For the second time, Duluth’s Dan Willeck has won a slice of heaven — in 2011, he won an all-expenses-paid trip to Naples, Fla., and this year he’ll head to Amelia Island, Fla., for the championship round of the A1 National Meat Cutting Challenge. After competing against 86 other butchers in Orlando, Fla., last week, Willeck proved he’s a cut above the competition.
In April, Willeck will compete for a grand prize of $20,000 and the “Meat Cutter of the Year” title.
As a meat cutter, Willeck is responsible for hand-cutting every steak served at Duluth’s Texas Roadhouse. In an average year, each will cut about $1 million worth of meat and spend seven to eight hours a day in the 35-degree walk-in cooler where he works making sure the meat stays fresh. Brrr.
Just … brrr.
The Salvation Army wants you to donate to the Salvation Army food shelf during Minnesota FoodShare Month.
Minnesota FoodShare’s “March Campaign” is encouraging Northland residents to give to the local Salvation Army. Money goes further than foodstuffs, said Major Bill Cox, a Salvation Army spokesman.
“Each dollar goes a long way,” Cox said. “If you want to do the most good, a $10 gift to us will go further than purchasing $25 worth of groceries on your own.”
The reason, Cox said, is that through its network of retailers and food banks, the Salvation Army can purchase pallets of food for as little as 12 cents per pound, or purchase milk for less than $2 per gallon.
But, Cox says, if people are looking for a more tangible item to give, “peanut butter is perfect. We never have enough of it, and it’s always a welcome protein for families — especially kids.”
To donate financially, bring or mail a donation to the Salvation Army, 215 S. 27th Ave. W., Duluth, MN 55806, or by phone by calling (218) 722-7934. Nonperishable food items can also be brought to the location listed above.
The Ruby’s Pantry Coppertop Food Distribution that was postponed due to last week’s snowstorm is back on for Thursday at First United Methodist Church (the Coppertop Church), 230 E. Skyline Parkway. Registration begins at 4 p.m. and distribution follows at 5:30.
College of St. Scholastica first-year students will host “Thanksgiving in the Spring” on Feb. 26 at various local agencies and for people who are homebound.
If you’re homebound and you want a meal, you need to get your order in today. To place your order, call (218) 723-6484.
The meal, prepared and served by the 381 freshmen in the college’s Dignitas program, consists of turkey, potatoes, cranberries, muffins, carrots and apple pie.
In addition to the homebound, the students will serve their February Thanksgiving dinner at the Damiano Soup Kitchen, CHUM, Myers-Wilkins Collaborative, San Marcos, Kids Cafe, Life House, Lakeland Shores, Salvation Army, Rainbow Center, CASDA, Aftenro and Union Gospel Mission.
Willeck, lean and mean from cutting off the gristle, has moved on to the semifinals of a national meat-cutting challenge presented by A1.
The competition is Feb. 25 at the Ice Factory in Kissimmee, Fla., and Willeck will be going up against 87 other professional meat cutters from around the nation. The prize is the title Meat Cutter of the Year, and a purse of $20,000.
According to a statement, Willeck is responsible for hand-cutting every steak served at Duluth’s Texas Roadhouse. In an average year, he will cut about $1 million worth of meat, working in frigid conditions. Literally. He works in a 35-degree walk-in refrigerator.
For the competition, Willeck and other participants will receive 30 to 40 pounds of beef. The contestants will speed-cut two sirloins, one filet and one ribeye. The cutters are judged on quality, yield and speed.
The competition is part of a program created by the Texas Roadhouse chain.
Forget about over-easy and medium rare.
The best answer to “How would you like your (blank) prepared” is “with local ingredients, please.”
The Art of Local Food is from 6-8:30 p.m. Feb. 27 at the Depot and is a fundraiser and silent auction for the Duluth Community Garden Program and the Arrowhead Chefs Association.
The event includes a four-course gourmet dinner by local chefs using local products. The chefs also will talk about each dish. The silent auction features visual, culinary and gardening arts.
Tickets are $40 and available online</a> and at the Community Garden office, Duluth Grill, Whole Foods Co-op.
Have you ever said: “Oh, yeah? I’ll be an Olympic athlete as soon as they make beer drinking a sport”?
Well, Wise Guy, assume the pint pout position.
Fitger’s Brewhouse now has a Sochi Series in honor of the Games. According to Growler magazine, it’s an entire concept that includes seven beers, T-shirts, screenprints and themed pint glasses done by Maxwell McGruder.
Things got a little competitive behind the scenes, according to mnbeer.com.
For example: IPA was pitted against IPA: One with 25 hops from around the world, the other with 25 hops from the United States.
World IPA, Back End Wee Heavy, Slippery Slope Stout and USA IPA are available at the Brewhouse. USA IPA and World IPA are at Burrito Union, and USA Curling Capital is at Redstar.
All seven beers are available at the Rathskellar in the basement of Tycoons. For more info on the beer, go to mnbeer.com.
Coffee is, in the opinion of Eh?, more essential than perhaps any other beverage — outside of water. So naturally, Eh? is curious how it is produced, from bean to cup.
Alakef Coffee Co. is planning a talk at the Duluth Public Library’s Green Room, 520 W. Superior St., at 2 p.m. Saturday.
The free presentation will discuss in detail how a seed turns into the greatest liquid awesomeness ever.
Samples of coffee varieties will be available while supplies last, so wear your coffee-drinking cap.
Just when we thought all the hoopla about downtown Duluth’s holiday pop-up stores had calmed down, this comes our way.
Yeah, that got our attention. And Eh? thought it might get yours.
The Frost River Trading pop-up store at 305 W. Superior St. will be joined by several other Lincoln Park businesses from 4-7 p.m. today.
There’ll be samples from Bent Paddle Brewing Co., catered treats from the Duluth Grill and boat building demonstrations. All happening amid Frost River’s offerings of waxed canvas packs and bags, and other hardy, American-made items. And of course, they’d love it if you do a little shopping while there.
First Lutheran Church may have canceled its lutefisk dinner, but for those Northlanders who cannot go without the taste of that lutefisk on their lips, there is a new hope: Elim Lutheran Church will have its own lutefisk dinner.
Elim Lutheran Church, 6101 Cody St., is selling tickets to its lutefisk dinner. The church is asking those interested to call the church office, (218) 624-2690. The dinner is set to run from 4:30-6:30 p.m. today.