Grill kits, guest chefs and river cruises: book your summer fun now

Chef’s meal kits are perfect for the holidays

Chef Gavin Kaysen will help take the guesswork out of what to grill for the summer vacation with grilling kits, available through his GK at Home line for Memorial Day, July 4 and Labor Day.

First up, for Memorial Day, is a collaboration between Kaysen and Animales BBQ chef/owner Jon Wipfli that offers a 3-pound smoked rib eye. Also on the menu: roasted carrot and arugula salad, roasted mushrooms, German potato salad, Parker House rolls, strawberry-rhubarb pie and an extra bottle of dry marinade — a mix created by the chefs and their teams — for future grills.

The kit serves six to eight and costs $375; Memorial Day kits are on sale now (others will go on sale at a later date) at Pickup May 26 at Spoon and Stable, 211 N. 1st St., Mpls.

Also included are detailed preparation instructions, as well as cooking tips. No grill? No problem. The meal can also be prepared without the grill.

Sunset river cruise and dinner

The Nicollet Island Inn in Minneapolis is once again teaming up with Minneapolis Water Taxi for summer cruises on the Mississippi River.

Grab up to six friends and begin at the city’s Boom Island Park, where you’ll board a solar-powered electric cruise ship for an hour-long tour of the upper Mississippi River. Warm up with a picnic of wine or champagne (your choice) and finger foods before returning to the inn for the main course.

Tickets are available for select weeknights and weekends from May through September. Prices vary by group size, but start at $295 for two people. This includes boat service, onboard picnic and $50 dinner credit per person. For more information or reservations, visit

Nigella Lawson is coming to town this fall

Plan ahead: Nigella Lawson, British cookbook author and TV personality, is coming to town this fall, but tickets go on sale this week.

“An Evening with Nigella Lawson” will feature the talking writer from her new book, “Cook, Eat, Repeat,” a combination of over 50 new recipes intertwined with narrative essays. The event will take place on November 21 at the Pantages Theater (710 Hennepin Av. S., Mpls.).

Get tickets starting May 6 at 10 a.m. at the State Theater Box Office (805 Hennepin Av. S., Mpls.), online at or by calling 800-982-2787. Tickets range from $39.50 to $75.

Lawson published his first cookbook – “How to Eat, The Pleasures and Principles of Good Food” – in 1998 and has written more than a dozen others. She also had a string of TV shows, including her debut, “Nigella Bites”, and went on to host several shows in the US, Australia and the UK.

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