Questioning the Locals |
Tal Morgan, Blizzard Flipper

Is flipping Blizzards something that women respond to?

Ian Jacoby, photos by Andrea Paulseth

WHO: Tal Morgan
WHAT: Blizzard flipper and assistant marketing director for Pinehurst Foods
LIVES: Eau Claire

After an especially grueling kickball game, the Volume One team likes to drown their sorrows in a bath of Oreos and chocolate ice cream. Little did we know this would lead us to perhaps one of the most upbeat and crazy guys in the Chippewa Valley. Tal works at the Birch Street DQ, but to say “works” is doing him a disservice. This guy is a showman. He banters, he dances, and perhaps most intriguing of all, he whips blizzards around his back like some sort of latent Harlem Globetrotter, an art form Tal has dubbed, “flipping.” We caught up with him to ask some hard-hitting questions on life, love, and chocolate dip.


  • LISTEN! Here’s some raw interview audio from Ian Jacoby’s talk with Tal Morgan. They cover Tal’s last encounter with the police department, his own Dairy Queen treat concoctions, and an open challenge to any of the Chippewa Valley’s food flippers. Bring. It. On.


What made you decide to start doing tricks with blizzards? We have a training program (the Seattle Fish Market DVD) and I kind of took it a little more literally than usual.

How much practice does it take to flip?
  Probably six months. On average a half hour a day, five days a week.

Do you have specific tricks you work on, or is it improvised?
 Most of it is improv. To be honest it only took me a month to do the stuff that I do for customers with food. For the photo shoot I had to come up with some new ones. The most difficult is the crab walk, which is me on my knees flipping underneath alternatively while walking on my knees.

Do you always use Blizzards? Practice is always Blizzards, but if I get bored we put on Frank Sinatra and get into the moment. I’ll use a rag, a sundae, or a coworker.

How many times have you spilled?
 More than I can count.

How does the company feel about these antics? 
There’s a lot of support from the owner. She thinks it’s entertaining to customers. Some managers and some employees hate it for whatever reason. It goes both ways …

Do you invent special names for your tricks?
 The only thing I ever named is the crab walk. The others were thrown together.

How do people respond to your moves?
 Some people are obsessed. Some are entertained. There is a movement at DQ’s to start flipping. One had a customer tell them that if they ever saw them flip a blizzard again, they would get them fired.

Is this something that women respond to? There are some people are like, “Wow, he’s a geek,” and they think I like my job too much. Some people are really entertained. Sometimes my body has to move very provocatively and so some people are disgusted.

Butterscotch, cherry, or chocolate?
 Depends on my mood. If I’m feeling old, butterscotch. There’s an inside joke that if you’re an old person you need the butterscotch. If you’re a girl or feeling romantic, then cherry. Anything else is chocolate. I’m a chocoholic.

Death bed, one local dessert, what is it?
Draganetti’s triple chocolate cheesecake, or anything from Obsession Chocolates.

Describe an encounter with the police. 
There was a truck where the girlfriend was trying to teach the boyfriend how to drive a stick shift. They drove into the building. Thank goodness no one was in the bathroom because the toilet exploded. The police came in, took pictures, and laughed because the toilet exploded. I had places to be that night, too.

What sort of economic development would you like to see in our area? A better nightlife. If I want to go out in the middle of the night for a cappuccino, there isn’t much. If it doesn’t involve alcohol, there isn’t much here.

Have you ever made your own special treat? A peanut butter and jelly blizzard. Strawberry Jelly, peanut butter, and pie crust. I also like a Butterfinger blizzard, extra finger.

Is there special recognition for your flipping skills?
 I tell you what, when it comes to ice cream or any solid product, if anyone wants to challenge me I’ll do it. Anytime. Whether it’s Cold Stone or anybody. I’ve flipped Gloria Jean’s Chillers before.