NEW ULM - South Central College culinary arts class students got a taste of what it's like to be a chef and restaurant owner Thursday at Lola's Larkspur.
Truman native Lacy Lueth, who took the class herself and graduated from the North Mankato school in 2003, talked about how she got her first job as a cook, went to college, worked as a chef at St. Paul and Mankato restaurants and won a number of awards in the Twin Cites before opening Lola's Larkspur.
Lueth told students not to be afraid of trying new things, and to become active by collaborating with the local business community, its support organizations and local producers.
Staff photo by Fritz Busch
South Central College culinary arts class students listen to Lola’s Larkspur owner Lacy Lueth talk about being a chef and restaurant owner Thursday.
"We buy food for local organic food markets and local farmers," she added.
Specializing in Italian food early in her career, Lueth was voted Minnneapolis-St. Paul Magazine's Best Young Chef in 2007, was 2008 runner-up, while working at Pazzaluna, voted Best Italian Restaurant by the magazine in 2007.
"I suppose I'm best at Italian dishes, but I really enjoy working with fresh fish, like Copper River Salmon," Lueth said.
In addition, she took part in Kid's Caf Minneapolis, teaching at-risk youth cooking skills.
In New Ulm, Lueth is active in the Hope and Healing Center involved with the Kids Against Hunger organization that recruits volunteers to create food packages that are shipped to needy children around the world.
During lunch on the Larkspur deck, New Ulm Retail Development Corporation (NURDC) Director Barbara Marti said her organization has assisted Lueth's business.
The NURDC offers consumer data, retail property listings, a retail resources guide, downtown retail incentive program, a retail survey analysis, plus other retail start-up and expansion resources.
"Get to know and partner with the local business community and supporting organizations," Marti said. "Before opening a restaurant, try to find a community with lots of business support organizations, like NURDC that offer free, confidential help."
Marti said she worked closely with Lueth and works on recruiting and retaining local and area businesses. Incentives include a city revolving fund that offers business loans at two percent interest.
"From student to award-winning chef to entrepreneur business woman, Lacey Lueth, the owner/proprietor of Lola's Larkspur is a great addition to Downtown New Ulm," Marti said.
"I take care of people looking for help," Marti added. "There are many grants and other resources including incentives for people interested in buying property and maintaining historical buildings."
For more information, visit call 507-233-4308 or visit www.newulm.com.
Fritz Busch can be e-mailed at firstname.lastname@example.org