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Chef lineup set for Art & Culinary Show

Randy Calleja, owner of Ready Randy’s and R&D Catering, and Linda Soifakis, owner of Champs Sports Bar & Grill, are serving as honorary culinary chairpersons for next month’s St. Croix Art & Culinary Show. (Photo by Micheal Foley)

The St. Croix Art & Culinary Show sponsored by the New Richmond Rotary Club is just one month away, and tickets are already selling at a fast pace, according to event organizer and chairperson Jo Wrich. She said more tickets will likely need to be printed.

This year’s event is scheduled for 5-8 p.m. on Sunday, April 27 at R&D Catering Banquet Hall.

The show features area artists displaying, demonstrating and performing their skills. Local chefs and restaurants also serve up samples of some of their favorite dishes. Spirits from 45th Parallel and beer from Brady’s Brewhouse will also be available along with some sort of live entertainment. A chef showdown, which debuted last year, will once again be part of the show. Details about the showdown will be released at a later date.

The theme for this year’s event is “Experience the Globe,” and that theme will no doubt play a role in the chef’s creations, according to honorary culinary chairperson Randy Calleja, owner of Ready Randy’s and R&D Catering.

“Because the theme is ‘Experience the Globe,’ we’ll be seeing some unique dishes out of the norm for the area,” Calleja said. “I noticed there’s an Indian dish with curry, there are some Asian pork dishes and things like that.”

Though this year’s event will bring forward an international flair of flavors, what Calleja and culinary co-chairperson Linda Soifakis really like about the event is that it showcases the talent of local chefs.

“It’s the type of event that would be in Minneapolis-St. Paul,” Calleja said.

Chefs from the following local establishments will prepare culinary delights at the show:

  • Champs Sports Bar & Grill
  • Ready Randy’s and R&D Catering
  • Family Fresh Market
  • Parkside Restaurant & Bar
  • Laurel Supper Club
  • Rusty’s Waterin’ Hole & Chowhouse
  • JET’s Coffee Bistro
  • The Deerfield
  • Brady’s Brewhouse
  • Roosters Roadhouse
  • Wild Badger Sports Saloon
  • Sweet Greetings
  • Cedar Lake Reflections

The fact the event is held on a Sunday makes it easier for chefs to participate.

“Obviously, on a Friday or Saturday night most of us are hands-on working owners, so it’s hard to take us out of our business,” Calleja said.

On top of all that, Calleja and Soifakis are pleased that it’s all benefits a worthy cause. Funds raised support the STRIVE scholarship program in the New Richmond area and the Rotary Club’s education programs. STRIVE provides an incentive to high school students to boost their GPA in preparation for a secondary education.

More than 300 people attended the St. Croix Art and Culinary Show last year, and more than $11,000 was raised. Tickets can be purchased for $40 at Ready Randy’s, the New Richmond Area Chamber of Commerce office and online at

Micheal Foley
Micheal Foley worked at RiverTown Multimedia from July 2013 to June 2015 as editor at the New Richmond News. 
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