Press releases of the day: Faux-tinis and Canada’s culinary queen


by Jay Gabler | March 26, 2009

It’s a strange sort of praise when PR flaks from distant lands deign to inform the Twin Cities Daily Planet of goings-on that have nothing whatsoever to do with the Twin Cities—or even Minnesota. Besides such press releases being (very) mildly ego-gratifying, they often make for especially fascinating reading.

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Today, for example, I was introduced to Lesley Stowe, “culinary queen” of Canada. What’s Stowe’s claim to fame? Well, besides being credited with having “helped to develop and refine the palettes of Vancouverites with her specialty fine foods store,” she is also the creator of Raincoast Crisps: “a revolutionary snack food beyond compare.” If this is correct, I cannot be blamed for being completely unable to imagine what a Raincoast Crisp might be.

Why is Stowe in the news today? Because, having been “captivated by the beauty of” ski jumping, she has signed on as the major sponsor of the “severely underfunded” Canadian Ski Jumping Team, which will henceforth be known as Lesley Stowe Fine Foods’ Canadian Ski Jumping Team. “Stowe’s sponsorship will support everything from coaching expenses and travel to training equipment and team clothing,” writes Laura Walden on behalf of Ski Jumping Canada, the organization charged with representing Canadian ski jumpers before the Canadian Snowsports Association, the Canadian Olympic Committee, and the Fédération International de Ski. Walden dangles the tantalizing prospect of an interview with Stowe and a ski jumper…

All of which makes me want a drink. And where better to drink but one of the two agonizingly un-Google-able Minneapolis watering holes called Drink? Cyn Collins forwarded a press release from the downtown Drink (“the Original Fun Bar”) promising “downtown’s biggest britney spears after party” and advertising a new Martini feature: the Confucious.

Most sources spell the philosopher’s name Confucius, but most sources also suggest that he would have declined to sip on a concoction comprising Ketel One, Citronge, watermelon, margarita mix, sour, and pineapple juice. “How can you call this thing a Martini?” asks Cyn. “Does it even have vermouth?” Looking at this one, I have to credit the insight of my friend Neal, who argues that faux-tinis are a scam: by calling a mixed drink a “Martini,” you can simultaneously serve less of it (in a tiny, classy Martini glass) and charge more for it. But the downtown Drink does have a “giant free buffet that is unmatched in the Twin Cities,” so whaddaya want?

Photo by Paul Jerry (Creative Commons).