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Fairgoers at the Great Minnesota Get-Together who observe a kosher diet have a friend in Rabbi Avi Olitzky of Beth El Synagogue in St. Louis Park.

The force behind MSP Kosher ( provides free kosher supervision to Twin Cities dining destinations — from Sebastian Joe’s Ice Cream Cafe and the Herbivorous Butcher to Nothing Bundt Cakes and the New Hope branch of Dunkin’ Donuts.

Use these guides to explore the fair

And the fair. Following his previous certifications of Fresh French Fries and Sweet Martha’s Cookie Jar, Olitzky has turned his organization’s attention to the Ribar family’s Corn Roast stand (Dan Patch Av. and Nelson St.)

“It rounds out completing our initial goal of certifying three of the most popular stands,” he said. “And since the ingredients and process is so straightforward, it makes it incredibly simple.”

He noted that many kosher observant fairgoers may have consumed the stand’s sweet corn in the past, but if they did so, they likely steered clear of the butter dip.

“However, this year, they can rest assured,” said Olitzky. “Not only is the corn unadulterated and the equipment is only used to roast the corn, but the butter dip is made from certified kosher butter. Frankly, that is one of the differentiators for the Corn Roast at this fair and from other vendors. As opposed to chemicals, or flavor oils, or butter products, the butter dip is made from actual butter.”

When it comes to the State Fair, Olitzky isn’t stopping at three.

“We’re hopeful that others will continue to follow this trend and reach out to us subsequent to this year’s fair,” he said.


The fair’s Princess Kay competition

Daniel Klein and Mirra Fine, the Perennial Plate filmmakers from Minneapolis, have chronicled the competition for Princess Kay of the Milky Way, from milking cows to the carving of the butter heads, in their latest video. It’s a delightful look behind the scenes. Find it at or on their website,

State fair sightings

A recipe on a stick and where else but the state fair! The recipe for Orange Chocolate Cookies is from the soon-to-be-published “The Great Minnesota Cookie Book” (by Rick Nelson and me). It will be handed out on each Thursday of the fair (Taste day for newsprint readers!) from 10 a.m.-noon when I will do the honors, and on Wednesday of the fair (Aug. 29) from 2-3:30 p.m., when Rick passes them out. Find us at the Star Tribune booth (on Carnes Avenue at the end of the Grandstand ramp). We’d love to talk cookies.

Support the youth

Brasa restaurant (in Minneapolis and St. Paul) presents a farm-to-table dinner on Sept. 16 as a fundraiser for Youth Farm, a year-round program for those ages 9 to 24, which involves leadership and agricultural education. The dinner will be held at Youth Farm’s site (128 W. 33rd St., Mpls.) from 4-7 p.m. Dinner includes three courses crafted by the chefs of Brasa, with dessert from Alma, wines from the Wine Co., beer from Able Seedhouse + Brewery and cocktails from Tattersall Distilling. Garden tours will be provided. Cost is $120; for tickets before Sept. 1, use the promo code YFBrasa to get $21 off the price. For more details about Youth Farm, see Tickets are available through eventbrite at

A cookbook bonanza

Mark the calendar for Sept. 15 from noon to 4 p.m. for your chance to meet local cookbook authors and chefs at Lunds + Byerly’s (3777 Park Center Blvd., St. Louis Park, 952-929-2100) for a free outdoor gathering. Authors include Raghavan Iyer, Katie Chin, Beth Dooley, Robin Asbell, Betsy Nelson, Amalia Moreno Damgaard. Any donations will go to St. Louis Park’s Cooking Matters and Kids Cafe.