Chef Camp Minnesota

September 14, 2016

17 pounds of coffee brewed, 10 gallons of cold press served, and almost 50 pounds of beans given away. We’d say that’s a pretty good recipe for a fun and successful weekend.


This Labor Day, Tiny Footprint ventured to Chef Camp Minnesota and swapped out barbecue and hot dogs on the grill for a different kind of meal– say, coffee rubbed lamb over a wood fire or perhaps Fulton beer can chicken. Bringing local foodies together with a handful of Minnesota’s finest chefs, Chef Camp helped make YMCA Camp Miller one of the best places for food– if only just for the weekend.


Launched this year, Chef Camp Minnesota, the brainchild of Minneapolis creatives Dave Friedman, James Norton, Tim Lovett, and Rose Daniels, invited a smattering of culinary campers along with a handful of sponsors to enjoy a weekend of food and community. Over the course of the weekend, chefs and food experts led a series of classes– from mushroom foraging to proper care for cast iron pans to making and baking sourdough bread.



Of course, with a weekend packed full of so many activities– it’s important to stay happy and caffeinated. That’s why we at Tiny Footprint served coffee all weekend. We began our days serving pour overs (on our handmade from reclaimed pallet wood pour over bar) at 6:30 in the morning on the docks of Sturgeon Lake. Chilly? Early? Sure. But with a beautiful sunrise and a hot cup of coffee added into the mix, it was downright dreamy.


In between chef classes, there was a smorgasbord lunch from Northern Waters Smokehaus and paired with Tiny Footprint Coffee cold press. As a subtle addition, we decided to mix our own cold press cocktail of sorts, adding a splash of homemade lavender simple syrup and a dash of salt to add a refreshing twist on a summertime coffee classic.

chefcamp2016_140Each evening, the kitchen staff prepared a multi-course meal featuring some local additions, such as beer-can chicken made with Fulton beer or a leg of lamb with a coffee rub made from our Dark Roast Nicaraguan coffee. Alongside supper, Bittercube bartenders served several cocktails, a few twists on the classics and a few new creations. And because it wouldn’t be fall without an apple dessert, we all enjoyed a cast iron apple crisp paired with the Fulton Maitrise Imperial Farmhouse Ale.



By the end of the weekend, campers went home with a goodie bag full of all things Tiny, Heavy Table, Fulton Beer and The Wedge Coop. Of course, campers also went home with Bittercube’s suggestions for artful cocktails, Chef Ryan Stechschulte’s instructions for sourdough bread, Chef Sarah Master’s best practices to stay injury-free while shucking oysters, Jamie Carlson’s life-or-death tips on foraging for edible mushrooms, and a few tricks for making damn good fish tacos up north thanks to Chef J.D. Fratzke.


If this Labor Day was any indication of future Chef Camps, then we’re just fine giving up brats on the grill next to overserved relatives, for a weekend spent drinking pour overs on the dock with the company of fellow epicureans.


All photos courtesy of Becca Dilley Photography.