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The Gunflint Lodge Cookbook

Elegant Northwoods Dining

1997
Authors:

Ron Berg and Sue Kerfoot
Foreword by Justine Kerfoot

The Gunflint Lodge Cookbook

Tantalizing cuisine from the renowned restaurant.

The Gunflint Lodge, with its pristine wilderness location, warm hospitality, and access to some of the finest fishing in the world, is nationally recognized for the tantalizing food served in its rustic lodge. This collection of recipes is a “reader's cookbook” organized by season with introductory essays by Chef Ron Berg. Recipes include Wild Rice and Smoked Chicken Soup, Pepper Grilled Lake Trout with Spring Onion Sauce, and the lodge’s famous Horseradish Mashed Potatoes.

In Good Taste and Tasting Good: For 70 years, the dining room at Gunflint Lodge has been a center of attention at this popular resort in northeastern Minnesota. In that long history, a tantalizing line up of recipes have been tested and approved by generations of guests. These recipes are joined by newer cuisine introduced by the authors to meet more contemporary tastes. Grouped by the seasons, each segment is prefaced by a description of resort activities accompanying the annual cycle. A foreword by Justine Kerfoot gives a world of detail about the early days at the famous resort.

Lake Superior Magazine

The Gunflint Lodge is Minnesota’s premier resort because of its pristine wilderness location, warm hospitality, and access to some of the finest fishing in the world. Visitors come from across the country not just for the outdoor activities, but for the food served in its rustic lodge.

Whether it’s Opening Day Walleye Fillets with Morel Mushroom Cream Sauce, or Roast Breast of Chicken Pistache with Blackberry Sauce, the Gunflint’s elegant menu, featured recently in Bon Appétit, Men's Journal , and Midwest Living, has won acclaim for inventiveness and sense of northwoods style.

The Gunflint Lodge Cookbook is a “reader’s cookbook,” organized by season with introductory essays by chef Ron Berg. Berg delights in adding fresh Minnesota ingredients to his Gunflint Blueberry Pie and his Wild Rice and Smoked Chicken Soup. There is an extensive section on fish cookery, including tips on frying, sautéing, and grilling, and recipes for a selection of breads, batters, and sauces for fish.

The Gunflint Lodge Cookbook is more than just recipes, however. Resort owner Sue Kerfoot writes about life at the lodge, feeding hungry visitors, and running a gourmet kitchen far from civilization. Justine Kerfoot’s (Woman of the Boundary Waters) introduction looks at lodge history stretching back to 1927, including filling the icehouse, securing ingredients, and pinch-hitting when the chef quits mid-season.

The Gunflint Lodge Cookbook will delight readers with tasty offerings and favorite anecdotes of life on the Gunflint Trail.

192 pages
Translation rights: University of Minnesota Press

The Gunflint Lodge Cookbook

Ron Berg was chef at the Gunflint Lodge north of Grand Marais, Minnesota from 1990 to 2001. He taught junior high English and worked as a fishing guide prior to becoming a chef. He is also the author of Northwoods Fish Cookery (University of Minnesota Press, 2000).

Sue Kerfoot ran the Gunflint Lodge restaurant for thirty-two years, a skill she developed during constant on-the-job training which included every cooking position in the kitchen. She provided the hospitality that complemented the lodge's menu.

The Gunflint Lodge Cookbook

In Good Taste and Tasting Good: For 70 years, the dining room at Gunflint Lodge has been a center of attention at this popular resort in northeastern Minnesota. In that long history, a tantalizing line up of recipes have been tested and approved by generations of guests. These recipes are joined by newer cuisine introduced by the authors to meet more contemporary tastes. Grouped by the seasons, each segment is prefaced by a description of resort activities accompanying the annual cycle. A foreword by Justine Kerfoot gives a world of detail about the early days at the famous resort.

Lake Superior Magazine

Though not quite the same as paddling a canoe across the lake of the Boundary Waters, perusing through and cooking from The Gunflint Lodge Cookbook, by Ron Berg and Sue Kerfoot, is as close as I’ve been to that experience in nearly 50 years. Plus I didn’t have to carry a canoe across any portage, and the blueberry pies are a whole lot better!

San Francisco Chronicle

In the seven years that Berg has been cooking at the lodge, dozens of guests have asked for his recipes, and this year he and lodge owner Sue Kerfoot have answered the call. The University of Minnesota Press published The Gunflint Lodge Cookbook. The book includes personal anecdotes from both Kerfoot and Berg, as well as plenty of creative recipes for beef, pork, and chicken, such as apple woodsmoked loin of pork with Applejack brandy cream. But Berg’s real specialty is cooking with the walleye and lake trout so prevalent on the North Shore, and the best reason to buy the book is to acquire his mouth-watering suggestions for preparing fresh fish. Thanks to Berg and Kerfoot’s cookbook, those lessons are now available even to those of us who eat our shore lunches near the lakes of the big city.

TC Taste

Unbelievably, gourmet dining is one of the attractions drawing people to this remote wilderness area. Three hours north of Duluth on the Gunflint Trail, the Gunflint Lodge has been quietly building a reputation as one of the premier restaurants in the state. Ron Berg and Sue Kerfoot have taken the best that the northwoods has to offer in ingredients and crafted recipes that are uniquely their own. Thanks to the efforts of Berg and Kerfoot these creations have come together in a cookbook that will likely be on many wish lists this coming holiday season. The Gunflint Lodge Cookbook is a collection of recipes not likely to be found anywhere else.

Rochester Post-Bulletin

The authors include lots of cooking tips along with the recipes, and a section on preparing and cooking fish. Berg and Kerfoot provide numerous anecdotes that make The Gunflint Lodge Cookbook not just a book for cooks who love fine and hearty cuisine, but also the entertaining story of running a restaurant in the wilderness.

Bloomsbury Review

Wild game and fresh fish populate a well-rounded menu that combines classic French cooking with regional ingredients in delicious new ways. Those who fish will notice the care with which Ron Berg treats this subject, going into great detail on the preparation and handling of freshly caught fish, as well as clearly outlining his cooking methods. I tried the poached chicken dish with duxelles mushrooms accompanied by spring leek pudding and chardonnay glaze. It was superb. Arranged in four seasonal sections beginning with spring, the book gives more than recipes: It recounts stories. A wonderful preface by Justine Kerfoot gave me a good understanding of the history and tradition of the lodge, drawing me in with descriptions of the dangers and joys of life in the far north, and charming me with colorful portraits of the Gunflint Trail. This cookbook is a good resource for anyone interested in the basics of French cooking or for those who appreciate a little adventure.

Minnesota Volunteer

Reading this cookbook is like visiting the Gunflint Lodge, without all the expenses and difficulties of travel. It’s a travelogue with food.

American Reporter