Madden’s Food & Wine Weekend
If you have a short attention span and just want the take away, here it is: Mark your calendar for 2013, the last weekend in August before Labor Day with “Hold for Madden’s Food & Wine Event”. My wife, Julie, and I attended the 2012 event last weekend, and we had a great time. Maybe we’ll see you there next year!
Madden’s Resort is on Gull Lake in Brainerd, Minnesota about 150 miles north of Minneapolis / St. Paul. Madden’s is a classic Minnesota resort with several golf courses, Gull Lake, and a host of activities. The food and wine event is an annual weekend where Madden’s chefs pull out all the stops, as well as guest chefs from a number of Twin Cities restaurants. Several (non-Minnesota) wineries and Minnesota wine distributors collaborate to host dinners, wine tastings, and a variety of special food and/or wine related activities.
This was our first year to attend the event, but many people we spoke with have been coming up for it for several years. A wine tasting friend of ours, Michelle, had told us of the event this spring. She spoke highly of the weekend, so we decided to give it a try.
The event opens with a beach cookout on Friday night. Saturday during the day there are a variety of seminars, followed by the signature food & wine chef’s dinner. The final event is a nice brunch on Sunday with some special dishes courtesy of the chefs.
Note: click on a photo below to see the full size slide show.
- Tea 101 – Bill Waddington, owner of Tea Source
- Dessert and Sugar Sculpture – Amy DeSantos, Madden’s pastry chef
- Chocolate! – Brian McElrath of B.T. McElrath chocolates
- Oyster shucking and wine pairing – Jake Uttich from Oceannaire and Joe Toohey from St. Michelle Wine Estates
- Wine Tasting with Murphy-Goode winery representatives
The chef’s for the event included:
- Madden’s – Bob Schuld, Matias Latorre, Amy DeSanto, Mike Scofield, Rayan Reid
- St. Paul Grill – Lance Kappas
- Oceannaire – Jake Uttich
- Tria – Brian Bossert
- Enjoy! – Robert Hodges
- RJ’s – Ken Minder
- Pazzaluna – Seth Teiken & George Snyder
My final impressions: Madden’s did a wonderful job setting up and managing the event. The event is well attended, but not so large that you would feel lost. The seminars offered plenty of opportunity to interact with the leaders. The food events themselves were very well done; I never waited in line beyond one or two people ahead of me. Quality was uniformly high. They never ran out of anything, and everyone was very pleasant and professional. Well done!