Basin Electric features food with a flourish


Duane Ehrens’ food art specialty is birds such as swans, pheasants, and peacocks.

Duane Ehrens can turn a red apple into a pheasant.

No, he’s not a magician – he’s a food artist.

Ehrens, Basin Electric’s food service coordinator, does much more in the kitchen than create food art, but it’s that particular kitchen talent that most often catches peoples’ eyes. From carving birds out of fruit, mice out of vegetables, and a variety of flowers from peppers, his creations are intricate and varied.

Ehrens, originally from Wahpeton, ND, started his training to be a chef at North Dakota State College of Science in Wahpeton. His discovered his knack for food artistry when, as part of parent’s day at the college, he won a competition with a pineapple fruit display and apple “feathers” arranged on a glass tray.

Ehrens started in June at Basin Electric. Before the cooperative, his culinary stops included cooking for the Dakota Boys and Girls Ranch, Ruth Meiers, and most recently CHI St. Alexius.

“It’s exciting to be a part of the conversion to the new building addition, the new coffee shop, and new cafeteria,” Ehrens says. “I’ve always heard about Basin Electric and that it’s a great place to work. The food service here is already really great, and I’m just excited to try some different recipes and build on what’s already here.”

Outside of the workplace, Ehrens and his wife, Karen, teach Mediterranean cooking classes as part of Bismarck State College’s Continuing Education program, as well as provide cooking demonstrations at various events. Their next demonstration will be cooking with fresh produce Aug. 12 at BisMarket.

Ehrens, who has a 19-year-old daughter, a dog, and cat, also enjoys softball and golf, along with camping and traveling with his family. When he’s not playing with his food, that is.

“I like the enjoyment that people get from it, especially kids,” Ehrens says. “They get excited, and I get joy from that.”


Duane Ehrens demonstrates his his craft with a flower made of potato, lettuce, onion, and red pepper components.


Duane Ehrens can create some of his smaller pieces of art in a matter of minutes.


  1. Vicki Colis says:

    Very cool

  2. debigoe says:

    Awesome talented gentleman!!!! Basin Electric is hugely blessed to have Duane on board!!

  3. Deborah levchak says:

    I have taken several of his cooking classes, excellent teacher🤓

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: