Guests & Hosts

Guest Highlights:

  • President/CEO at Creative Kidstuff

Roberta Bonoff

Roberta has an extensive background in retail and toy manufacturing. She has taught retail, and served as VP of sales for two toy manufacturers. She oversees all operations of Creative Kidstuff and Sensational Beginnings, and serves as VP at Temple Israel, the MNRA Board, The UM Advisory Board, and the JFCS Entrepreneurial Advisory Board. .

http://www.creativekidstuff.com/

Hosts: Debbie & Rabbi David Locketz 

Location: Minnetonka

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Guest Highlights:

  • CEO, Play From Scratch and Founder, YOXO Toys

Jeff Freeland Nelson

Jeff Freeland Nelson is founder/CEO of Play from Scratch and inventor of YOXO toys. In a world filled with battery-powered toys, Jeff seeks toys powered by simplicity and imagination. His newest invention, YOXO, is a building set made up of cardboard connectors laser cut into colorful shapes of Y, O, and X. Jeff specializes in green, sustainable toys that inspire kids to be creative.

One of the Twin Cities’ most successful young professionals, Jeff began his career at the MN Children’s Museum.  He has been Director of Cultural Development for Saint Paul, Managing Director for McNally Smith College, Founder and Executive Director at Saint Paul Arts & Culture Partnership, and has led public affairs for American Public Media.

https://playfromscratch.com/

Hosts: Debbie & Rabbi David Locketz 

Location: Minnetonka

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Guest Highlights:

  • French professor, former director of the Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies at the U of M

Dr. Bruno Chaouat

Bruno Chaouat is Professor of French and Chair of the department of French and Italian at the University of Minnesota, and former director of the Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies at the U of M. He has published extensively on French 19th century literature, Holocaust testimonies, Jews in France, and the resurgence of antisemitism. He has been a visiting professor at the University of Paris and is regularly invited to speak in the U.S. and in Europe about French literature, Holocaust testimony, and antisemitism.

https://apps.cla.umn.edu/directory/profiles/chaou001

Hosts: Phyllis Karasov & Alan Olstein 

Location: Mendota Heights

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Guest Highlights:

  • Machal Volunteer in Israel's War of Independence

Dr. Jason Fenton

Dr. Jason Fenton is the author of Strength and Courage: The Untold Story of the Machal Volunteers who Helped Win Israel’s War of Independence. In 1948, while still in high school in England, he volunteered at 16 to serve in combat as a Machal Volunteer. The Machal Volunteers were a special group of Jews and some non-Jews from 29 countries who, after participating in WWII, volunteered their military expertise in the service of the newly-born State of Israel, fighting with the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) to ensure Israel's independence. He speaks about his experiences asa member of an anti-tank unit in this very difficult war that would decide if there would be a Jewish state.

http://www.sabranet.com/machal/english.html

Hosts: Jennifer Gray & Mark Freeman and Lisa & Mark Lerman 

Location: Golden Valley

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Guest Highlights:

  • Minneapolis Chief of Police

Janeé Harteau

Chief Janeé Harteau joined the MPD in February of 1987 as a patrol officer and worked in the Third and Fourth Precincts. In 1998 she was promoted to sergeant and was assigned to the Narcotics, Organized Crime and Gang Units. In 2004, she was promoted to the rank of lieutenant and commanded the Crime Lab, the Licensing Unit and was a sector lieutenant in the First Precinct.

In April of 2006, she was appointed as the Inspector of the First Precinct where she has worked to formalize the SafeZone collaborative and served as the president of its board of directors until July of this year. As the First Precinct Inspector, she was a proponent of strong public/private partnerships to strengthen public safety downtown. Among those partnerships was the creation of the Block E station, the Fusion center and the Downtown Courtwatch program for which the MPD has won an international community policing award.

As Patrol Bureau commander she was responsible for all of the MPD’s 911 response personnel and the department’s emergency services units. Chief Harteau holds a bachelor’s degree in Police Science and a Master of Arts in Public Safety both from St. Mary’s University of MN. Currently, she trains law enforcement leaders for the Northwestern University’s Center for Public Safety and is on the faculty for the St. Mary’s University of MN School of Police Science. She is a graduate of the Senior Management Institute of Police and the Northwestern University Center for Public Safety’s Police and Command Staff School where she was the Franklin Kreml Leadership Award winner in 2005.

http://www.ci.minneapolis.mn.us/police/index.htm

Hosts: Marissa & David Upin 

Location: Lake of the Isles

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Peter Herlofsky

Come for an evening of wine tasting with local wine expert, Peter Herlofsky. Peter has been in the wine and spirits business for 23 years, having spent half that time as a wine buyer and the other half as a wholesale representative. He is currently the wine manager for Liquor Boy in St. Louis Park. He travels frequently to Napa Valley, CA in addition to some international trips in search of great wine. Learn about grape varieties and discover how to match foods with the perfect wine and how to get the most out of every sip. Take an educational and entertaining journey into the world of wine and enjoy a delicious meal with the perfect wine paired with each course.

http://liquor-boy.com/

Hosts: Rachel & Joel Paper 

Location: Mendota Heights

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Guest Highlights:

  • Homeless Youth Advocate & Volunteer

Allan Law

Allan Law's entire life has been consumed passionately and unselfishly serving the poor, vulnerable, disadvantaged youth, and their families. Since 1967 he has volunteered more than 175,000 hours, and has personally spent almost $500,000 serving…. with love and compassion and delivering a message of hope to those most in need. Over the years he has received numerous awards, including the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Gold Medallion presented at the U.S. Supreme Court. He has also received recognition from 3 U.S. Presidents for his Public Service. His dedication to helping others, and serving those in need through difficult and trying times, has given hope to thousands of people through more than 44 years of volunteering.

Allan was a teacher in the Inner City Minneapolis Public School System for 32 years, and founded Minneapolis Recreation Development, Inc. 1967. Since its founding the Mission of MRD has been: “Love One Another” and the Guiding Principle: "Judge our society by how we care for our children and the disadvantaged." In 1996 Minneapolis Recreation Development, Inc. was granted 501(c) (3) Nonprofit Status which has helped offset the increasing needs in the community and ongoing expenses. MRD is an all volunteer non-profit with no salaries serving the homeless, poor, vulnerable, disadvantaged youth, and their families in the Twin Cities every day with food assistance, and a variety of other emergency needs through Three Core Programs. All donations are used for general operating expenses, or program specific funding. MRD does not have an office, but is based out of Alan’s apartment where he maintains 10 freezers to store sandwiches, and other program items. Additional sandwich storage freezers are located at a few volunteer drop sites in the Twin Cities.

Allan is the sole delivery person, and spends every night from 9pm to10am driving the inner city streets of the Twin Cities in search of people to help. He works overnight because that’s when shelters are closed, and homeless people living on the street are most vulnerable. He also responds to several calls a day 24/7 from people in crisis, with requests ranging from critical immediate needs, to others like help finding a job or temporary housing. Making as many as 50 stops a night, he provides urgently needed food, basic necessities, and compassionate care to hundreds of people from the back of his MRD minivan. On any given night there are an estimated 7,000 homeless people in the Twin Cities Metropolitan area, and over 2,200 are children under 17. The goal of MRD is to feed, and provide emergency assistance to as many of them every day as possible.

http://www.363days.org/index.html

Hosts: Jane & Steve Benowitz 

Location: Wayzata

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Guest Highlights:

  • Award Winning Filmmaker & Documentarian

Jesse Roesler

Jesse Roesler is an Emmy Award-winning filmmaker whose work has been screened and broadcast internationally in venues such as South By Southwest Film Festival and Current TV. His most recent film The Starfish Throwers features Allan Law and is playing at film festivals worldwide. He is also a partner and Story Director at Bolster, a brand engagement agency based in Minneapolis.

http://jesseroesler.com/

Hosts: Jane & Steve Benowitz 

Location: Wayzata

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Guest Highlights:

  • Entrepreneurs, Renovation Mavens, and Turkey Fanatics

Drew Levin & Danny Perkins

Danny Perkins and Drew Levin are the hosts of HGTV’s “Renovate to Rent”, a TV series that follows them as they purchase, remodel and rent properties. Additionally, they own and operate Turkey Guys, Inc. (Turkey To Go), taking it from a little known booth at the State Fair, to a well-known brand throughout Minnesota.  In 2012 they were awarded the People’s Choice Award for “Best Food at the Fair”, and were named “2013 Minnesota’s Young Entrepreneurs of the Year” from the U.S. Small Business Administration.

http://www.turkeytogo.com/

Hosts: Stacy Pinck & Brad Birnberg and Amy & Todd Geller 

Location: Plymouth

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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:

  • Eat & Drink Editor/Writer and Host, Weekly Dish

Stephanie March

Stephanie keeps herself deliciously up-to-date on all things food- and dining-related while editing and writing Mpls.St.Paul Magazine’s Eat + Drink section. She can also be heard Saturdays on her myTalk107.1 radio show, Weekly Dish, where she talks about the Twin Cities food scene.

http://mspmag.com/

Hosts: Andrea & Dan DeMuth and Liz & Greg Pomish 

Location: Orono

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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 and Diane & Chopper Mintz 

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

RappaParty Boat

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

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

Randy Shaver

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!

Nate Uri

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

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

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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