2015 Guests & Hosts (update in process)

Guest Highlights:

  • Wine Sommelier

Kingsley Calvo-Jordan

Kingsley Calvo-Jordan is a wine connoisseur for Grape Beginnings. He enjoys his interaction with wine reps, and gets a kick out of working with customers. He says, “Know your product, get used to hearing no for an answer...and don't take it personally!”

http://www.grapebeginnings.org/

Hosts: Carole & Ignacio Garrigos 

Location: St. Louis Park

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Guest Highlights:

  • Delicious food & wine

Carole Garrigos

"Be passionate, be organized and enjoy the company."

Carole Garrigos began her culinary career at the local old favorite, Cocolezzone where she fell in love with the food industry. From there, she has built a reputation in the Catering, Hospitality and Entertainment industries where her passion for food stands above all.

Carole and Ignacio Garrigos hosting a very special evening in St. Louis Park, presenting the theme: Mediterranean cuisine with a Spanish sea side twist. Wine pairings presented by Kingsley Calvo-Jordan, expert wine connoisseur.

https://www.linkedin.com/pub/carole-garrigos/10/845/4a8

Hosts: Carole & Ignacio Garrigos 

Location: St. Louis Park

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Guest Highlights:

  • Local News Celeb

Jason DeRusha

“Take a nap, and don't apologize for it!” and “Work harder!”

Jason co-anchors WCCO 4 News This Morning with Jamie Yuccas. He’s been nominated for 20 Regional Emmy Awards and has earned eight Emmy Awards. The the city of Minneapolis proclaimed Sept.21 “Jason DeRusha Day”.

Sandy and Jason Sondell are pleased to host this special “taste of Wayzata” (in Wayzata, of course) featuring Jason DeRusha’s favorites and specialty cocktail preparations of Jon Olson.

http://minnesota.cbslocal.com/personality/jason-derusha/

Hosts: Sandy & Jason Sondell 

Location: Wayzata

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Guest Highlights:

  • Cocktail creator

Jon Olson

“It's not the years, it's the mileage!”

Jon began his career tending bar at local hot spots. It wasn't until he joined Tradition Wine & Spirits that he realized he had a strong passion for wine in addition to his passions for food and spirits.

Sandy and Jason Sondell are pleased to host this special “taste of Wayzata” (in Wayzata, of course) featuring Jason DeRusha’s favorites and specialty cocktail preparations of Jon Olson.

http://www.traditionws.com/

Hosts: Sandy & Jason Sondell 

Location: Wayzata

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Guest Highlights:

  • Former Star Tribune Food Critic

Jeremy Iggers

“Don't take food too seriously!”

Former restaurant critic for the Star Tribune, Jeremy left to become executive director of the Twin Cities Media Alliance, a small non-profit media organization that offers classes and workshops and publishes the Twin Cities Daily Planet, a professionally edited local news website.

Your Minnetonka hosts are pleased to present an Italian inspired meal under the watchful eye of restaurant critic Jeremy Iggers.  No pressure there!

http://www.tcdailyplanet.net/

Hosts: Linda & Ron Mash and Tammy Schwartz 

Location: Minnetonka

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Mary Leonard

“Never, never, never give up!”

Owner of Chocolat Celeste, Mary was named one of the 10 best emerging chocolatiers in America in 2004, and in Twin City Pages in 2012. She began her business 46 after traveling through France on my bicycle.

The Redleafs are excited to be hosting this evening in Lilydale with a menu of international foods highlighting lots of yummy chocolate desserts.  Bring on the chocolate!

http://www.chocolatceleste.com/

Hosts: Rhoda & Paul Redleaf 

Location: Lilydale

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Guest Highlights:

  • Foodie File Writer & TV and Radio Host

Stephanie March

Stephanie has opened over 50 restaurants, and written for local and national publications. She is Senior Editor of Food & Dining for Mpls. St.Paul Magazine, hosts the weekend radio show, MyTalk 107’s Weekly Dish, and contributes on Twin Cities Live.

Your hosts are pleased to bring you this lively evening in Golden Valley. There’s sure to be lots of great advice from Stephanie on where to find that perfect bite in the Twin Cities and beyond.  Learn about the new, kosher treasure, Prime Deli, from Chef Jacob Schloner.

http://mspmag.com/Blogs/Foodie-File/

Hosts: Susie & Howard Held, Jon & Becca Kvasnik and Layne & Dave Rosen 

Location: Golden Valley

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Guest Highlights:

  • Executive Chef at Prime Deli

Jacob Schloner

“You’re going to love this!”

Schloner is a self-taught chef, who you could say launched his career at age 5 by cooking and watching cooking shows with grandmother, Estelle. Twenty-five years later, after many diverse experiences, Schloner is Executive Chef at the kosher Prime Deli & Restaurant.

Your hosts are pleased to bring you this lively evening in Golden Valley. There’s sure to be lots of great advice from Stephanie on where to find that perfect bite in the Twin Cities and beyond.  Learn about the new, kosher treasure, Prime Deli, from Chef Jacob Schloner.

http://www.primedelimn.com/

Hosts: Susie & Howard Held, Jon & Becca Kvasnik and Layne & Dave Rosen 

Location: Golden Valley

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Guest Highlights:

  • Sommelier and Amusee founder

Leslee Miller

“Enjoy the wine world for what it is – fun!”

As a certified sommelier, Leslee shares her passion for wine across the globe. Her enthusiasm is contagious, and the topics Leslee covers are wide and are always guaranteed to come packed with one thing, fun!

The Hartmans are excited to host this evening in Minnetonka with Leslee Miller, sommelier.  You’ll be sure to impress all your friends with all the interesting things you will learn about different types of wines and possible pairings.

http://amuseewine.com/

Hosts: Nancy & Bobby Hartman 

Location: Minnetonka

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Guest Highlights:

  • Artist, Musician, Entrepreneur

Tom Lieberman

Tom is an artist and entrepreneur with over 30 years experience in the creative and production fields. Born in 1957 to a midwestern carnie clan, Tom began his own neo-vaudevillian odyssey at the age of 16 as a performing songwriter at the Coffeehouse Extempore on the fabled Minneapolis West Bank. By 18 he was touring professionally and was the youngest performer to have appeared in solo concert at the Walker Art Center. He was a member of the June Apple Musician's Co-op, and a founding member of the vocal trios Rio Nido, and Lieberman, Fogel and Bey. From 1976 to 1986, he was a regular contributor to Garrison Keillor's "A Prairie Home Companion" as a performer, writer, production assistant, and the voice of El Muchacho Allegre (Happy Boy) Ajua-brand Hot Sauce. Tom's career as a professional guitarist simultaneously reached both its highest and lowest points when he was replaced as APHC's utility guitarist by the legendary Chet Atkins.

Since the early 1980s, Tom has worked as a writer, composer, producer, and director, providing creative and production services for radio, television, stage and screen. His broad range of experiences have run the gamut from exploring volcanic tunnels for the Discovery Channel, to developing theme park attractions for Disneyland. Recently, Tom was Executive Producer and Music Supervisor on Ali Selim's award-winning feature film debut, "Sweet Land," which was named one of "The Top Ten Films of 2006" by such publications as The Los Angeles Times, The Village Voice, and Entertainment Weekly. In recent years, he has also returned to the performance stage as a solo and collaborative artist, and as the voice and puppeteer of everyone's favorite talking ukulele, Luke the Uke.

More recently, his recording “Common Denominator,” has received enthusiastic reviews from listeners, press and broadcasters worldwide, with reviewers calling it, “playful, romantic and infectious,” “bluesy, simmering, profoundly philosophical,“ and, “a charming, eclectic album of original songs.”

http://liebermania.com/

Hosts: Cathy Gorlin & Marshall Tanick 

Location: Golden Valley

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Guest Highlights:

  • Tanzania Tour Guide

Innocent Lyimo

Born and raised on the slopes of Kilimanjaro, Innocent Lyimo first climbed to the summit of Kilimanjaro at age 15.  He now has over fifteen years of experience both as a mountain and safari guide in Tanzania, and estimates that he has climbed Kilimanjaro 200 times!  Innocent is founder of Destination Tanzania Safaris, a company based in Tanzania with an office here in Minnesota.  He has a dream of climbing all seven summits in the future! 

http://detasa.com/

Hosts: Linda & Mike Platt 

Location: Bloomington

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Guest Highlights:

  • Star Tribune Theater Critic

Rohan Preston

Rohan Preston is lead theater critic at the Star Tribune. He’s interviewed Arthur Miller, August Wilson, Edward Albee, Tony Kushner, and Bill Cosby, led a Strib team that won an Emmy for a documentary on the 2008 elections, and won the 2007 Lowell Thomas silver award in travel writing competition for his piece about being the first in his family to return to Africa. Mr. Preston has written for prominent newspapers, has served on the Pulitzer Prize jury for drama, authored the poetry collection "Dreams in Soy Sauce" and edited the anthology "Soulfires: Young Black Men on Love and Violence." 

http://www.startribune.com/bios/10645706.html

Hosts: Judy & Orrie Kessel, Diane & Chopper Mintz, and Ann & Jerrold Gershone 

Location: Minneapolis

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Guest Highlights:

  • Jackie Robinson's Pen Pal

Ron Rabinovitz

When he was 7 years old, Ron Rabinovitz met baseball legend Jackie Robinson. A friendship developed, and they began exchanging letters, staying in touch until Robinson's death in 1972. Their friendship and correspondence became the subject of the MLB Network documentary "Letters from Jackie," which celebrates the 65th anniversary of Robinson playing his first game with the Brooklyn Dodgers and breaking baseball's race barrier; the story also inspired the recent local play at the History Theatre, "The Incredible Season of Ronnie Rabinovitz." The documentary has aired several times since it debuted in April 2011. 

http://www.ora.tv/larrykingnow/jackie-robinsons-pen-pal-ron-rabinovitz-0_akvjh8vs

Hosts: Diane & Rick Smookler 

Location: Mendota Heights/Lilydale

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Guest Highlights:

  • Lovely evening on Lake Minnetonka

FULL! RappaParty Boat

This home is full!

Cruise on beautiful Lake Minnetonka aboard the Rappaparty! Enjoy a gorgeous sunset, delightful summer breezes, and appetizing cuisine. Located in Orono at the home of Diane and Jon Rappaport, just 12 minutes west of Ridgedale, you will experience one of the best summer evenings Minnesota has to offer.

Hosts: Diane & Jon Rappaport 

Location: Lake Minnetonka

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Guest Highlights:

  • Minnesota Commissioner of Commerce and Professional Harpist

Commissioner Mike Rothman & Shari Latz Rothman

Governor Mark Dayton appointed Rothman to serve as Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Commerce in 2011.  Commissioner Rothman brings a distinguished record of consumer protection to the Department of Commerce and extensive public and private-sector experience on insurance and financial service-related issues. He brings great insight to this position.

 

http://mn.gov/commerce/Root/Biographies.jsp

Hosts: Ellie & Gary Singer 

Location: Minnetonka

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Guest Highlights:

  • Dean, Hubert H. Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota

Dean Eric Schwartz

This is a Kosher dinner.

Eric Schwartz became dean of the Hubert H. Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota in October 2011, after a 25-year career in senior public service positions in government, at the United Nations and in the philanthropic and non-governmental communities.

Prior to his arrival in Minnesota, he was U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Population, Refugees, and Migration, having been nominated by President Obama and confirmed by the U.S. Senate in 2009. Working with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, he served as the Department of State’s principal humanitarian official, managing a $1.85 billion budget, as well as State Department policy and programs for U.S. refugee admissions and U.S. international assistance worldwide.

From 2006 through 2009, Schwartz directed the Connect U.S. Fund, a multi-foundation – NGO collaborative seeking to promote responsible U.S. engagement overseas, and which included the Hewlett Foundation, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, the Open Society Institute, the Ford Foundation, the Atlantic Philanthropies and the Mott Foundation.

From August 2005 through January 2007, he served as the UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s Deputy Special Envoy for Tsunami Recovery.  In that capacity, he worked with the Special Envoy, former President Clinton, to promote an effective recovery effort. Before that appointment, Schwartz was a lead expert for the congressionally mandated Mitchell-Gingrich Task Force on UN Reform. Prior to that, in 2003 and 2004, he served as the second-ranking official at the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in Geneva.

From 1993 to 2001, Schwartz served at the National Security Council at the White House, ultimately as Senior Director and Special Assistant to the President for Multilateral and Humanitarian Affairs. He managed responses on international humanitarian, human rights and rule of law issues, as well as United Nations affairs, including peacekeeping.

From 2001 through 2003, Schwartz held fellowships at the Woodrow Wilson Center, the U.S. Institute of Peace and the Council on Foreign Relations. During this period, he also served as a contributor to the Responsibility to Protect Project of the International Commission on Intervention and State Sovereignty.

From 1989 to 1993, Schwartz served as Staff Consultant to the U.S. House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asian and Pacific Affairs.  Prior to his work on the Subcommittee, he was Washington Director of the human rights organization Asia Watch (now known as Human Rights Watch-Asia). He holds a law degree from New York University School of Law, where he was a recipient of a Root-Tilden-Snow Scholarship for commitment to public service through law; a Master of Public Affairs degree from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs Princeton University; and a Bachelor of Arts degree, with honors, in Political Science from the State University of New York at Binghamton. Between 2001 and 2009, he also was a visiting lecturer of public and international affairs at the Woodrow Wilson School, teaching both undergraduate and graduate seminars, taskforces and workshops. 

http://www.hhh.umn.edu/index.php

Hosts: Laurie & Tom Smith and Debra & Jerome Abrams 

Location: Mendota Heights

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Guest Highlights:

  • KARE-11 Evening Co-Anchor, Cancer Fundraising Champion

FULL! Randy Shaver

This house is full!

Randy joined KARE 11 in 1983 as a sports reporter. He was named the evening news co-anchor at 5 p.m., 6 p.m., and 10 p.m. along with Julie Nelson in 2012.

Randy was the Sports Director at KARE 11 from 1994 to 2012. He won a regional and a national Edward R. Murrow award for sports reporting in 2006. Randy was proud to be inducted into the Minnesota Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2004. He is a member of the Cedar Rapids Jefferson Hall of Fame in both football and track. Randy is also the freshman head football coach at Benilde-St. Margaret's High School in St. Louis Park, and is a youth travel basketball coach in Wayzata.

Randy hosts the The Rush Creek Golf Club Randy Shaver Celebrity Golf Classic benefiting the Randy Shaver Cancer Research and Community Fund. Randy has helped raise over $4,000,000 dollars for cancer research and patient aid in Minnesota since 1995. Randy is a cancer survivor, he was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Disease in June 1998.

http://www.randyshavercancerfund.org/

Hosts: Cindi & Harold Goldfine 

Location: Golden Valley

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Guest Highlights:

  • Hot Date with Nate!

FULL! Nate Uri

This house is full!

Nate Uri works as a Food and Beverage Consultant in Minneapolis, MN. He's taught cooking classes on regional Asian cuisine and Paleo, Gluten-Free, and Diabetic eating. Nate also writes about food and travel. Some of his articles have been featured on Serious Eats and Heavy Table. Nate has an internet instructional cooking series called, "Hot Date with Nate." He plays guitar professionally with set lists ranging from Green Day to Django Reinhardt. When the work day is over, Nate loves to sit down with a fine wine and play Bossa Nova.

http://hotdatewithnate.com/

Hosts: Debbie & Chad Goldenberg and William Lipschultz 

Location: Hopkins

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Guest Highlights:

  • Rabbi-Turned-Inventor

Rabbi Moshe Weiss

This is a Kosher dinner.

Minnesota rabbi-turned-inventor, Moshe Weiss, has sold over 25,000 SoundBenders after appearing on the nationally televised show, The Shark Tank. The SoundBender is a small plastic power-free device that improves iPad sound quality and clarify by redirecting the sound from the back of the tablet towards the user. "We now want to focus on iPad mini, iPhones, Android based devices and flat screen TVs. A lot of elderly are hard of hearing and keep their volume turned up very high. By creating a SoundBender for them, we hope to...find them better sound at a lower volume."

http://www.thesoundbender.com/

Hosts: Amy & Barry Newman and Stephanie & Jimmy Levine 

Location: St. Louis Park

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Guest Highlights:

  • Chef/Restaurateur

Heidi Woodman

You will not want to miss the opportunity to enjoy a cooking demonstration by local restaurateur and chef, Heidi Woodman. Heidi has had an illustrious career, operating Heidi’s Minneapolis and earning her rave reviews in the process. Educated at The Culinary Institute of America, Heidi was named a “Best Pastry Chef 2012” by Tasting Table and featured in the Huffington Post. Known for her playful and unusual combinations of ingredients, this will be a rare chance to cook together with Heidi in an intimate dinner party setting.

Hosts: Tzivia & Joel Leviton 

Location: Golden Valley

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Guest Highlights:

  • Under 40s Special Guest
  • Founder, Surly Brewing Co

Under 40s - Omar Ansari

This is a Kosher dinner.

Surly Brewing Co. founder Omar Ansari had been homebrewing since 1994. After apprenticing at New Holland Brewing Company in Michigan and enlisting Todd Haug of Minneapolis' Rock Bottom Brewery, Surly began brewing in Brooklyn Center. Not surprisingly, Surly Nation was born and demanded copious amounts of delectable beer. Minnesota's three-tier liquor sales system would not allow breweries to distribute their beer for retail sale and sell on the brewery's premises, as brew-pub does. Surly Nation mobilized and the "Surly Bill" was signed into law by Governor Mark Dayton in May, 2011, allowing Surly to sell beer for consumption at their new facility (to open soon!). Esquire magazine selected Surly's CynicAle as one of the "Best Canned Beers to Drink Now." Embark on a multi-course beer-pairing adventure with Omar as your tour guide.

http://www.surlybrewing.com/

Hosts: Sarah & Avi Olitzky 

Location: St. Louis Park

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Guest Highlights:

  • Under 40s Special Guest
  • 90s Hip Hop Dance Party

Under 40s - DJ AppleJews

Let’s go on a "Fantastic Voyage" back to the 90s with DJ AppleJews, aka Jeff Walonick. Jeff was born and raised  in St. Louis Park, Minnesota, where he used to "Jump Around" to 60s–90s music with an emphasis on funk, soul, pop and hip hop. Soon after purchasing his first set of turntables, he took up a six-year residency at Rudolph’s BBQ. Since then, he’s been keeping the party going at several music festivals and has opened for several hip hop artists including Coolio, Wu-tang, Warren G, Redman and RZA. Please join the Mintz, Strauss, and Gelfman families as we showcase the "Soul" in Food for Your Soul. We will "Fight for Your Right to Party" with food, drink, and, of course, dancing to everyone’s favorite 90s hip hop jams! 90s attire is welcome. See you in the "Summertime!" 

Hosts: Cara & Andy Strauss, Dori & Danny Gelfman, and Audra & Loren Mintz 

Location: Minnetonka

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Guest Highlights:

  • Under 40s Special Guest
  • Mixologist, Founder of Bittercube

Under 40s - Nick Kosevich

Nicholas Kosevich began his career behind the stick at Palomino Euro-Bistro in downtown Minneapolis. After a five year stint there he left to tackle a new concept opening on East Lake Street: The Town Talk Diner. Nick helped open this restaurant with mentors Tim Niver and Aaron Johnson and as soon as the historic diner opened its doors, Twin Citizens knew they were in store for something special. Nick took the locavore movement seriously, crafting as many house-made products as possible, including a number of bitters and liqueurs. For three and a half years, Nick helped transform the collective palate of the Twin Cities from reserved sippers to educated imbibers. Kosevich won nearly every bartending award in Minneapolis while at “TTD” and went undefeated en route to winning the first annual Iron Bartender Competition in 2009.

Join Nick for an evening filled with an education in hand-crafted beverages and a taste of St. Paul with culinary delights from various local restaurants.

http://bittercube.com/

Hosts: Jennifer & David Roberts and Tracy & Dustin Truesdell 

Location: Eagan

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