Kate Nelson: It’s hard to remember a time when we were fixated on culinary trends like molecular gastronomy, edible activated charcoal and unicorn food — the colorful, sparkly cuisine that reached its peak with Starbucks’ Unicorn Frappuccino. And yet, that was just a few years ago. These days, I think we’re all eager to have more authentic, honest conversations about what really matters. For our feature, we tapped renowned writer Julia Heffelfinger to cover exactly that: why food matters (page 112). She asked 10 food world luminaries — from chefs and farmers to authors and activists — to discuss this complex, complicated topic.
Hayley Saunders: There’s no shortage of interesting food and wine content in these pages. Barefoot Contessa fans will love Ina Garten’s take on the importance of comfort food in today’s world (page 191). Brittany Chaffee explores how a Kikkoman soy sauce plant transformed a small Wisconsin town (page 198), while Laura Schara explains why you should embrace a field-to-fork lifestyle (page 184). And Julia Bainbridge shows what happens to a sober-curious movement during a global pandemic (page 72).
KN: For this issue, we asked some celebrated Minnesota writers to speak from the heart. Former Star Tribune food editor Lee Svitak Dean shares observations from her 40-year career (page 50). Steve Hoffman, who earned his James Beard Award with a story about Northern food that appeared in this very magazine, recalls an important lesson in adventurous eating (page 176). And of special note is the epic journey music reporter Andrea Swensson takes us on as she tries to uncover a mystery surrounding the late great Prince five years after his passing (page 204).
HS: Spring is a time of rebirth and renewal — something we all have been looking particularly forward to this year. We hope this content helps you kick off the season by making you smile, making you think and making you remember what really matters.
Kate Nelson, Editor-in-Chief, and Hayley Saunders, Managing Editor + Associate Publisher