Lucas and Mackbee are originally from the Twin Cities metro, but they're making a name for themselves with their businesses in downtown St. Joseph. Lucas' bakery Flower and Flour is getting a regional reputation for pies, and Mackbee is cooking up the New Orleans fare of his grandfather and mother at his restaurant Krewe.
MPR News host Tom Crann spoke with them at the College of Saint Benedict in St. Joseph. They explained how they first got into the food business.
Lucas grew up with a love of pie from her paternal grandmother, and ever since cooking with her grandmother and mother at a young age, Erin knew the food industry was where she would spend the rest of her life.
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“Growing up, eating was my favorite thing to do. You know, English, math, science… I passed, but it wasn't quite a passion. Snack time, that was literally my passion,“ she said.
Mackbee has a depth of experience in the culinary world including training with multiple award-winning chefs across many cuisines. While raised in Minnesota, Mackbee’s childhood summers always included several hot, steamy weeks in his mother’s hometown of New Orleans, visiting relatives and experiencing Creole and New Orleans-style food, stoking a love for those local foods, culture, music and sense of community.
“I watched my grandfather not being able to cook for less than 25 people. He would cook three meals a day for us and it would just be mounds of Jambalaya or Gumbo or whatever. And then my mother is an extremely good cook,“ he said.
Both chefs brought two of their staple dishes to share. Lucas shared samples of her Sugar Daddy Cookies, a recipe inspired by her life partner and also business partner, Mackbee.
“We like to have fun in the bakery and make fun names and stuff. But yes, this cookie is made for my partner. As a child, he loved eating frosted Rice Krispies and anywhere we go that there's a rice crispy bar, he is prone to snatch it and take it with us,” Lucas commented.
Mackbee shared his Maque Choux, a dish he says is not Creole, but on the Cajun side. “This is that dish that somebody might make in the morning and then all the people who are out working and harvesting or doing they would come back to this for lunch and it would sustain them,” Mackbee explained.
Click play on the audio player above to listen to the full conversation and see Erin and Mateo’s recipes below
Sugar Daddy Cookies
By Erin Lucas, Flour & Flower Bakery
1 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup light brown sugar
½ cup granulated sugar
½ tsp vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
½ teaspoons baking powder
½ teaspoons baking soda
1 ¼ teaspoons salt
3 cups frosted Rice Krispies
2 ½ cups mini marshmallows
1 ⅓ cups white chocolate chips
Cream together the sugar and butter on medium-low speed until white and fluffy.
Add the egg and vanilla extract, cream until it’s combined, scrape the bowl and mix again until all is incorporated.
Sift in the flour, salt, baking soda and baking powder and mix until just combined about 15 to 20 seconds on speed one.
Add the Rice Krispies, white chocolate and marshmallows until just combined.
Scoop cookies into the desired shape in 1-ounce portions.
Let the cookie dough chill while you preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Once the oven is to temperature, bake the cookies for 11 to 13 minutes. Should be golden on the edges and pale in the middle.
By Mateo Mackbee, Krewe Restaurant
4 ears of corn, kernels removed
1 small onion, chopped
1 small bell pepper, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tablespoon of butter
½ cup cream
Salt and pepper to taste
In a large skillet, melt the butter over medium heat.
Add the onion and bell pepper and cook until softened for about 5 minutes.
Add the garlic and cook for another minute.
Add the corn and cook for 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Gradually pour in the cream, stirring constantly until the mixture thickens.
Season with salt and pepper and serve hot.
Editor’s note: This episode is from the MPR Connect “Appetites in Greater Minnesota” event held on May 19. The episode aired on All Things Considered on May 24.