Northern Minnesota shares the spotlight with Amy Theilen in the new Food Network show "Heartland Table".  The food-lifestyle show is filmed near Park Rapids, Minnesota - yes - that's right, Park Rapids - which just misses the Iron Range by a few miles, west of Grand Rapids. The series debuted on Food Network over the weekend, in advance of her new cookbook called "The New Midwestern Table: 200 Heartland Recipes,” which will be  published by Clarkson Potter - the company that also produces similar books by Ina Garten, Giada DeLaurentis, et al.


The New Midwestern Table: 200 Heartland Recipes,” published by Clarkson Potter. - See more at:

I made the discovery of the show and where it was filmed by accident; I tuned in to the premier episode while it was half-way over, without knowing anything about the show.  Instantly, I felt familiar with the show.  My kudos to Lidia Bastianich (herself a world-renowned chef and cookbook author) who is the producer:  I recognized that this show was filmed in Northern Minnesota without even having to be told;  The trees, the lake, the accents, the drinking glasses used at dinner --- I felt immersed in the part of the country that I grew up in without even knowing it.

I thankfully caught the rerun of the full episode the next day and my suspicions were confirmed:  Amy Theilen is a Minnesotan - and even better than that:  a NORTHERN Minnesotan! And, the show is excellent!

I found it very interesting and entertaining to watch a cooking-lifestyle show that focuses on the culture here in our area.  While I also enjoy seeing the kitchens and grocery stores where Ina Garten and Ree Drummond shop, I thoroughly enjoyed this new series from Food Network. It's nice to see that cable channel going back to what they do best:  cooking!  (Don't get me started on Food Networks over-abundance of challenge and reality shows....)

My unsolicited suggestion to you:  If you like to cook and/or if you're interested in watching a national show that's been produced right here in your backyard, check out Amy Theilen's Heartland Table.  And at the same time, save a place on your book shelf for her new cookbook called "The New Midwestern Table", which comes out September 24th.  I know that I'll be looking for a copy of that book myself!