As featured in the Lakeshore Weekly News by writer Amanda Schwarze.
Celebrating Lake Minnetonka's Food Culture about the Lake Minnetonka Eats book on July 1.
Tiffany Winter loves food and Lake Minnetonka, and her first book is a celebration of both.
“Lake Minnetonka Eats” highlights several local restaurants, each of which has a place in the book with photos, stories and a recipe from the establishment. The book also delves into other areas of food culture, including farm-to-table eating and festivals with a food focus.
“It’s a lifestyle book, so even if you don’t cook you can enjoy it,” Winter said.
While growing up on Cooks Bay in Mound, Lake Minnetonka played a major role in Winter’s life. She remembers every summer day was centered on the lake. During the winter, she would meet her best friend who lived across Cooks Bay from her in the middle of the frozen bay.
After graduating from Mound Westonka High School, Winter moved to Minneapolis to attend the University of Minnesota. There she studied marketing and entrepreneurial management. She worked in corporate marketing for about nine years after graduating, and during that time she earned her graduate degree at St. Thomas. She eventually decided that she wanted to work for herself, and this January Winter started her own business called Cooks Bay Marketing.
Years of living away from Lake Minnetonka made Winter miss the area, and she has moved back to Mound. Most of her good friends from high school have also returned.
“Being away made us realize that we really had it good here,” she said. “There’s a special spirit around the Lake Minnetonka area. I really love it here.”
The emerging food scene was also a draw for Winter, who describes herself as a foodie. She can remember a handful of restaurants that were in the area while she was growing up, but that has changed.
“There are so many amazing places to go. There’s something for everyone. There are places you can go with your kids and not spend too much money, and elegant restaurants where you can celebrate an anniversary or birthday,” Winter said.
As she was eating out at the restaurants around the lake, she got to know a lot of the chefs and owners, and the stories behind their establishments. When she started working on the book, 25 restaurants agreed to participate and submit a recipe.
“I really wanted to tell their stories. Their recipes give a glimpse into those stories,” Winter said.
There are a mix of recipes from appetizers, soups, entrees and desserts, including Strawberry Watermelon Salad, Campstyle Walleye, Smoked Gouda and Lager Fondue and Brownie Enormous. Excelsior Brewing officials also chipped in by giving beer pairings for the recipes.
Additionally, people can read about farm-to-table eating options in the area, including farmers markets and Gale Woods Farm. There is also information about local festivals that are known for food, such as Apple Day in Excelsior, Spirit of the Lakes in Mound, and James J. Hill Days and the Chilly Open in Wayzata.
Winter said the book is a snapshot of the current food culture in the area.
“Maybe in a few years I’ll do another book to be a snapshot of that time,” she said.