Thursday, September 6, 2012

2012 Minnesota State Fair Golden Whisk Award

Alright, I know that  many of you have been waiting with great anticipation to find out which State Fair presentation in the Saint Agnes Demo Kitchen will win the coveted 2012 Golden Whisk award.

For those of you who are new, this award goes to the presenter who came to the Fair with the most complete demo.



Production value of handouts


These are the categories that I judge the shows on, there is no ribbons or trophies given out for this honor.
It's just my way to relive the highlights of 48 shows.

In past years Debora Drower & James Freid won for "Making Ice Cream in the Office Place"

Then there was Patrick Phundstein's "History of Milling" where he brought 1000#'s of props onto the Fairgrounds in an army duffel bag.

Last year, Lee Svitak Dean did the unthinkable and won even though she was show #1 of 48. It's pretty hard to splash that hard in a lead off role, but she did a spaetzle demo that was simply the cats meow.

Before we get started though........

I would like to hand out some "Christopher Columbus Awards" to.......

Arlene Coco - Who traveled from Duluth

Sue Doeden - Who traveled from Bemidji

Joan Gerland - Who traveled from Wisconsin

Laura Bender - Who traveled from close to the U.P.

This is commitment, and the State of Minnesota is deeply in your debt. It is women like you that have made the Minnesota State Fair the greatest in the Nation.


Klecko -

"Hey Lia Syse, your Apple Bundt looks awesome, have you won any baking awards?"

Lia Syse -

"No, not for baking."

Klecko -

"But you have won other awards?"

Lia Syse -

"Yeah, I'm a gamer and I won the Gears of War video game contest. It's satisfying knowing that you have the ability to destroy the dreams of 15 year old boys."

The Creative Activities exploded in laughter after that proclomation.


Without a doubt that would be Sue Doeden. She did several Honey Date Bar demo's that were fantastic.

Some people have good looks......

Some people have good speech........

Some people use good tools.........

But Sue has/had all of these. It is EZ to put together a good demo if you really want to work at it, but I'm thinking Doeden has the grit to deliver on a Julia Childs level.

Her presentation may have had some of the best production value that ever came into the demo kitchen.


This is a no brainer....Htom Trites wins this award hands down. In addition to doing a Lime Bars and Cherry Bars presentation (which I should add, might have had 100 props combined) he also did an Understanding your Bundt Pan demo where he brought upwards of 40 Bundt Pans.

Htom actually needed a hauling cart, cardboard boxes and duck tape just to get these items from point A to point B.

O-M-G......that guy is epic.


I hate to be a weasel, but I'm going to have to list 2.

Arlene Coco made a Jambalaya Hotdish that had me drooling within minutes. Alrene may live in the northern part of our great State, but she grew up in the Big Easy.

Kim Ode made the "Sweet Goods" that I most desired. It was a spin off of the Betty Crocker - Tunnel of Fudge Bundt......but Kim's was a Red Velvet Bundt that she tunneled with a rhubarb-cream cheese.

I shared it with the Admin girls next door and they gushed with joy.


Beth and the Biscuit not only brought her own sound track, but she also melted the audience with a southern accent that almost made you wish you were attending a State Fair in Dixie.

Mrs. Minnesota 2012 Leah Nicholson w/o a doubt had the most fashionable costume that entered the kitchen this year. Not only did she sport the feminine version of an Uncle Sam suit.....but she made it herself.

Who knows, addition to the kitchen, she should consider trying out for Project Runway Season 11. Who knows????? After all, I do have an in with Heidi.

Keeping with the theme, Ice Cream moguls Debora Drower and James Freid made the most unusual item. In was so creepy (in a cool kinda way) I almost doubt that Andrew Zimmern would scarf on it. In addition to many culinary musings, these crazy kids brought a fish shaped Jello mold and made a gray fish.
The finished product was slimier than a real fish, and when Drower and Freid became bored....

They haphazardly splashed the fish exterior with edible silver glitter.

Those 2 kids always seem to take my Klecko senses to new levels and may be one of the few tandems that have an automatic invite to any and all future shows.


Most years I try to balance the shows with established presenters as well as new talent.

This year, I might have to say some of my most special moments in the kitchen were with Darlene Anderson and her daughter Katrina. Her demo was Banana Peanut Butter Bars...and it was good. But these to woman overtook the kitchen later in the Fair when I was starting to wilt.

Darlene and Katrina not only did a great job with their show....but they went out of their way to show me love, and there has to be a mention for that.

Thanks D&K for being so nice to me.


On the Sunday before Labor little Granddaughter M-Rose came to the Fair with Sue McGleno and my daughter Kiki and her husband J.R.

As much fun as the Fair can is always better when you are there with family.

At the beginning of show #44 of little 3 1/2 year old Granddaughter introduced her Papi and said...."WELCOME TO THE SHOW." and then within seconds she bolted off stage left to go secure large volumes of cotton candy with Sue McGleno

DRUM ROLE PLEASE..........................................................



Kelly is one of the few presenters that I brought in from the Minnesota Food Bloggers site called Fortify.

Kelly has always done interesting Blog posts so I asked her if she would be interested and let me tell you....

Her vibe is to talk about the need for having access to single serving recipes.

Well.......about 4 hours before showtime, this young woman wheels in a gigantic suitcase filled with who knows what.

She was with other adults from her family, but the thing I remember the most is how she had a nephew tagging along with her.

At a moment like this it would have been EZ for Kelly to be locked into her own world, but she was very sensitive and deliberate when answering the 10 billion questions that this little boy hurled at her.

As showtime drew closer.....Kelly set up a portable kitchen like I have never seen in close to 500 shows.

All this culinary apparatus was certainly enough to nominate her for the golden whisk....but then I saw her hand outs.

WOW......she had 4 color professionally designed recipes that were worthy of a glossy mag.

I was pretty impressed.

But then....get this, then when the audience was assembled, Kelly pulls out a big Bible like looking book.

Then she smiles and says....................

"In my kitchen at home, I leave this book open and anybody who comes over to my house is free to sign it. I really enjoy looking back and remembering some of my fondest moments, but then I got to thinking....this may be the biggest kitchen I ever get the chance to cook in, and I would be really honored if you folks would take the time to sign my book."

What a classy move.

And when the presentation was over.......Kelly's groupies swarmed the stage to add to her memories of this special day.

About a million hours later when her fans thinned out, and she packed all her gear away, her family filed into the kitchen to thank me for allowing Kelly the opportunity to present.

I felt kinda weird cuz.....truth be told, the pleasure was all mine.

Nice job Kelly.    


  1. What fun this was to read -- felt like i was sweating it out in the CAB myself -- and all those drool-worthy treats

  2. Klecko, I'm filing this away in my "warm fuzzy" file. Whenever I need a boost, I'll pull it out to read it again. I had a great time in your demo kitchen at the fair. I do appreciate your kind words, too. You're the best!
    Sue Doeden

  3. Waaaaaaaay to go Kelly!!! You deserve it!! You are an amazingly talented woman!! Thanks for sharing it with the rest of the world!!Keep up the good work, keep blogging and CONGRATULATIONS from Chicago!! xoxo kristine knutson