Featured Chef Archives
Perennial Virant, Chicago
Raised in Michigan, Chicago chef Ed Sura learned the value of fresh, local ingredients at an early age. Honing his culinary skills in his home state, he migrated to Chicago and worked with Chef Graham Elliott at his eponymous restaurant before joining Chef Paul Virant, a longtime advocate of farm to table cuisine, at Perennial Virant, where he is chef de cuisine. The menu features luscious rustic Midwestern ingredients and Sura's signature style, tastefully displayed in Crispy Carnaroli Cakes with Wisconsin Cheese Curds and 3-Egg Skillet with Smoked Cheddar.
Chicago's acclaimed pastry chef Mindy Segal-Tompkins performs her sweet miracles at her Wicker Park restaurant, Hot Chocolate and Dessert Bar. Known for her innovative mini desserts and incomparable cookies, she has expanded her menu options to include breakfast specialties. This month she shares two seasonal apple recipes: Heirloom Apple Pie with Savory Crust and Cheese Streusel along with Twice-Baked Lady Apples with Brie, Raisins and Dates.
Coppa and Toro, Boston
Chef Jamie Bissonnette and fellow Bostonian Chef Ken Oringer are chef owners of two of the city's top restaurants—Coppa, an Italian enoteca, and Toro, a Barcelona-inspired tapas restaurant. Bissonnette's nose-to-tail cooking style knows no boundaries. Here he takes ground meats to new heights with his secret-sauce Toro Burger and boudin blanc with Wisconsin muenster.
The Drawing Room, Chicago
As a college student at the University of Wisconsin, Chef Tommy Sheean honed his kitchen skills in Madison kitchens before moving to Chicago to cook in some of the city's highly praised restaurants, including Boka, the Signature Room and the Drawing Room, where Wisconsin Cheese frequently claimed a place on the menu. Enjoy his creativity in this updated slaw with cheddar or more formal pan-roasted chicken with parmesan enhanced risotto.
Located in a Milwaukee east side neighborhood, Ardent restaurant presents casual comfort in a conversation-friendly, intimate environment. Chef Justin Carlisle, nominated several times for James Beard awards, prefers pure, simple ingredients to produce culinary standouts of memorable style, such as this house-made Brie Ice Cream and Cheese-Herb Monkey Bread.
Perennial Virant, Chicago and
Vie, Western Springs, IL
As executive pastry chef at Perennial Virant in Chicago and Vie in suburban Western Springs—the restaurants of nationally acclaimed Chef Paul Virant—Elissa Narow combines old school baking with modern technique. The result is a purity of flavor, reflecting only the best ingredients. It's a great time to try the results of her approach with this seasonal Wisconsin Quark Berry Parfait or classic shortbread cookies studded with dried apples and Wisconsin cheddar.
Executive Chef Dan Van Rite works with a group of carefully hand-picked suppliers, a list that includes a host of Wisconsin cheesemakers, to create his modern, sometimes surprising American cuisine at Hinterland® Brewery and Gastropub in Milwaukee. His Stinging Nettle and Parmesan Malfatti is a luscious seasonal salute to nettles, seldom seen on Midwestern menus, while Horseradish-Cheddar Beer Cheese Spread is a standard favorite at the bar. In addition to Milwaukee, Hinterland has a Green Bay location.
Bartolotta Restaurants, Milwaukee
Adam Siegel, executive chef for the Bartolotta Restaurants in Milwaukee, displays great versatility in creating menus for restaurants that go from French bistro to gastropub. For French, it's Lake Park Bistro, for pastas and seafood, it's Bacchus and for comfort and pub food, it's the Rumpus Room. These two fine dining recipes feature Wisconsin Cheese with seasonal produce—artichokes and asparagus.
Longman & Eagle, Chicago
Chef Jared Wentworth's long established devotion to farm-to-table, nose-to-tail cuisine speaks volumes in the fare at Longman & Eagle, a Chicago destination since its opening in 2010. His menu is punctuated with luxury products, but he holds fast to his belief that fine food can and should be comfortable and approachable. He's a repeat winner of a star from the Michelin Guide, Chicago edition. Try these airy gougeres or Gorgonzola gnocci and you'll taste why.
Chef Ricardo Pineda practices his craft at his family-owned restaurant Nana in the Chicago neighborhood of Bridgeport. Punctuated by his interpretation of Mexican specialties, the menu at this neighborhood gem is highlighted with an eclectic mix—from a shrimp po' boy to chickpea frites. Or, by this multi-cultured poutine with Wisconsin Cheese curds and the breakfast favorite, Smoked White Cheddar Biscuits with Pork Sage Gravy.
Chef Justin Aprahamian is at the helm at Milwaukee's legendary restaurant Sanford, where he builds on its stellar reputation for exceptional quality, He describes the cuisine as "modern ethnic," honoring tastes from around the world. His expertise has earned him an invitation to cook for the Taste of the NFL event, part of Super Bowl XLVIII activities. He shares with us recipes for a caramelized leek-Wisconsin Fontina tart and a potato puree enriched with Wisconsin Parmesan.
Chicago's beloved Breakfast Queen Ina Pinkney is closing the doors of Ina♥s, her restaurant, Dec. 31. Ina's zest for food, life and adventure made her a most gracious restaurant hostess, and her cooking made the restaurant a city gem that will be sorely missed. Enjoy this signature dish from her, Cheese Pasta Frittata, so perfect for a special breakfast or brunch, and a holiday special, Cranberry Pecan Baked Brie. Lucky for us, Ina has just completed her cookbook, Taste Memories, so we can have her favorites on our table.
Blue Plate Kitchen, Jasper's and Abacus, Dallas
Texas Chef Kent Rathbun has built a restaurant empire in the Dallas environs. From the casual Blue Plate Kitchen to sophisticated Jasper's and Abacus, his menus are infused with creativity and artistry. Fuji-Apple Farmstead Mascarpone Turnovers get an orange caramel finish. Luxuriantly rich chickpea and eggplant soup is laced with silky Wisconsin Brie.
Chef David Swanson is the chef/owner of Braise in Milwaukee, where the menu may surprise, but never disappoint. That's because it changes daily, depending on what's been received from area farms. As a Community Supported Restaurant (CSR), Braise touts remarkably fresh and flavorful foods from Chef Swanson, who worked in several Chicago French restaurants and the acclaimed Sanford in Milwaukee before launching Braise. Here, fried green tomatoes get upscaled with a savory tomato vinaigrette and Wisconsin Quark, a small batch cultured cheese made in Milwaukee.
Sable Kitchen and Bar, Chicago
Classic comfort and contemporary flair meet in Executive Chef Heather Terhune's cooking at Chicago's Sable Kitchen and Bar. Her style has been described as gastro-lounge, New American and ingredient-driven. One ingredient she often favors is Wisconsin Cheese, as in this summery Cheddar Corn Pudding and elegant Scrambled Eggs with Mascarpone.
Fountainhead, Chicago, IL
Chef Cleetus Friedman is committed to sustainable, local and healthy foods on his menu at Fountainhead, a popular Chicago craft beer and whisky bar. These Wisconsin Cheese Crostini are the perfect accompaniment to a cold summer beverage.
Underground Food Collective, Madison, WI
Jonathan Hunter of Madison's Underground Food Collective turns out inspired local feasts for the collective's restaurant Forequarter and catering operations. Expect something elegant and purely simple like this Smoked White Fish Salad with Wisconsin Cheese or Ricotta Gnocchi.
Bar Pastoral, Chicago
Chrissy Camba, a highly respected chef favoring local food producers, has followed her passion to Bar Pastoral, the latest enterprise of the ownership team of Pastoral® Artisan Cheese, Bread and Wine shops, three wildly popular Chicago food destinations. The Bar's bistro-style menu celebrates cheese, charcuterie and libations. Wisconsin Cheese finds a prominent place in dishes like Wisconsin Burrata Appetizer and Wisconsin Cumin Gouda Flatbread.
Associate Food Service Director/Chef
Shepherd University, Shepherdstown, WV
Although he holds a master's degree in social sciences, Chef Anderson's heart is in cooking. Having worked his way up the culinary ladder, he delights in teaching, menu management and recipe creation as a member of the university's academic team. These easy, but highly flavorful burritos and bruschetta are characteristic of his style and his preference for Wisconsin Cheese.
The Steakhouse at the Paso Robles Inn,
San Luis Obispo, Ca
A native Californian, Chef Kelly Wangard attended the California Culinary Academy and worked in several prestigious restaurants, including Fleur de Lys where she was mentored by noted Chef Hubert Keller. Presently, she's head chef of The Steakhouse at the Paso Robles Inn in San Luis Obispo, California, one of the Historic Hotels of America. Her causal but elegant approach is deliciously evident in these succulent oysters spiked with a beer basting and sprinkling of mellow Wisconsin Parmesan.
Dean of Culinary Education
Johnson and Wales College of Culinary Arts, Denver
Chef Jorge de la Torre spent years in restaurants before he became Dean of Culinary Education of Johnson and Wales College of Culinary Arts in Denver. Raised in Albuquerque, N.M., by parents of Bolivian descent, Chef Jorge de la Torre derives his food passion from his extensive ethnic experiences, reflected in this rich, yet light Wisconsin Ricotta Mousse, studded with spices and fruits and topped with a heavenly salted caramel sauce.
Executive Chef of the Art Institute of Chicago
Self-taught and highly acclaimed, Chef Jason Gorman has worked culinary magic for Milwaukee restaurants in the Potawatomi Bingo Casino (Dream Dance) and Iron Horse Hotel. Recently he returned to his Chicago roots as executive chef for the world-renowned Art Institute where he turns out seasonal specialties such as his sweet potato soup with Wisconsin Alpine.
New Bourbon Street Hidewaway; FoodSense; Fort Wayne, IN
Chef Todd Downs of Fort Wayne, Ind., is a busy man, heading up his own consulting company, FoodSense, with a long list of product and restaurant clients. He also is chef-partner in New Bourbon Street Hideaway, bringing a bit of New Orleans to the Midwest. But he always keeps one of his favorite ingredients–Wisconsin Cheese—close by. Enjoy the chef's playful creativity in his Inside-Out Grilled Cheese with Red Onion Jam.
Vintner Grill | Agave | RoadRunner; Las Vegas, NV
Choosing one of Chef Matthew Silverman's Las Vegas restaurants is a sure bet. Sample his winning flatbread pizza with Wisconsin Smoked Gouda and Mozzarella, and you'll feel very lucky. Chef Silverman oversees the culinary direction of the Michael Corrigan Restaurant Group, whose eateries include the acclaimed Vintner Grill, Agave Comida y Tequila and RoadRunner Restaurants.
Pura Vida | Blue Canyon Kitchen and Tavern; Cleveland, OH
These seasonal specialties from Cleveland Chef Brandt Evans are like summer on a plate—a watermelon, tomato and Wisconsin Burrata salad or sea-salt roasted beets with orange-whipped Wisconsin Mascarpone. Cleveland diners can enjoy his creative American cuisine at Pura Vida or Blue Canyon Kitchen and Tavern.
Jasper's, Kansas City, MO
Chef Jasper Mirabile, Jr. steers the kitchen at Japser's in suburban Kansas City, taking the restaurant his grandfather and father founded in 1954 to new heights. Still honoring Italian traditions, he applies fresh and modern touches as are evident in this recipe for Eggplant Caponata Barroco with Wisconsin Asiago Cheese.
Gabrielle, New Orleans, La
New Orleans natives Chefs Mary and Greg Sonnier re-opened their highly esteemed restaurant, Gabrielle, destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. In the new Uptowner Hall location, the Sonniers are still working their magic with gumbo, boudin and BBQ shrimp pie. Wisconsin Cheese finds a happy home in one of Mary's standout desserts, Apple and Wisconsin Aged Cheddar Bread Pudding.
Williamsburg Lodge, Williamsburg, Va
Executive Chef Rhys Lewis prepares inspired cuisine reflective of Chesapeake and Virginia at historic Williamsburg Lodge, but his cheese hails from Wisconsin. His Mascarpone-Topped Crostini with My Mother's Tomato Conserve is perfect for Mother's Day, or any day.
Ford's Filling Station, Culver City, Ca
Chef Ben Ford's casual and creative approach to cooking makes Ford's Filling Station one popular gastropub. This Culver City, Calif., spot showcases his eclectic, not overly complicated approach to cooking with unforgettable dishes–many studded with Wisconsin Cheese.
Girl & The Goat, Chicago
One of the toughest reservations in Chicago is Girl & The Goat, restaurant of Chef Stephanie Izard, the only woman to win the title Top Chef in the popular Bravo TV series. Like her, Chef Izard’s food is delightfully creative and worldly. Wisconsin Cheese is one of her kitchen staples, an ingredient she relies on to spark her ever-changing menus. Her seasonal Panzanella is a delectable welcome to spring with artichokes, strawberries and Wisconsin Fresh Mozzarella, a recipe adapted from her new book Girl in the Kitchen.
Kendall College School of Culinary Arts, Chicago
Chef Christopher Koetke is not only a noted cook—he's also a noted educator, has studied language at the Sorbonne and holds an MBA. Currently, he's Executive Director, Kendall College School of Culinary Arts in Chicago, a post in which he extends Kendall's educational reach in the U.S. and the world. Lucky for us, he's still at home in the kitchen, and he's shared some of his favorite Wisconsin Cheese recipes.
Keswick Hall Resort at Monticello, Va
Executive Chef Dean Maupin is a Southern-born chef who’s discovered Wisconsin Cheese. At historic Keswick Hall’s Fossett’s restaurant in Virginia, he reinterprets the French influence instilled by Thomas Jefferson, using fresh ingredients-- many of them local-- in elegant cooking that is both rooted in the past and representative of the present. From rosemary-scented flatbread with Wisconsin Blue Cheese to Feta-spiked chickpea pancakes, Chef Maupin is a flavor magician.