A trip with our FoodE expert group
Posted by the Lunds and Byerly’s FoodE Team
Wednesday, October 10, 2012
Every year, our team of in-store FoodE Experts has the opportunity to go on an annual group outing to further elevate our food knowledge and learn more about the extraordinary foods we offer in our stores. A couple of our past outings included visits to Pepin Heights Apple Orchard and Bushel Boy.
This year, we toured what the downtown culinary scene has to offer. The trip started in downtown Minneapolis with a tour of our newest Lunds store at 12th and Hennepin. We shopped for groceries we’d use later in the day and perused our beautiful new Wines & Spirits store.
Then it was off to the food trucks for sampling and lunch. We walked along the bustling streets of Minneapolis, tasting the best and most creative ‘street’ food around. The various mobile restaurants cater to the lunch crowd and offer every kind of delectable nourishment from crepes to beef to entice different appetites. Consensus for best treat was the lobster roll at the Smack Shack. We were surprised the roll wasn’t a roll, but toasted bread with a big chunk of lobster sticking out. Who would have thought a lobster roll could be purchased on the streets. Yum!
After lunching and munching, we stopped at The Fish Guys, our fish and seafood purveyors. The Fish Guys is a locally owned supplier of fresh seafood and freshwater fish for all 22 of our stores. It’s in a rather non-descript building of the warehouse district in downtown Minneapolis, but once inside, it feels like a direct link to the ocean.
We watched The Fish Guys’ highly skilled cutters slice through salmon, swordfish, sea bass, halibut and tuna, with barely any meat left on the bones. (The leftover bones are sent to a processing plant for oils to feed other animals).
A few of the key factors that set The Fish Guys apart:
- Buy large, whole fish, because of the higher yield of meat and better cuts for their customers – fish is direct from the source, with no middlemen involved
- Source fish from groups that follow environmental protection, sustainability, food safety and quality practices
- Special ozonated water used to clean everything from the fish and the tables, to the knives because it’s more powerful than bleach without added chemicals
This was a great experience learning how fresh and perfect the products are handled from entrance into the state, to expert filleting and cutting, to our stores’ cases and ultimately your table. It was inspiring to watch them work – they moved so quick and had such passion!
To top off an already fun outing, we had the pleasure of visiting Roth Distributing in Minnetonka. Roth is our area’s premier distributor for Wolf and SubZero luxury kitchen appliances. Lynette Bailey was our gracious hostess, touring us through 13 fully equipped kitchen vignettes. We enjoyed cabinetry gleaming in white to burnished cherry wood, flush-mounted steamers and deep fryers graced with marble countertops, and wine and beer cooling systems that were tucked nicely among custom designed counters. These are kitchens fit for royalty and the finickiest of chefs.
At the end of our tour we broke into four groups and made excellent use of the culinary center, prepping and cooking four new recipes. The menu included Mussels with White Wine and Garlic for a starter, Chopped Salad with Honey & Red Wine Vinaigrette, Sea Scallops with Cilantro Lime Beurre Blanc Sauce and a finale of Grilled Freestone Peaches with a sugar & spice Mascarpone Cheese topping.
We’re thrilled to be able to learn about our partners, distributors and, of course, new trends on the rise. These outings let us experiment and explore so we can bring that knowledge back to you. Look for your store’s FoodE next time you’re shopping – we’re happy to share our expertise!