Creative cooks and books take part in Hostfest | News, Sports, Jobs

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

Kristi Bissell is new to Norsk Hostfest’s Nordic Kitchen this year.

Bissell, who was invited to share her talents at Hostfest 2020 prior to the closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic, is delighted to be present at this year’s event.

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

When Bissell isn’t busy curating her website,, she’s filming in her kitchen for her online classes and blog. She said she keeps telling people a book is coming, but it’s currently on hold as she’s been so busy creating content for her food blog for the past four years.

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Stig Hansen, who returns this year with his Danish culinary masterpieces, has been attending Hostfest for many years. He’s happy to be back. Hansen, who makes open-faced sandwiches, said the audience is really good at supporting him. The author of “Cook 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 in her fifth year at Hostfest, Patrice Johnson said she loves this festival and it’s so great to be back. “My favorite events are the Minnesota State Fair and the American Swedish Institutes Midsummer, and when I come to the Hostfest, it’s like the two had a baby and I can hold it all week.” said Johnson. Johnson is the author of the book “Jul: Swedish-American Holiday Traditions.” She said she will return to Hostfest as long as they keep asking her.

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Jeanne Cooney, another frequent Hostfest author, is also available this year with a new book called ” “It’s murder, you know that?” Cooney describes her books as quirky little detective stories. She said they weren’t graphic and they weren’t violent. Cooney said the books were set down with real town names, real street names and places of interest by the small Scandinavian farming communities along the Red River. These characters hang out at local cafes, and as such, the recipes for hot dishes and bars are at the back of each book, Cooney said.

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She said her last book came out in 2016 and she’s been on a bit of a hiatus since then. Cooney said it’s becoming more difficult to travel to the shows that feature her books, but she will continue to write. She said they are selling well on Amazon and for more information visit

Nordic Kitchen culinary artists have daily schedules in the programs available at the Hostfest entrance or online at

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