“…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.


Read more…

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.

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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.

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