Savor ‘Chocolate’ immersion in Milwaukee

The sweetest excursion to be taken next month is to the Milwaukee Public Museum, which opens “Chocolate: The Exhibition” on Oct. 9. This is the same aromatic, educational and fun show that was put together and on display at The Field Museum, Chicago, a few years ago. It is about economic impact as well as(…)

Chefs connect with farmers on their own turf

This “Roads Traveled” is for release on or after Sept. 3, 2005. Up to 850 words. Artwork to customers has been sent under three separate files. JenEhr and NoMI are cq. If you have questions, e-mail By MARY BERGIN Midwest Features I do not know Brandon Wolff well, but I am accustomed to seeing(…)

Bratwurst 101: Cook, eat, sniff out quality

Back where I grew up, the ultimate compliment – regardless of weather or time of year – came down to these words: “That’s a good brat.” You’ll find multiple brat frys almost every weekend in Sheboygan County, at taverns, churches, bowling alleys and parks. I can think of a half-dozen grocery stores with outdoor booths(…)

Delta Diner: creative meals in woodsy setting

A dozen miles south of Iron River, off of Highway H and inside Chequamegon National Forest, are the best Swedish pancakes around. They are thin and sweet enough to hold their own without a drenching of syrup. “First-time customers have to sample the pancakes,” joked the cook, Todd Bucher, who grew up in Fond du(…)

Cooking with class at Washington Hotel

Honey. Salt. Lemon. Bread. We are sipping cinnamon-orange iced tea and learning the Four Band-Aids for Cooking, as declared by Suzanne Breckenridge. When you mess up in the kitchen, there’s a good chance that one of these items can help save your meal and reputation. The tidbits to be gleaned during this summer afternoon gathering(…)

Chicago events celebrate culinary heritage

It’s easy to work up an appetite in Chicago, and that especially will be true this spring and summer. The city has coordinated a massive celebration of its food heritage, expertise, creativity and diversity. “Stirring Things Up in Chicago” is a five-month endeavor that involves museums as well as restaurants, with some events to introduce(…)

Mount Horeb museum masters mustards

What a spread it was. In a corner were the fruity recipes – the tart, the sweet, the zesty. Another table was all herb/veggie combos – the dills, the onions, the garlic. Segregated elsewhere was one honey of a collection, literally. This was an eclectic food sampling project, and this was just one part of(…)

Chocolate events entice, especially in Feb.

Do you love chocolate enough to make it a full meal, to bathe in it, or to build a weekend around it? Here are options to melt the heart, in preparation for Valentine’s Day – or any other excuse you find to feed the sweet tooth before or after that holiday. — Next year, we’ll(…)

Uniting of indie eateries has Arizona roots

Don Luria is an original, both in personality and mission. He is a gracious and astute restaurateur in Tucson whose Café Terra Cotta has earned accolades from Zagat, the New York Times and Wine Spectator (for its 250 choices of Zinfandel). That was before the mountainview site burned in summer; it should reopen soon. Why(…)

First Famous Dave’s a study of resilience

One of the coolest Native American stories about Wisconsin tourism has little to do with the luck of the dice and much to do with the will to succeed. “When you set out to be the best, you want to give the best of yourself,” says Dave Anderson, but that hasn’t been easy. He knows(…)

Suds it up with beer tours, museums, books

My office is full of suds, and it has nothing to do with the laundry that’s clinking around downstairs. Each way my head turns, I am reminded of our state’s great love affair with beer. If you want to do more than drink it at the local sportsmen’s bar, consider these upcoming projects and events:(…)

Chefs Collaborative cooks with local food

Back in the 1970s, I spent five summers at the Schwartz Hotel in Elkhart Lake, working as a waitress to pay my way through college. Those are fond memories, even though we’d get only one meal off – not a full day – during the busiest summer weeks. College students from as far away as(…)

Food tour introduces Chicago neighborhoods

Baklava is not always made with honey, chocolate-sauce desserts are not always sweet, and tapioca balls are a quirky way to liven up a fruit smoothie. One good way to learn about food, especially ethnic items, is to head to Chicago for a Neighborhood Sampling tour. That’s how I spent about five hours on a(…)

Italian fare authentic at Tenuta’s, Kenosha

A gallon of virgin olive oil was one of the oddest holiday gifts that I’ve ever given, and it was bought on a whim while shopping in Kenosha a few years ago. The city’s downtown lakefront has improved remarkably since I worked for the Kenosha News in the 1980s. The shoreline has gone from an(…)

Diverse ethnic fare: Eat Street, Minneapolis

To my left was a sturdy, red-shuttered German restaurant, the Black Forest Inn. To my right was the simple but cheery-looking Pancho Villa, serving Mexican food. Next door to it was the Tibet Lotus Flower Shop. Such ethnic diversity, within a block, certainly is not unprecedented in the Midwest. But this melting pot stretches for(…)

Sheboygan area expands its culinary reach

The Sheboygan County that I know, having grown up there, is the culinary hub for hardrolls, brats and the world’s best burgers. We have dozens of torte recipes, most of which contain Cool Whip. We have good fish fries at reasonable prices. We are picky about our potato salad; we use butter – liberally and(…)

Kosher deli among ethnic riches in Postville

Hanukkah begins at sundown Friday, and that makes it a fitting time to study a small town with more ethnic diversity than communities that are 10 or 20 times as big. Postville, Iowa, has a population of 2,300 and is a half-hour west of the Mississippi River, near Prairie du Chien. It is a little(…)

Culinary travel hot trend with vast potential

Let’s assume that you are hungry for something different this month. Wisconsin and its neighboring cities have an abundance of food expos, fancy wine dinners, ethnic culinary getaways, cooking seminars, demonstrations and product samplings. Culinary tourism is becoming more deliberate in both rural and urban settings. People who love to travel must eat, and now(…)

Reader mailbag: best supper clubs in state

Location, location, location … for some of you, it seems to matter as much as the quality of food when recommending a supper club. Readers from Holmen (LaCrosse County) to Bristol (Kenosha County) mentioned places from Appleton to Wausau when we recently asked for advice about supper clubs. This is a collection that I want(…)

Inside Breitbach’s, Iowa’s oldest restaurant

I took the long way to the Twin Cities this month, first heading to Dubuque and then hugging the Mississippi River while meandering north. Around lunchtime, I was in Balltown, Iowa. Population is 73, or 37, depending upon the source. The town’s tourist lure is Breitbach’s Country Dining (319-552-2220), which is the state’s oldest restaurant.(…)

Food shows turn eating into an experience

Seems like food isn’t just to be eaten anymore. It is to be experienced. Two major food events in Wisconsin this fall emphasize specialty foods, gourmet cooking techniques and advice about how to match wine with food. The second annual Kohler Food & Wine Experience will be Oct. 25-27 in Sheboygan County, at the Shops(…)