“…Expanding the horizons…Expanding the parameters…” – Beastie Boys

Minneapolis chef and sustainable food advocate Scott Pampuch joins The Iron Horse Hotel

June 19, 2011 (Milwaukee, WI) – Minneapolis chef and sustainable food advocate Scott Pampuch will take the reins in Food & Beverage at The Iron Horse Hotel (www.theironhorsehotel.com) on July 1. Owner Tim Dixon announced today that he has hired Pampuch to consult on all F&B operations for the award-winning 100-room experiential hotel, including the hotel’s restaurant Smyth, Branded bar, the 450-seat outdoor venue known as The Yard and all hotel banquets and special events. Pampuch will work with The Iron Horse Hotel’s culinary team and front-of-the-house F&B staff.

Founder of the acclaimed Corner Table restaurant in the Twin Cities, Pampuch (pronounced “pam-poo”) plans to bring his passion for fresh seasonal ingredients and simple Midwest cuisine to the thousands of guests that frequent The Iron Horse Hotel annually. He was voted one of Minnesota’s 25 top chefs by his peers and is the creator of Tour de Farm MN, a dinner series that celebrates local farmers and food artisans who cultivate their harvest.

The Executive Chef and Food & Beverage Director for Minnesota Valley Country Club, Pampuch (www.scottpampuch.com) has been sharing his musings on food and farms as the new host of Ovation’s “In Search of Food.” Episodes have included preparing a raw, vegan and gluten-free meal for musician and avocado farmer Jason Mraz and lunch for 300 hungry middle-school students, using healthful ingredients, within a strict time limit and a school-board-approved budget of $1.15 per child.

The transition from local restaurateur, to chef and F&B director at a regional country club, now to a top-rated hotel in the Midwest represents a progression for Pampuch, who will oversee a $5M multi-outlet venue at the award-winning Iron Horse Hotel.

“We’re thrilled to have Scott come on board,” said Dixon, who will turn to Pampuch to oversee his other culinary ventures, including Stack’d Burger Bar (www.stackedbar.com) and Dixon Development’s new hotel and F&B concepts.

Pampuch describes his cooking as simple, straightforward and seasonal, and a reflection of local agriculture. “I love the James Beard quote, ‘I don’t like gourmet cooking or ‘this’ cooking or ‘that’ cooking. I like good cooking.’” The chef teaches techniques through cooking classes that range from pig butchery to seasonal vegetarian dishes.

“Milwaukee is exploding on the sustainability scene, with inventive and flourishing operations like Sweet Water Organics and Growing Power’s Will Allen as a national leader on agriculture and food policy,” added Pampuch. “I’m excited to tap into these resources and continue to push the envelope on creative cuisine already happening at The Iron Horse Hotel.”

Pampuch’s food advocacy includes engagements on Minnesota Public Radio and other local TV and radio appearances, as well as national culinary events, syndicated television and a documentary. He was featured in “Primal Cuts: Cooking with America’s Best Butchers.” Awards have included Best Restaurants 2010: Farm to Table, Locavore of the Year, Best of Food + Dining 2009, Best Neighborhood Café 2009, all from Mpls. St. Paul Magazine; and Best Restaurants: Farm Fresh, Locally Raised, March 2006, Critics Choice: Chef-Driven Zagat Survey. He was a James Beard Awards Semi-Finalists in February 2008 and named Foodservice News Top 25 Chefs that same year.

The Iron Horse Hotel ranked #10 in the U.S. on Condé Nast Traveler’s 2011 Gold List and on the magazines “Hot List” of new hotels in 2009. The hotel was name Boutique Hotel of the Year in 2010 and 2011 by BLLA, on National Geographic Traveler Magazine “Stay List” 2009 and featured in the top 10 in all of the Americas by Tablet Hotels. The AAA Four Diamond Award winner ranked #11 of all U.S. hotels on TripAdvisor.com in 2010 and ranks #1 in Wisconsin on the influential guest review website.

Brigette Breitenbach, brigette@companybonline.com, 414.750.7298 office 414.750.3098 mobile

Heidi Nelson, heidi@harvest-pr.com, 612.246.4815 office

Tour de Farm 2012

As you all know Spring is upon us and that makes a lot of people look forward to what has become over the last three years known as “Farm Dinner Season.” People have been emailing and asking “When are the dates for Tour de Farm this year?” Well, here is your answer:

We are not scheduling any dates for Tour de Farm this year…

…this year, Tour de Farm is up to you. You choose a date, a location, the menu. Collaborate with some friends. Go and take every beautiful moment with friends and family and create memories that will last a lifetime.

We truly hope that you have been inspired to eat locally, visit farms, share time with friends as well as complete strangers over the dinner table and we encourage you to make that happen.

I will be posting some photos from past events and hopefully some of you will share your photos from those years as well. You can share them at the website or at the Facebook page:

I look forward to seeing your events, pictures, and ways that you make a Tour de Farm a personal and memorable experience.

Your Chef,

Scott Pampuch
Chef/cook/eater/dirt lover

Chicknic at Riverbend Farm

Wouldn’t it be nice if Tour de Farm was just this simple.  It’s not.

It starts with some of this (whatever that might be.)


Some of this gets added in.


Then there’s a bit of this thrown in.


A lot of this gets done.

(And there also seems to be quite a bit of this.)

This time, it was not a beautiful day at the farm.  It was hot and muggy and the bugs were thick as a carpet.   Doesn’t matter though.  On this day, we had 4 amazing women cooking for us.  Their sense of fun and humor won out the day and created one of the best events we’ve ever had.

Our chefs were Michelle Gayer from Salty Tart, Solveig Tofte from Sun Street Bakery, Molly Herman from Kitchen in the Market and Sheela Namakkal.  They were wonderful.  Equally as wonderful were their signature drink creations to be paired with Parallel 45 vodka.  If you weren’t there… well, we’re sorry.

Photographs are the sole property of Kris Hase and can not be used without her permission.  You can, however, purchase prints if you like.



Hey, Tour de Farm with Stewart Woodman at Axdahl’s farm… is soon

This is the behind the scenes that very few people get to see at the farm, the amount of land that is being managed and the planning that goes into what most people think of as “farming”.  Well, there is more work that most could imagine to get you those great tomatoes, cucumbers, and sweetcorn that Axdahls are known for.

If you are wondering what Stewart and Heidi have up their sleeve.  Start here… then… here

Better get tickets here.….you do NOT want to miss this.

If you have ever been up to stillwater you may recognize this location.  But what most people don’t know is all the work that goes into the behind the scenes of this farm that has been providing food for the Twin Cities for over 30 years.  Learn a bit more about the history of the farm.

This is something that you see at the farm and around farmers markets, this sign.  Take a look here and see what goes into getting a making great Minnesota grown food.


And now for something a bit different…..Tour 2011

Stewart Woodman @ Axdahl’s Family Farm
June 27 : 3:30pm

In times past, Shefzilla himself, Chef Stewart Woodman ofHeidi’s Restaurant in Minneapolis has been rather outspoken in his questioning of the local food movement (a bi-product of which is seen in this video), so we invited him to head up our first dinner of the season at Axdahl’s Farm in Stillwater to try going local for himself. We are thrilled that he took us up on the invitation and can’t wait to taste the results!

Axdahl’s Farm overlooking the St. Croix River in Stillwater is the perfect backdrop for this dinner as they’re not your average family farm. They grew their business from roadside stand into one of the (if not the) largest sustainable farms in the Minnesota with their produce found in grocery stores, restaurants, and distributed around the region.

If you are reading this, you can buy tickets before anyone else right here.   


Tour de farm 2011

We understand that everyone is waiting to hear the farms, dates and chef’s for this years tour.  We are just as excited as you.  So, we will start hinting at the farms and chef’s here and on twitter in the next couple of days and get all of the information released starting next week.

The main reason that the details are being worked out is that this year we are going to change up the tour as you know it.  We have over the past two years worked with the chef’s and farms that you know and love for getting you the true “local” food that you have come to support and love here in the twin cities area.  We are thankful to everyone of the chef’s that have given of their time on Sundays to come and share in what is truly a labor of love for one and all.   The farms are simply amazing and have been so gracious to open up their homesteads to us and give us that look into what really goes into what makes local food so special.

So, with all that said, here is how this year is going to be different.  We are going to be having chef’s that you may or may not associate with the “local” food movement.  We are going to take chef’s that have dabbled in the farm to chef connection and give them an opportunity to really experience what it is like to work with a farmer leading up to the dinner and creating a meal based on what the land and mother nature provide for us. This will be an entirely new experience for the chefs.  There are some very exciting names on this list.

We are also focusing on a couple of farms that truly have given us a sense of home on their farm. We are also trying a couple of new ones, that have over the years just quietly been feeding everyone and you may or may not have heard of them.

We are also branching out and working with the James Beard Foundation this year on a dinner that will bring a national chef to the twin cities and it will be a fundraiser for the JBF.

We look forward to seeing you on the farm

Make sure you follow us on twitter @tourdefarm

New Years Eve

We said it would be magical… and it was.  Diners stepped down from their 74 seat carriage,  toured the facilities and then entered the toasty warm, beautiful barn all decked out in it’s New Year’s finery.

Not only was the barn beautiful but we were also serving charcuterie and bubbles.

Lovely volunteer Emily, is the meat tour guide.

Light of the Moon band played music for the arriving guests.


They said it could not be done. Welcome to Tour De Farm New Years Eve

New Years Eve Tour de Farm Update – Please Read!

Few tickets remain and the bus is filling up quickly. If you haven’t done so already, please respond via email a “yes we’re taking the bus!” or “no thanks, we’ll be driving!” (directions below) and any dietary restrictions or vegetarian requests. Email: information@tourdefarmmn.com.

NOTE: Pick up location has changed!

A block south of Corner Table is the Cremation Society of Minnesota who is donating their parking lot to us! Yay no street parking! Address is: 4343 Nicollet Ave. Minneapolis, MN 55409


5:00pm Bus will load at Cremation Society of Minnesota parking lot; Bus will depart at 5:30pm sharp (aka we are not holding the bus for late-comers!)
7:00pm Reception at Star Thrower Farm
8:00pm 5-course Dinner, Music + New Years Eve Toast
12:30am Bus departs Star Thrower Farm; Arriving at Cremation Society of Minnesota at 1:30am

What to Wear:

Although the barn will have heaters, please dress warm. Layers and Minnesota winter wear– hats, scarves, and mittens – a base layer, warming layer, wind protection & warm boots are suggested over sequin dresses and stilettos. Blankets may be helpful for warmth as well!

Directions to the farm:

Take State Hwy 7 West from the Twin Cities. Time: about 45-60 minutes.

As you enter Silver Lake, turn Left at Grove Ave/County Hwy 2. Follow through town until you come to Gehlen Drive (which is also County Hwys 25 & 2). Follow Hwy 2 until you arrive at 16545 County Road 2, Glencoe, MN 55336. Note: 170th Street is the last cross street and the farm will be on your right. Time: about 10-15 minutes.


We have checked with all the weather sources and feel that there is not enough of a threat to cancel this dinner. It is December in Minnesota and we love this weather. The bus will be leaving at 5:30 sharp and we will be in contact with the bus the entire way to monitor the schedule of arrival. We have allotted some extra travel time to a lot for the weather. We are going to celebrate the seasons like we have done all season long with Tour de Farm and this one will be especially amazing.

See you soon!

The Tour de Farm Team

New Year’s Eve 2010 – How Local Will You Be?

So, by now, we hope you have heard that Tour de Farm is doing a New Year’s Eve dinner at a beautiful old barn in Glenco, MN.  We are amazed by how lucky we are to be able to celebrate the New Year and the fabulous food being grown & raised in Minnesota!

Getting ready for you!

We are going to start the night off with some warm mulled wine and hot apple cider. This will be a great time to get to know some of your dinner friends and mingle a bit while learning more about the farm.

Star Thrower Farm makes amazing cheese as well as some amazing Icelandic lamb meat. To learn more about the heard they have just check out the website.

We are going to start the night off with some very warm heriloom pumpkin soup using pumkin from our friends at Tangletown Gardens.

Next we will be having some great sausage that we are making this week at Corner Table. We are using herbs that were harvested by Debra from Star Thrower that they grew on thier property this year as well as garlic.

The next couple of courses, well, I don’t think I want to tell you everything right now, but there will be cheese, lamb, caramelized Brussels sprouts, lamb bacon, cream, and the dessert if going to have honey, ricotta and , of course, some great cheeses from Debra and Scott’s hard work.

The locals think you should wear wool, a lot of it.

If you can’t join us for the Tour de Farm Event, make a reservation for dinner at Corner Table. We are doing a three course dinner for $65 with wine pairings. Please call 612-823-0011 for reservations.

We can’t wait to spend New Year’s Eve with you!

Here is what the barn looks like as of Thursday.  Nice and warm.

Tour de Farm: Rogotzke Family Farm

Gosh, this was an exciting dinner.  We even got to see the forest in the rosé.

We were so very lucky to share this beautiful day with each other and our guests at the Rogotzke Family Farm.  It could not have been lovelier.  Dave Rogotzke (maple syrup maker and salmon fisherman) shared with us more than his land,  he shared his passion and knowledge for the trees, his land, the water and his relationship with all things that live and breathe therein.  Then we were doubly blessed by fisherman, activist and author Steve Dahl coming and talking with us about the life and laws governing the fishing he does on Lake Superior.

The chef that made our beautiful dinner was Scott Graden from New Scenic Cafe.  Wine was brought by Chuck Kanski, of Solo Vino and  beer was provided by Lake Superior Brewing.

Photographs are the sole property of Kris Hase and can not be used without her permission.  You can, however, purchase prints if you like.