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Food expert, world traveler Simon Majumdar enjoys a taste of the Brainerd Lakes Area

Posted on: July 24th, 2013 by brainerdchamber
Brainerd Lakes Area food event

Now that the fireworks dust has settled, I’d like to share a story for your senses with you about a visitor to our great Brainerd Lakes Area over the Fourth of July.

Our new chum, Simon Majumdar, an author, world traveler, and food critic on The Next Iron Chef and Iron Chef America, visited our beautiful Brainerd Lakes Area for a “taste” of our Fourth of July festivities. You see Simon, a British citizen now living in Los Angeles with his American wife, is on an incredible edible journey to American citizenship. He is traveling the United States, via food adventures, to learn about our country. Simon, author of “Eat My Globe” and “Eating for Britain” is conducting research for his next book, “Fed, White & Blue.”

Brainerd Lakes Area bakeryThis story begins with a look at how small our world has become. One day in mid-March, Simon tweets, “Twitter chums, If I really wanted to experience July 4th at its July 4th-iest, for #fedwhiteandblue where would I head?”

Tim Klabunde, a Minnesota resident and frequent visitor to the Brainerd Lakes Area, responds, “Brainerd Lakes Area central MN. Small town parades, fairs and street dances. Doesn’t get much more American.” Tim further suggests a visit to Grand View Lodge and this sets a plan in motion, which results in Simon booking a flight to Minnesota.

An itinerary was put together for Simon that set our Brainerd Lakes Area apart from his previous adventures, such as learning how to bake a great American pie from Mary Etta Durham at Schaefer’s Foods in Nisswa. It doesn’t get much more authentic American than a homemade apple pie from one of the world’s best bakers, now sold under the brand Grandma Bettie Jane’s Pies.

Simon Majumdar visits Brainerd MinnesotaDuring his whirlwind adventure here July 3-5, Simon enjoyed:

  • Lunch at Prairie Bay Grill & Catering in Baxter, including great conversation with Nick Miller and Matt Annand.
  • Tour of Stars & Stripes Days in Pequot Lakes, including a run in the bed races and a visit with the doughnut cop – Pequot Lakes Police Officer Rich Hogan who operates a mini-doughnut stand. For real! And really good mini-doughnuts. You just can’t make that up.
  • Dinner at Cru – where Simon experienced his first hotdish – the delectable deconstructed tater tot hotdish – and introductions to staff by Chef Paul Fitzpatrick as well as a tour of the wine cellar.
  • A pontoon adventure on Gull Lake, including a stop at Ernie’s on Gull Lake.
  • An outdoor picnic, including army cot barbecue ribs, with the Gull Lake Cheneys as well as Grand View Lodge Executive Chef Michael Manders.
  • Tour and accommodations at Grand View Lodge.
  • Radio interview on WCCO with Chad Hartman.

Brainerd Lakes Area cuisineA toast to Simon – a perfect martini just the way you like it – for visiting our Brainerd Lakes Area. We look forward to your book, “Fed, White & Blue,” as well as your honest opinions on The Next Iron Chef, Iron Chef America, and Cutthroat Kitchen. But just don’t believe everything we see on TV! Simon is a most polite, interesting guy who refreshingly tells it like he tastes it. – Kathi Nagorski Leary, Communications Director

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