Letter from the Publisher

The Northern Food Scene

There has been a lot of talk lately about how the enterprising sons of the Minnesota governor have effectively rebranded our area as the North. This movement is mostly about embracing our cold weather and articulating cultural differences to cleverly market our region to the rest of the world.

One thing the North has not typically been known for is its cuisine. It’s often thought of as lackluster and one-dimensional, stereotyped by bland offerings like lefse, lutefisk and hotdish. We historically have been underserved by a subpar epicurean scene (with a few exceptions) and a lack of culinary sophistication. It’s somewhat akin to craving caviar and Champagne in a bread and water market.

But over the past decade, there has been a major sea change in our culinary landscape. Suddenly, the North is being heralded as a bastion of foodie consciousness. Minneapolis in particular has been called out as a must-visit foodie city. The James Beard Foundation has even helped out by realigning its regions to separate the North from the great food town of Chicago. This shift has no doubt been a boon to our chefs as they compete for what are often considered the Oscars of the food world.

Welcome to the spring issue of Artful Living. Our feature, “What is Northern Food?” written by Steve Hoffman, examines the complex dynamics of our food scene and explains why our region is having an important food moment.

It has become customary for this magazine to present you with beautiful covers along with timeless, compelling content that lives on for ages in our readers’ homes. Our cover image, captured by Minneapolis food photographer David Paul Schmit, is sure to elicit a strong response and provide springtime inspiration for home chefs.

Congratulations to the farmers, chefs, restaurateurs, inventors and many other contributors who are shaping the new Northern food scene. It’s a melting pot of robust offerings, from food markets and unexpected eateries to craft breweries and spirits distilleries. A remarkable gastronomic movement is happening right before our eyes.


Frank Roffers
Publisher + Editor-In-Chief



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