Creative cooks and books take part in Hostfest

Jen Brodal/MDN Jeanne Cooney visits Norsk Hostfest this year with a new book release, the first of a possible new series.

Kristi Bissell is a newcomer this year to the Norsk Hostfest’s Nordic Kitchen.

Bissell, who was invited to share her talents at the Hostfest in 2020 before the shutdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic, is happy to be present at this year’s event.

Bissell lives in Omaha, Nebraska, and has online Scandinavian cooking and baking classes offered through Vesterheim Folk Art School in Iowa and the American Swedish Institute in Minneapolis, where Bissell is originally from.

When Bissell is not busy curating her website true-north-kitchen.com, she is filming in her kitchen for her online classes and blog. She said she keeps telling people a book is coming, but it is at present on the back burner, as she has been so busy building content for her food blog over the last four years.

Stig Hansen, returning this year with his Danish culinary masterpieces, has frequented Hostfest for many years. He is happy to be back. Hansen, who makes open-faced sandwiches, said the audience is really good about supporting him. The author of “Cooking Danish, A Taste of Denmark,” traveled 20 hours from Denmark.

Jen Brodal/MDN Stig Hansen, Kristi Bissell and Patrice Johnson cook up their masterpieces in the Nordic Kitchen at Norsk Hostfest.

Back for her fifth year at Hostfest, Patrice Johnson said she loves this festival and it is so great to be back. “My favorite events are the Minnesota State Fair and American Swedish Institutes Midsummer, and when I come to Hostfest it’s like the two had a baby and I get to hold it all week,” Johnson said. Johnson is author of the book “Jul: Swedish American Holiday Traditions.” She said she will return to Hostfest as long as they keep asking her.

Jeanne Cooney, another author, who frequents Hostfest, is also back this year with a new book released this spring called “It’s Murder, Dontcha know?” Cooney describes her books as a quirky little murder mysteries. She said they are not graphic and they are not violent. Cooney said the books are set by the little Scandinavian farm communities along the Red River with real town names, real road names and landmarks. These characters hang out at local cafes and as such the hot dish and bar recipes are in the back of each book, Cooney said.

She said her last book was released in 2016 and she has taken a little hiatus since. Cooney said it is getting harder to travel to the shows displaying her books but will continue to write. She said they are selling well on Amazon and for more information visit Jeannecooney.com.

The Nordic Kitchen’s culinary artists have daily schedules available in the programs available at the Hostfest entrance or online at NorskHostfest.com


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