Andy Mooney was born with a rolling pin in his hand. The pastry chef and owner of Red Bench Bakery in Chaska loves to tell people, “‘I’ve wanted to do this for the last 20 years.’ I’m only 34.”

The explosion of food trucks in the Twin Cities is a recent development, and following on its heels is another: the transition from food truck start-up to full-fledged, brick-and-mortar restaurant. Much of this type of expansion has occurred within Minneapolis and St.

Chef Aaron Anderson arrived in Minnesota after a three-year stint in Hawaii, and he’s bringing some Hawaiian ideas and ingredients into play with more traditional Minnesota offerings for a bright, fresh take on event food at Hazeltine National Golf Club.

In three short years, Tavern 4&5 has turned an inconspicuous corner near Highway 212 and 78th Street into a drive-worthy destination that serves pub food with a twist, topped off with a cocktail menu and 22 draft beers.

While a background in graphic design and photography might not seem like a natural pathway to winemaking, it makes perfect sense after chatting with Ben Banks, the award-winning winemaker at Sovereign Estate in Waconia.

Three generations of women influence the authentic Mexican flavors found at Chaska My Love in downtown Chaska.

Chris Dmochowski, executive chef at Eden Prairie’s Campiello restaurant, came to the highly respected D’Amico family after a varied culinary career that took him all over the United States for the past 16 years.

Mmm…bacon, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways: Smoked, fried, baked, grilled and the list goes on. Bacon has been elevated to near cult status in recent years and appears in a range of innovative dishes both savory and sweet.

The days are getting longer and the temperatures are rising. It’s time for lunch on the patio, dinners by the lake and menus rich with the season’s best variety. With fresh fruits and vegetables, salads take on creative twists with bold flavor combinations.

ONLINE HED:  Restaurants: Whole Grain Dishes in Eden Prairie, Chanhassen, Victoria and Chaska