Grand View Lodge’s Cru restaurant in Nisswa will be the setting tonight.
I’m heading there to experience the talents of chef Paul Fitzpatrick and enjoy the atmosphere created by manager Christine Ianelli.
The reason I’m writing this might be a little fuzzy for those who have grown accustomed to me being a sports writer for the past 13 years at the Brainerd Dispatch. I do love sports and bringing the Brainerd lakes area mothers scrapbooking material will continue to be my main focus at the Dispatch during the school year. I also like to fancy myself as a local golf expert, too, but I’m just the messenger on the soap box. Those will remain my priorities.
But like most people I know, I have other interests. I enjoy music, gardening and food. I’m a good eater. Other than sleeping, typing, and annoying my coworkers, eating is one thing I do a lot of. I’ve had practice.
Instead of wood shop and auto mechanics I took foods classes during high school. I figured it was an extra meal during the day and that’s where all the girls were.
My cooking skills are amateur at best. I’m not a good cook, but I am a good eater with the exception of fungi — I’m not a fan of mushrooms.
Now throw in the explosion of cooking shows, cable networks devoted solely to cooking and food and celebrity chefs and there seems to be an interest. I’m not a mathematician, but I can add. My passion for food + other people’s interest in food + my ability to type + a lot of restaurants and food stories in the lakes area = a new, fun, side project for me.
I will be supplying copy for the Brainerd Dispatch’s food page, which has primarily been an Associated Press wire story, a photo and recipes.
My trial run was a feature story on new Bar Harbor chef P.J. Severson that appeared in the March 25 business section. If you’ve read that story that’s essentially what I’ll be doing for the food section. If you haven’t read it, I hope you’ll take the time to read it.
I’m not a food critic. Most people don’t care what I think so I won’t be critiquing the food I eat. There won’t be any star system nor will I recommend one place over another.
Nor am I Alton Brown of the Food Network. I don’t have a vast knowledge of ingredients or preparation styles.
What I will attempt to do is bring you the stories behind the chefs, who in their own way, tell a story with their food. Think of me as your interpreter. Why are items on the menu? What was the inspiration behind certain dishes? Who are these people preparing dinner for us? For instance, I want to know the story behind the Tater Tots at Cru so I will ask. And then you can read about it in next week’s (April 12) food section.
This won’t be a weekly column or feature as I still have to write about sports. But when I have extra time and an empty stomach, I’ll get out and about and meet some of the fine chefs and visit the quality eating establishments the lakes area has to offer.
If there’s a place you want me to visit or a chef you have heard good things about, let me know. And maybe we’ll meet along the way and if you share the same passion for food as I do, we can share a meal together.
I hope you enjoy my new adventure.