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  • June 01, 2018 1:14 PM | Rebecca Griffith (Administrator)

    The #1 statement of the night by WWRC members was "Wow. I had no idea. NO idea!"

    The Ronald McDonald House has been a household name for most, if not all, of our lives. Unless you've been blessed by their services and facilities in a time off need, or have volunteered there, you would find yourself saying what we all said as we toured the BIG-HEARTED Ronald McDonald House location at the U of M campus. We were all wonderfully impacted & inspired.

    This last meeting was on Wednesday, May 30th and hosted by WWRC member, Liz Norton, who is also the Marketing Strategist at RMH, and also greeted by CEO & President of this location, Jill Evenocheck. We were given the history and makings of The Ronald McDonald House & touched by meeting and seeing some of the children and their families who were receiving the love, care, housing, & meals that RMH provides.

    There were 18 WWRC members in attendance. We were split in 2 groups to tour the building. Very excited by the well thought-out rooms, touched by the freshly made meals, impressed by kitchenettes, wowed by the gymnasium & mini-cinema, and jealous of the workout facility! Knowing that such worn and weary souls who have to be away from home during times of their child's crisis or being the one going through it themselves, it truly gave our hearts big hugs to see such comforting away-from-home furnishings. It also encouraged us to contribute as members.

    Dinner was provided to us and we got to experience it from the same area that patients & families do! It was like being in someone's large kitchen of their home. Truly impressive!

    After dinner, we were a small enough group that we got to go around and share a little more in-depth of what we're up to in our professional lives, what our needs are, and a little brainstorming as inquiries came! A great time to get to know each other a little better.

    ***Many members expressed the desire to help &/or donate. As an added bonus, Liz let us know that for anyone who donates their products to Ronald McDonald House, they provide exposure of the brand on their social media (in addition to others at RMH seeing it)!

    Also, if you'd like to learn more about ways to engage with them, here is their website:
    Or if you'd like to specifically learn more about volunteering to cook in their Cooks for Kids (CFK) Meal Providers program, you can check out the information here:

    June's service meeting will take place at MatterBox in St. Louis Park. Date & time is getting confirmed and we'll get a post sent out soon!

  • March 31, 2018 10:36 AM | Rebecca Griffith (Administrator)
    We had another fantastic & productive Women Who Really Cook meeting at the Kowalski's Shoreview store on Tuesday, February 27th! 31 women represented and this may have been one of the most dynamically direct feedback meetings we've had!

    Kathie Armstrong graciously hosted & represented her own product that is private labeled under the Kowalski's brand. Kathie had a gorgeous spread of her baked goods out for all of us to enjoy!

    During the networking & member introductions, there was invaluable feedback & information exchanged for products & businesses plans. Multiple job announcements were given (stay tuned for additional posts by the respective owners)!

    This was the PERFECT example of a meeting where vulnerability meets empowerment! We learned in-depth information about many businesses & plans. You DON'T want to miss these priceless opportunities for growth individually & corporately!

    Hope to see you at our next meeting!

  • January 31, 2018 1:16 PM | Rebecca Griffith (Administrator)

    Here's to each of you having a WONDERFUL start to 2018!

    We had another great turnout of 38 Women Who Really Cook members and guests at this month's meeting on a predictably cold, but gorgeous evening on January 4th.

    Our location was at none other than Gardens of Salonica, where owner (&WWRC founding member), Anna Christopherides hosted us at their 27 year old Greek restaurant in Northeast Minneapolis.

    Anna started us off on a Greek New Year's toast with champagne that she treated us to.

    There was a wonderful selection of local, organic, & made-from-scratch delights, including savory & sweet. ALL of the food and nourishment that Anna provided, left a lasting impression on the quality & sourcing of ingredients. Deeply flavorful!

    Anna also fulfilled our curiosity about the ups & downs of being a restaurant owner over the years as well as having always embraced local & organic before it became a movement. She also talked about recent ideas to implement to stay afloat regarding the Minneapolis minimum wage increase. This is a woman who lives authentically and calmly works through the ebbs & flow of life. Anna's truly passionate about what she does and is truly inspiring to listen to.

    - The 6th Annual Charlie Awards are coming up! Get your tickets now for Sunday, February 25th at 3:30pm - Pantages Theater in Minneapolis. Call 612.767.3229 for your tickets!

    - Women Who Really Cook will be celebrating 25 YEARS as a professional women’s networking, supporting, & collaborating organization later this year! Get ready to celebrate!

    Looking forward to seeing everyone at Feb. 27th meeting at Kowalski's hosted by our own, Kathleen Armstrong of Kathie's Bakery.
    Be sure to check out the website for more details AND to reserve your spot!

  • November 21, 2017 5:38 PM | Rebecca Griffith (Administrator)

    We enjoyed one of our largest Women Who Really Cook meetings yet at The Lynhall in Uptown on a late afternoon on Tuesday, November 7th! 65 were in attendance!

    Saying that this was a powerhouse meeting would be an understatement!

    The Lynhall’s owner, Anne Spaeth; General Manager, Kristin Tyborski; Pastry Chef, Katie Elsing;, & Events Manager, Andrea Roy, opened up their gorgeously inviting make-yourself-at-home restaurant (& incubator kitchen, teaching/studio kitchen, private dining, meeting space and so much more) and spoiled us with an incredible array of food & hospitality!

    We were treated to one of the most impressive charcuterie table & accompanying pastries we've ever had! Truly dazzling, beautiful, & delicious. We were also given a behind-the-scenes of all the areas within The Lynhall in smaller groups after the meeting. The Lynhall has offerings that are worth looking into for nearly any of our member’s businesses, so if you weren’t able to make it to this meeting, I highly recommend that you go in and check their space out yourself!

    It was tremendously inspiring to hear Anne speak about the beginnings and vision for The Lynhall (including her interactions before hand with Sue Zelickson)!

    Not only did we have a room packed full of WWRC members, but also enjoyed collaborating  with another women-based organization, Women in Film & Television (WIFT). Dual WWRC & WIFT member, Jody Lichtor, initiated the collaboration  & helped plan along with fellow WIFT member, Meighan McGuire, for this meeting to be filmed. WIFT filmerss were Lauren Beaubaire, Beth Peloff, & assistant Alanna Beaubaire. We are so excited to see the finished results!

    ALSO, Women Who Really Cook is celebrating 24 YEARS as a professional women’s networking, supporting, & collaborating organization! Time to get ready to celebrate our 25th next year!

    We will be taking December off so all of our members can concentrate on their business during the busy holiday season.

    We’ll be kicking off 2018 with our meeting at Gardens of Salonica in Northeast Minneapolis on Thursday, January 4th from 6-8pm. Waiting lists have become the trend with our meetings this season so sign-up EARLY when the first official invitation is emailed out!

    Happy Holidays everyone and hope we can see each other at many of the holiday markets and events in the area!

  • October 21, 2017 10:21 AM | Rebecca Griffith (Administrator)
    We spent an early afternoon on a PERFECT sunny fall weather day at Restaurant Alma on Monday, October 16th.

    This was a packed out meeting of 40 & hosted in the private dining rooms toward the back of the restaurant.

    Pastry Chef & WWRC Member, Annie Goldberg was the host and prepared a number of incredible pastries for us to sample from. We were able to ask about what it looks like in her world as a Pastry Chef & her role at Alma.

    In small groups, Annie gave us the insider's look into Restaurant Alma's newest venture, hotel rooms (connected in the same building as the restaurant see pic of one room below). Annie also took us on a tour around the kitchen and dining spaces.

    While on the tour, we saw the legendary owner of Restaurant Alma, Chef Alex Roberts, and asked him to come speak to our group. Graciously, he gave us the history of the building, Restaurant Alma, the hotel addition, and both Brasa locations. He gave us a generous Q&A session and truly displays hospitality, transparency, and kindness. We were all thrilled. 

    We had ample amount of time to go around & introduce ourselves towards the end. 

    It truly was a memorable experience that we were all left swooning over!

  • September 27, 2017 8:55 AM | LoAnn Mockler (Administrator)

    Thanks to the 17 members and guests who made the short trek south of the Twin Cities for a visit to Zweber Farms. Our hosts were member Mary Albrecht, 2016 Sue Zelickson grant winner and Zweber Farms Herdsman and Farmer Emily Zweber. It was a beautiful (if extremely warm) fall day at the farm where we toured the organic milking operation in their more-than-a-century-old barn, met some milk cows and adorable young calves, farm cats and lots of chickens freely roaming around. It's the kind of setting that begs a lot of photos! After our tour they served us Organic Valley cheeses, a delicious beef stew featuring Zweber Farms beef and fragrant bread courtesy of Chef Beth Fisher and French Meadow Bakery. 

    We were also happy to have 2 students from the South Central College Culinary Program in Mankato join us along with their instructor Lizbeth Kliewer.

    Most of us went home with meat and eggs from the farm. Thanks again Zweber Farms for hosting us for a great fall outing. Thank you Lisa Lardy for the great photos!

  • August 23, 2017 12:24 PM | Rebecca Griffith (Administrator)

    We had an incredible turnout & experience together at our August 15th WWRC meeting at Kids' Cafe    (in Perspectives) in St. Louis Park.

    Approximately 50 in attendance, we enjoyed a spread of delicious food that was not only prepared the night before by the kids involved at Kids' Cafe (Charcuterie platter, sushi platter, seaweed salad, fresh vegetables & fruits, but also by WWRC members (Becky Frederickson brought her hummus & chips that she has made with the kids at Kids Café & Sue Zelickson brought her Lacey Sue Z cookies to top off the homemade ice cream that the children made for us!).

    Jeannie Seeley-Smith, Head of Perspectives, and Christina Woodlee, Director of Donor Relations, shared their hearts & mission of Kids' Cafe at Perspectives.

    Hosted & inspired by Sue Zelickson nearly 20 years ago, Kids Cafe is a nutritional and culinary program that provides evening dinners prepared by the students under the direction of Perspectives' full-time teaching chef, Chef Dan. This licensed commercial kitchen/dining classroom has grown into a 5 day/week, 12 month/year nutritional program. In 2016, 15,000 healthy snacks and meals were served to more than 110 homeless and at-risk families and children who participate in Perspectives' programs.

    They are changing lives through not only organizational, relational, managerial, & culinary skills, but also providing much needed nutrition to nourish the next generation!

    Also met a number of brand new members and hearing about what they're doing in the culinary world.

    This meeting was a good example of what our other members can do to make a difference with the power of connection, community, & homegrown skills.

    To learn more about Perspectives:
    To get involved with Kids' Cafe:

  • July 17, 2017 4:40 PM | LoAnn Mockler (Administrator)

    The weather cooperated beautifully for our outdoor July 11 Women Who Really Cook meeting at the CityKid™ Greenway Café. The Café is Urban Ventures’ food-focused social enterprise platform where they grow and create food and products that sustainably employ, educate and nourish the community. Nearly 30 members enjoyed Kombucha, Nitro Cold Press Coffee and wood-fired pizza made on site by Gina, one of the staff responsible for the CityKid™ Greenway Café. Our host was Sarah Spiegle, Events & Volunteer Manager for Urban Ventures.

    From Sarah we learned more about the CityKid™ Greenway Café. It provides cold beverages and fresh, affordable produce, plus free summer meals for kids. More recently, they added a wood-fired pizza oven to the Café and are finding that it is really becoming popular. It is also the designated pick-up location for CityKid™ Farm CSA shares.   

    Mark-Peter Lundquist, Vice President of Urban Ventures Social Enterprise, talked about CityKid™ Foods and their mission to open doors and build relationships through food and their efforts to bring healthy food and education about nutrition to their community.

    • CityKid™ Farms which includes an educational plot, two greenhouses, a CityKid Market location, bee apiary and orchard and a 6-acre plot in Lakeville.
    • CityKid™ Mobile Market mobile market which provides subsidized fresh, pesticide-free produce in areas of the Twin Cities designated as USDA Food Deserts. 

    Mark-Peter took us on a tour of the garden plot, the hydroponic hoop house and the greenhouse. 

  • June 23, 2017 10:47 AM | Rebecca Griffith (Administrator)

    We spent a beautiful day up at the Thousand Hills Cattle Company's brand new headquarters in Clearwater, MN with 13 of our WWRC members. We were hosted by THCC owner Matt Maier; his wife, Renee Maier, and WWRC member, Becca Griffith.

    We met outdoors and were given an introduction by Matt that explained the importance of grass-fed beef and its positive impact on the environment, soil, & our own health. We were also informed that there is an upcoming update to the name of the company from Thousand Hills Cattle Company to Thousand Hills Lifetime Grazed. Matt also took us on a pasture tour to meet the cattle (& hear their response to his call - they KNOW his voice!).

    After the pasture tour, we were treated to a wonderful buffet that featured numerous Thousand Hills products (including their newer sausage line, tenderloin steak, & ground beef). We were also treated to packages of the beef jerky. One other noteworthy feature to the buffet was that K'ul chocolate's new line was generously donated to us by Elena Kelsey (WWRC member) for dessert.

    Since this was a casual number of attendees, it was a low-key format & formal announcements were not made.

    NEXT WWRC meeting will be taking place at Urban Ventures (Mpls) on Tues, July 11th from 11am-1pm. 

    Make sure to register well in advance as a kindness to our hosts (planning for guests & food)

    Enjoying the new pastureland at Thousand Hills Cattle Company's new headquarters up in Clearwater, MN.

    Matt Maier, owner of Thousand Hills Cattle Company, telling us about the benefits of 100% grass-fed cattle do for the soil, us, & the future!

    Some of the cattle on our pasture walk!

    Lunch time!

    Getting to try out all of the Thousand Hills Sausage-line as well as tenderloin steak & ground beef (all 100% grass-fed)!

    Also got to try out many of the new K'ul chocolate bars that were generously donated by fellow WWRC member, Elena Kelsey!

    PERFECT day for a picnic!

  • May 23, 2017 11:16 AM | LoAnn Mockler (Administrator)

    With members, grant recipients and their guests in attendance, it was a full house at the beautiful Roth Living Showroom and Culinary Center in Minnetonka for our annual Sue Zelickson Grant Presentation meeting on May 22.

    Women Who Really Cook awarded 11 Sue Zelickson Grants to students from six regional schools and culinary programs. The 2017 grant committee found all of the applicants to be outstanding and worthy of receiving the grant. We had to agree once we met these amazing grant recipients. 

    The meeting was again hosted by Lynnette Bailey and her team (Mary, Kelly, Cynthia and Lori) at the Roth Living Showroom and Culinary Center in Minnetonka. Along with tasty appetizers and a signature beverage provided by Roth and Rebecca Bouchier of Olive On Tap, WWRC members supplied a delicious variety of snacks and treats for us to enjoy and we toured the showroom. Thank you to:

    Susan McIlroy -- Goldschmidt Vineyards
    Tamara Multerer – Cargill and Sartori Cheese
    Linda Quinn -- Café Latte
    Tami Cabrera -- Muddy Paws Cheesecake
    Rebecca Bouchier -- Olive on Tap
    Sara Hayden – Sara’s Tipsy Pies
    Abby Randall – The Tomato Vine

    In addition to their $500.00 grant, recipients also received Irena Chalmers' book “Food Jobs 2” and a 1-year membership to WWRC from Women Who Really Cook. Other gifts included:

    Bundt Baking Pan – Martha Dalquist and Nordic Ware
    A 1-year subscription to Food Service News from Laura Michaels and Food Service News
    A Le Cordon Bleu cookbook from Dawn Meyer and Twin Cities Le Cordon Bleu

    Special thanks also go to Dani McFarland who photographed the event for us again this year.

    Since the creation of the Sue Zelickson Grant program in 2007, Women Who Really Cook has given more than $40,000 in grants to women students. The grant program is entirely funded by Women Who Really Cook member dues and member contributions--thank you members!

    Congratulations to these 2017 recipients and welcome to Women Who Really Cook and a great community of women working and networking within the industry!

    Art Institutes International-Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN
                Anna Danielson
                Danielle Gerjets
    Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts, Minneapolis/Saint Paul
                Jamie Albee
                Elaine DeLima
                Angela Nooraga
    Saint Paul College, St. Paul, MN
                Mary Albrecht
                Jennifer Shaffner
    South Central College, Mankato
                Nicole Dittrich
                Sarah Fay
    Normandale Community College
                Randa Hak
    University of Wisconsin-Stout, Menomonie, WI
    Lucy Ramquist

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