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  • Welcome! My name is Kelly, and I am a picky eater. On this blog I share recipes, new (to me) foods, restaurants, and products that I try in an effort to expand my tastes. You might also find me talking about my pug Olive, Miss Kitty, Project Life, my journey with running, and more! Feel free to contact me: [email protected]

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#KohlerFoodWine Preview Lunch

Full Disclosure: I was invited to this lunch and all of the food and beverage was complementary, in exchange for me posting about the event.  All of the opinions, as always, are completely my own.

Last week I had the awesome privilege of tasting some delicious food by some of Madison’s best chefs.  The lunch was a preview of some of the food, wine, and chocolates that will be appearing at the Kohler Food and Wine Experience in Kohler, WI on October 17-20.  It was a lot of fun to chat with the other media and food representatives there, and also to chat with the chefs. The event took place at Pig in a Fur Coat on Williamson Street, here in Madison.  The chefs involved were Dan Bonnano of Pig in a Fur Coat, John Bauer of The Wise at Hotel Red, and Tory Miller of L’Etoile. If you’ve been reading the blog for a while, you recall that I visited The Wise not too long ago, so I am familiar with the deliciousness of Chef John’s cooking.    The other two restaurants I have not yet been to, but I have heard nothing but great things about both of them, and their chefs.


The lunch was four courses (one from each chef, and delicious Kohler Chocolates for dessert) with wine pairings courtesy of Wirtz Beverages for each.  Lets just say, it was a little bit fancier than my usual lunch. 🙂

The first course was courtesy of Chef Dan: Gnocchi with braised Trautman oxtail, herb ‘n oyster mushrooms, capri parmesan and toasted bread crumbs.  It was paired with a 2010 Il Poggione – Rosso di Montalcino.  The gnocchi was amazingly light and the crispy parmesan was a nice addition.  While all of the food was delicious, I think this gnocchi may have been my favorite part of the lunch.


The second was from Chef John.  (He actually had two plates)  The first was a salad of local greens with a Dancing Bee Honey from Mount Horeb and lavender vinaigrette with pickled watermelon rind.  This was really delicious.  The dressing was flavorful but not super sweet, and the greens fresh and light.


The second was Wisconsin grass-fed beef short ribs with Milwaukee Brewing Company Polish Moon Milk Stout and Door County cherries.   It was paired with 2011 Rock Wall Wine Company – Jesse’s Vineyard Zinfandel.  While I am not a huge fan of short ribs (sorry, chef John!  At least I tried them this time! 🙂 ) The wine that was paired with this though was my favorite of the meal.


The third course was from chef Tory:  Somen noodles, seasonal market vegetables, grilled Willow Creek Farm pork belly, and wild mushroom dashi. This was one of most interesting dishes I’ve eaten in a while! I love noodles, and soup, so this was right up my alley.  It is basically a deconstructed soup, so you dip the noodles and other additions in the broth and slurp them up.  Chef Tory even demonstrated for us and told us it was totally ok to slurp the noodles – it actually enhances the flavors!  For those of you who are curious, yes I did try the pork belly.  While I didn’t hate it, I didn’t love it as much as some people do either.  It was paired with 2012 Milbrandt Vineyards Traditions Riesling.


For the dessert course we were presented with two Raspberry Garden Ganache Chocolates from Kohler Original Recipe Chocolates.  These were REALLY good.  How could I possibly eat two fairly large chocolates after three courses?  Well I did because they were so good.  Oh, and it was paired with Fonseca Bin 27 Port.


I am now wishing I had more of everything in this post because writing about it made me remember how delicious everything was. Overall it was such a great experience, and so much fun to get to chat with the chefs about their food, restaurants, and just food in general. It is amazing how well thought out all of their dishes were, and how passionate the chefs are about making delicious, innovative food with locally focused ingredients.


Want to experience these delicious foods, drinks, and chefs, (and more!) for yourself?  Come to the Kohler Food and Wine Experience October 17-20, 2013!  This year’s celebrated culinary experts headlining the Stella Artois Main Stage are Cat Cora, Fabio Viviani‚ Jacques & Claudine Pepin, Tony Mantuano‚ Bart Vandaele‚ Stefano Viglietti and America’s Test Kitchen favorites including Christopher Kimball.  The event is held at The American Club Resort and Shops at Woodlake Kohler.  It is sure to be some of the best food, wine, and spirits you’ve experienced with some of the best chefs, restauranteurs, winemakers, and more.  

Tickets are available for individual events online or via phone.  Event prices start at $15, and many seminars and tastings are complimentary!

I haven’t been to the event before, but I’m thinking about going this year – it seems like such a fun event!

Anyone been up to Kohler for the Food and Wine Experience before?! Anyone headed up this year?!

4 Responses

  1. Yum! Iowa girl eats has a recipe where she pan fries gnocchi instead of boiling, and now I won’t prepare it any other way, it makes it extra yummy! And you don’t need too much oil, so I feel like its not too naughty.

  2. That looks like a great event!

  3. […] biggest event this week was the Kohler Wine Experience preview lunch.  So much delicious food, and so fun to talk to all of the chefs and food loving […]

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