We've all gotten this question or a variant of same...
"My mother-in-law... my former high school sweetheart... my old college roommate... my parole officer... an IRS auditor... (insert your favorite)... is coming for a visit. What should I serve them? Or where should I take them to dinner... or breakfast... or lunch, for drinks... or a snack... or for brunch?"
I just got my own variant of this question posed to me in a very big way. An aspiring filmmaker looking to learn as much as I can about the business, I was able to snag a very cool gig on the production team of a new film, STAY THEN GO, being shot in the Twin Cities August 27 through September 14. STAY THEN GO is the work of Twin Cities' own award-winning, internationally renowned film producer, Christine Walker, and Shelli Ainsworth, a supremely talented, nationally recognized playwright and filmmaker, who also happens to make her home here. STAY THEN GO is a compelling and complex story of a woman struggling to help her autistic son come into adulthood, and the central role that art plays in his journey.
The rub? Among my duties, I get to manage the beloved (and dreaded) CRAFT SERVICES TABLE. For those who don't know, a film's craft services table is the place where cast, crew and visitors go for meals, snacks, beverages and at least one "special treat" each day. It's running constantly, on-location, throughout the film shoot. Sometimes that means 15-hour days. Some craft services are good, some not so good. Some serve as a place of comfort and sustenance. Some are no more than a card table with stale bagels, weak coffee, gum and party-mix. For an independent film, where cast and crew are typically working for less-than-scale (or even free), the craft services table can serve as an important (perhaps only) form of compensation. Plus, making a film is physically demanding work for all concerned. So it better be good.
But why settle for good? Why not make it great? And what better way to accomplish that feat than to look to the Simple, Good and Tasty community for guidance and support? See, the thought occurred to me that while many of the cast and crew are local, we also have plenty of visitors coming into town from L.A and other parts unknown for a three-week stay. Why not give everyone, but especially our guests from out-of-town, a glimpse into the great local cuisine that the Twin Cities has to offer. Why not make this a Simple, Good and Tasty craft services table?
Immediately, ideas of things I'd like to share came to mind: donuts from Mojo Monkey, ice cream from places like Izzy's and La Crema... Maria's corn pancakes and Hell's Kitchen bison sausage bread and peanut butter. Everything Lucia's. Pizza from Broder's, Punch, Psycho Suzy's. Manny's Tortas. Grand Cafe, Victor's 1959 Cafe, Birchwood, Common Roots, Brasa. Fried walleye sandwiches. Excellent pho. Vegetarian dishes from places like French Meadow and Ecopolitan. I could go on forever and I haven't even lived in these parts that long.
So, I pose the question to the Simple, Good and Tasty community. You all know more than me. I've got a whole lot of company I need to feed and water for 15 days. What should I serve? What are your recommendations, for main courses, appetizers, drinks, the sweet and the savory to serve up a memorable banquet for these film folks? Let us know and we promise to keep you filled in on the daily eats and how they are received.
I'm all ears...and that reminds me...state fair corn on the cob...
Photo credit: Artist with sand from the Stay Then Go Facebook Page.
Denise Kulawik is a freelance writer now residing in Minneapolis, Minnesota. In addition to her work for Simple, Good and Tasty, her work has been published in the Boston Globe, The Arlington Advocate and The Journal of Healthcare Philanthropy. Ms. Kulawik's original screenplay, Music Lessons, is currently in development with New Globe films. Her last article for SGT was: Eating to Love: The Pause that Refreshes.