As featured in The Laker, The Pioneer and the Sun Sailor newspapers by Katie Morford on July 1.
Published July 1, 2015
With her first book, Mound resident Tiffany Winter combined her love of food and Lake Minnetonka by creating “Lake Minnetonka Eats,” a cookbook highlighting local restaurants.
She explained that her appreciation from the lake started in her childhood.
“I was so spoiled living around the lake growing up,” she said. “I spent every summer on the lake swimming and boating.”
After attending Mound Westonka High School Winter went to the University of Minnesota and majored in marketing and entrepreneurial management. She quickly returned to the Lake Minnetonka area after college.
“I just couldn’t stay away,” she said.
Winter worked in corporate marketing and went on to earn her MBA from St. Thomas while working full-time.
“That’s really when I got the idea for this book,” Winter said. “I had been attending night classes with a full-time job so when I finished school I thought, ‘Gee, what am I going to do with all my free time.’”
“I’m a huge foodie,” she said. “I love going out to all the restaurants around the lake.”
“I love to cook. I read cookbooks,” she said.
Thus, this cookbook. “I decided to give it a go,” Winter said.
She started the process of putting the cookbook together in the spring of 2014. Now, over a year later, “Lake Minnetonka Eats” is ready.
The 128-page hardcover book features not only recipes but also photos of the food and restaurants and information about food-focused area events and local farm-to-table options.
Restaurants with recipes in the book include Dakota Junction, Lafayette Club, Lord Fletcher’s, Scotty B’s, The Narrows Saloon, Excelsior Brewing Company, Al & Alma’s and
According to Winter, a big challenge with putting “Lake Minnetonka Eats” together was the time involved in working with the many busy restaurants to obtain both the recipes and the photography.
“I got so many recipes in chef-speak,” Winter said. “I had to reformat the recipes into cook-speak, so that was a challenge too.”
For example, one recipe called for the cook to make a tomato fumet, but didn’t explain what that was. So, Winter developed explanations and descriptions and checked back with the chefs to make sure she got it right.
She’s made many of the recipes and her favorites include the Bayside Grille Smoked Gouda & Lager Fondue, the 318 Cafe Southwest Quinoa Salad and the Dakota Junction Thai Chicken Salad.
Through her collaboration with Dakota Junction, Winter learned of their collaboration with Gale Woods Farm which prompted her to highlight the farm and local farmers markets.
Winter’s favorite part about putting the book together was getting to meet local restaurateurs and learn the story of their establishments and their dishes. She wasn’t sure how restaurants would respond.
“I was petrified of asking them, ‘will you please give me your recipe for my book?’” Winter said.
Working with the restaurants went well, and was a learning experience for Winter.
“I really enjoyed getting to know the owners and the chefs,” she said. “You go to a restaurant all the time but you don’t know there story a lot of times and it makes it so much more special when you know what they stand for.”
“They gave me a recipe but, really, I’m telling their story to people,” Winter added.
Since it went well, Winter says another cookbook certainly isn’t out of the question.
“The restaurants have been asking that because a lot of them just thought it was such a great idea,” she said. “I think it would be kind of fun to do a few different issues of this because it kind of gives you a snapshot of the landscape of restaurants around the lake at a given time.”
During the process of putting the book together Winter also started another venture—her own marketing company. Winter launched Cooks Bay Marketing in January of 2015, named after the bay of Lake Minnetonka that she grew up on.
“I’ve always had the entrepreneurial bug,” Winter said. “So, I took the plunge.”
According to Winter, venturing out on her own is going well so far. She’s worked with a variety of clients from banks to a retail store and an IT security firm.
Winter will be hosting a free public book launch event for the cookbook at Bayview Event Center on July 21 from 5:30-8 p.m. The book is available at www.lakeminnetonkaeats.com and area gift shops.