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Food Network star to demonstrate cooking during UNI visit

August 25, 2014

Eric O'Brien, UNI sustainability coordinator, 319-273-7207,

Lindsay Cunningham, Office of University Relations, 319-273-6728,

CEDAR FALLS, Iowa -- Amy Thielen, the hostess of "Heartland Table" on Food Network, will visit the University of Northern Iowa Thursday and Friday, Sept. 4 and 5. Thielen will conduct food demonstrations at UNI's Harvest Festival and talk about her journey from the Midwest to New York and back during an evening presentation. Food Network star Amy Thielen

The Harvest Festival is from 3 to 5 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 4, at UNI's Panther Plot, which is on the corner of University Avenue and College Street. Thielen's keynote presentation is at 7 p.m., Thursday, Sept. 4, in Maucker Union.

Thielen grew up a few miles from the headwaters of the Mississipi River in Minnesota and graduated from Macalester College. She spent seven years cooking professionally in New York before returning to Minnesota in 2008. Her cookbook, "The New Midwestern Table," a collection of 200 Midwestern recipes, was published in September 2013. University Book and Supply will be selling copies of Amy's book before and after her evening presentation on Sept. 4.

While Thielen is at UNI, she'll get to see how local food programs have impacted the university's dining services. UNI's food service spends approximately 29 percent of its total food purchasing dollars on products within 250 miles of the university. She'll also get to see how the addition of the Panther Plot, UNI's student-run garden, has given students valuable skills pertaining to gardening, leadership and food systems while simultaneously providing the university community with fresh, locally grown produce.

"UNI's sustainability efforts happen on a daily basis across campus with goals of creating a more efficient campus," said Eric O'Brien, UNI sustainability coordinator. "While many of our efforts are nearly invisible, the work in the Panther Plot is a very visible project that results in very tangible and measurable, positive outcomes that should be celebrated."

For more information, contact O'Brien at 319-273-7207, or visit