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Renegade Chef: A community of communities

I think it’s pretty cool to be included in the very first edition of the Echo Journal. Having worked in many area restaurants over the years, I’ve come to know so many people and so many places — towns that seem far removed from each other, even though they are separated by only a few miles of highway.

My culinary career has taken me from Gull Lake and Nisswa, to Pequot Lakes, Breezy Point, Pine River and, currently, a little unincorporated town called Ossipee. I’ve never had to drive more than 15 minutes to get to any of these places and it always amazes me how little I know about the people and villages that exist, practically, in my own “back yard.”

We are forests and lakes and a cluster of towns that share a lot in common and I look forward to the expanded horizon of our local news, views and what’s happening in our community of communities.

The other day I heard a group discussing travel and all the exotic destinations they had listed on their “bucket lists” and planned to visit someday. One chose Ireland, another talked of Spain, and yet another said China was the place to be.

But one in the group said he didn’t want to go to any of those faraway places. There were too many places in America he had yet to see, he claimed, and that got me to thinking. Heck, there are a lot of places in Minnesota I’ve never been. Crow Wing County, Cass County — lots of places.

Put a pin somewhere in the circumference of the Echo Journal circulation district and then go and see what’s there.

For those of you who are new readers and expect to find this space filled with kitchen tips and culinary rules of procedure, I apologize. I don’t believe in rules. I am a renegade. But everyone gets hungry and regardless of what I have to say about anything, I always seem to come up with a recipe or two, just to offer a little “food for thought” as remedy for my nonsense.

Hopefully I can come up with something to please the folks in Backus, Pine River, Jenkins, Pequot Lakes, Crosslake, Breezy Point and Nisswa. And if you need directions, I can tell you how to get to that little place called Ossipee.