Exploring Minnesota food culture

Perennial Plate Trailer HD from Daniel Klein on Vimeo.

As many of us are starting our seeds for our summer vegetable gardens, and are eagerly waiting the return of bountifully stocked farmers’ markets, Chef and filmmaker Daniel Klein is launching a video series to inspire Minnesotans to even greater locavore heights.

Starting next week, The Perennial Plate website will offer video installments of Klein’s exploration of Minnesota food culture.

Klein’s well suited to the task; he has trained to cook professionally and worked in several premiere restaurants (Thomas Keller’s Bouchon, for one). He’s also pursued a career in film, including directing “What are we doing here?” a look at how aid has failed to help nations in Africa emerge from poverty.

I decided to make [the perennial plate] in an attempt to combine my three passions… food, film and creating positive change in this world. More and more, what we eat is of paramount importance, and as I live in the Midwest, I’ve decided to make this show about the way I would like to eat here.

The Perennial Plate series will take viewers not only to cheese-makers, maple syrup producers, and CSA farmers, but will also accompany wild-ricers, hunters, and ice-fishermen — to show how one can eat conscientiously in Minnesota.

Klein will cook up some of what he harvests, too. In conjunction with the series, Klein is also hosting “Harvest Dinners,” celebrating the food of the season. Proceeds from the dinners, which take place at a nearby farm or Klein’s home, benefit the series.