"If Lenny Russo didn't exist, we'd have to invent him...." - Lynne Rossetto KasperHeartland is the story of an exceptional American restaurant and the passionate, politically active chef behind it. Inspired by the undersung bounty of the Great Midwest, Chef Lenny Russo celebrates family farms, native ingredients, and local culinary traditions page after page--just as he does at his signature restaurant. The 100 beautiful, earthy recipes are drawn from the lakes, fields, farms, and orchards of Russo's adopted homeland. They include Midwestern Cassoulet, Sweet Corn-Black Barley Cakes, Chocolate-Sorghum Custard Tart, Freshwater Bouillabaisse, Wild Rice Salad with Baby Kale and Blue Cheese, Fennel-Cured Whitefish with Danish Brown Bread Salad, and dozens more.Heartland features photography by Tom Thulen and fine art by the Ojibwe mid-century artist George Morrison.
Chef Lenny Russo has more than thirty-eight years of experience in the food and beverage industry. He has held numerous positions including executive chef, general manager, food and beverage director, and corporate chef for several companies. As a chef, he has been featured in every major Twin Cities publication as well as Gourmet, Food & Wine, Bon Appétit, Saveur, New York Times, Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post,and USA Today among other publications. In addition, Chef Russo serves on the Chef Advisory Board of Saveur magazine.
Chef Russo, along with his wife and partner, Mega Hoehn, opened Heartland on October 27, 2002. The restaurant has since won many awards both locally and nationally. From 2008 to 2015, Chef Russo was named a James Beard Foundation Award Semifinalist for Best Chef: Midwest and was named a finalist nominee in that category in 2010, 2011, 2012 2014 and 2015. He was named to the prestigious U.S. State Department American Chef Corps in 2013.
"Long before terms like 'food justice,' 'sustainable,' 'farm to table,' 'local sourcing,' 'foraging,' and 'nose to tail,' were the calling cards of committed cooks, Lenny was living them. Take a look at his recipes to see what I mean." - "This book represents a life of commitment, some amazing recipes, and insight into why Heartland is more than a restaurants-it's a social change movement."
"I'll have the Ukrainian borscht, the grilled ramps, the goose breast with apples and garlic, and root vegetable hash on the side, and then bring me the chocolate maple roulade. And I'd like a quart of rhubarb chutney to go. My compliments to the chef and thank goodness it isn't me." - Garrison Keillor