Aug 22 2009
Ready to meet your maker? If the answer is “yes” on Sept. 12, it might mean that you’re heading to New Glarus.
We have begun to harvest the bounty of another growing season, which fuels the momentum to “eat local” and spawns new events that showcase locally grown, baked or batched products. In New Glarus, a new Meet Your Maker gathering shows off a local brewery’s expansion as well the area’s artisan foods.
New Glarus Brewing Co. – makers of Spotted Cow, Fat Squirrel, Totally Naked and other much-loved beers – hosts the foodie frenzy. Admission is $5 (free for ages 16 and younger) to take a taste of specialty products and talk to the people who make them possible.
Count on savoring flavored brats, just-picked apples, hearth-made breads, homestead yogurt, small-batch cheeses and other artisan products. Pick up cooking tips from chef demos and recipe distribution. Tour the brewery.
The day ends with the Bounty of Green County Dinner Feast, a five-course meal (with beer pairings) that introduces local chefs and ingredients. Tickets are $50 per person.
On the menu: roasted tenderloin with demi glace mushroom sauce, seasonal veggies and Gruyere cheese potatoes, prepared by chef Mike Nevil of Chalet Landhaus. Chef Stef Culberson of Goose Chaser Farm adds beer-braised pastured pork with apples. Some of the other meal components remain under discussion.
Meet Your Maker, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 12, happens at the new Hilltop Facility of the New Glarus Brewing Co., 2400 Hwy. 69. So does the Bounty of Green County Dinner Feast, which begins with a sausage table of appetizers at 6 p.m., then dinner at 7 p.m. For more: www.greencounty.org, 888-222-9111.
In Eagle River, 45 vendors converge in Riverview Park this month for the first Festival of Flavors. Under the event banner are Celebrate the Taste on Aug. 29 and the Nutrition, Health and Fitness Expo on Aug. 30.
Admission of $25 ($12 for ages 10-16) on Aug. 29 allows sampling of a wide array of foods and beverages that use indigenous products; vendors are local restaurants and product manufacturers.
Children receive a free goodie bag of Wisconsin-made snacks. Unusual event components include a Grilled Wisconsin Cheese recipe contest, opportunity to throw rotten tomatoes at local celebrities (a food pantry fundraiser) and “shore lunch” cooking demo/tasting.
Wisconsin native Raymond Arpke, a Florida chef who has been on the Food Network and appeared on CBS as “Chef on a Shoestring,” leads a cooking demo. Another talk topic: Wisconsin wine/cheese pairings. For sale is a festival recipe book.
About 80 artists will show and sell works that involve nature. Milk cans will be painted and auctioned. Music, a bicycling event and activities for children round out the day.
Admission to the Aug. 30 expo is a $5 donation.
For more about the Festival of Flavors: www.eaglerrivermainstreet.org,
715-477-0645. Hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Aug. 29 and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Aug. 30. Although Riverview Park (west of Hwy. 45 N, along Eagle River) is the event hub, related activities occur elsewhere in the city.
Eat-local guru Michael Pollan heads to Madison Sept. 24-26 to keynote this year’s Food for Thought Festival, and the visit also includes a free talk at the 15,000-seat Kohl Center at 7 p.m. Sept. 24.
Doors open at 6 p.m. No tickets needed. For more: www.humanities.wisc.edu.
The Pollan book “In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto” is the University of Wisconsin’s first campus-wide Go Big Read subject. That means UW students, faculty, staff and others are encouraged to read the book and participate in related discussions/events.
The California author also wrote “The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals” and “The Botany of Desire: A Plant’s-Eye View of the World.”
The 11-year-old Food for Thought Festival celebrates local food from 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Sept. 26 in downtown Madison. Booths, demos, talks and activities happen along blocked-off Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard, off the Capital Square, and the event is organized by REAP (Research, Education, Action and Policy on) Food Group.
For more: www.reapfoodgroup.org, 608-310-7836.
Local Fare, a UW-Platteville program that aims to increase access to locally produced foods, sponsors a Fall Marketplace from noon to 4 p.m. Sept. 27 at Ullsvik Hall on campus.
Vendors – including farmers, restaurants, wineries and cheesemakers – provide free samples and also sell their products. Admission is free.
The show coincides with “Art Meets Ag: a visual celebration of the bounty of the region,” an art show about farms, farmers and farm products.
For more: www.localfare.org, 608-342-1314.
Few people in Wisconsin love cheese more than Jeanne Carpenter, who has created a career around the subject, through blogs and Twitter (where she is cheesegeek). If you share Jeanne’s passion for cheese, block off Nov. 6-7 for the first Wisconsin Original Cheese Festival at Monona Terrace in downtown Madison.
Learn about cheesemaking, tour cheese factories, taste up to 100 kinds of cheese, meet the cheesemakers behind the products and dine at Madison restaurants that will showcase cheese in each of three dinner courses.
For event tickets, $20 to $75, depending upon what you attend: www.wicheesefest.com. The fest is a product of Wisconsin Cheese Originals, an organization for artisan cheesemakers, and Jeanne is executive director.
Cyber connections: Follow me on Twitter (look for maryinmadison) and Facebook (or, in this case, feet-book: Look for the feet when searching for Mary Bergin).