New American Table is Marcus's contribution to this exchange.
Maple glazed tuna over potato pear salad
(this and the appetizer - tuna and salmon rolled in nori
and served fried or raw - paired perfectly with saki)
Lemon poached venison served over root vegetables
and "leftovers" from Lynn Rosetta Kasper's Thanksgiving demonstration
- roasted turkey with a cranberry stuffing
(paired nicely with the house Cabernet Sauvignon)
(I paired this with good coffee)