Food trends: more ethnic flavors, less artificial ingredients

The largest buffet that I try to sample every spring is at the National Restaurant Association’s trade show, which shows off what’s new in every aspect of the industry. That means food concepts with “Shark Tank” exposure and lesser-known, chocolate-flavored hummus. Strawberry ricotta ice cream and multi-grain naan bread. Hemp seeds for salad and hemp(…)

Roots Inn, Sister Bay: It’s not your average B&B

Collin and Sara Doherty have traveled the world – on their walls are framed photos from Vail to Vietnam – but they choose, for now, to call Sister Bay their home. Family heritage matters to the thirtysomething couple. So does the bounty of local farmers and work of local artists. That’s why their one-year-old business(…)

American Writers Museum opens in Chicago

In the same room are Julia Child, Alex Haley, Prince, Patrick Henry and Hunter Thompson. What do they have in come, besides being dearly departed? The power of words helped each forge a legacy through cookbooks, novels, song lyrics, speeches or gonzo journalism. Their impact is longlasting. Most of us in the world of writing(…)

Door Artisan Cheese: from milk vat to restaurant plate

Fans of fine dining know that an amuse-bouche is a chef’s little gift to diners – a nibble or slurp that usually is an elegant extra at the start of an evening meal. Think fancy canape, shot of gazpacho, tiny culinary work of art. Whatever you are given is not on a menu, so you(…)

New in books: Ice Age hike, girl drinks, Mighty Miss, ode to rain

What constitutes a full day of hiking for many of us is just a warm-up for Melanie Radzicki McManus of Sun Prairie. The longtime traveler writer and first-time author hoofed the entire 1,100-mile Ice Age National Scenic Trail in 36 days and five hours. That’s a record for women hikers. You can read all about(…)

New exhibit at Vets Museum takes personal look at WWI

Casual decisions sometimes lead to profound, life-altering circumstances. No one learned that more than John Pavlik of West Allis, who was 16 years old when he learned to drive an ambulance. Soon he was evacuating the National Guard 32nd Infantry’s wounded on the front lines during World War I. What compelled the teenager to volunteer(…)

Grilled cheese: worthy of complex treatment, sandwich contests

If dressing up a grilled cheese means sneaking in a slice of tomato or bacon, or switching from wheat to sourdough, please take a moment to sit down. The world is changing this most common of sandwiches two slices at a time, especially this month. It doesn’t matter that we just missed National Grilled Cheese(…)

Baby Boomers seek emotionally rich retirement

Call me asleep at the wheel or on a river called denial, but I am only beginning to take notice of how my generation’s retirement will look different than our predecessors’. On each day until 2030, at least 10,000 Baby Boomers (those born from 1946 to 1965) will reach the age of 65. About 75(…)

Two chefs who excel in urban, small-town settings

Order a cocktail at Spiaggia on Michigan Avenue in Chicago, and the drink may well arrive with a napkin that contains an oh-so-obscure band portrait and one word: Cork. The retro photo is evidence of how dramatically a young man’s dreams can shift and accelerate. That’s because one of seven smiling mopheads with flowery shirts(…)

New in travel: Sundara grows, big Peeps show

Spring is a time of rebirth and renewal for many of us. That includes tourism and food in Wisconsin; neither is a stagnant industry, and here is new-to-me proof. — Work soon begins on an almost $9 million expansion of Sundara Inn and Spa, on the outskirts of Wisconsin Dells. The nationally touted and adults-only(…)