Category Archives: Culinary Arts Fellowship Group

Culinary Arts at Big Sky

–submitted by Moses Altsech; photos by Juli Baumgartner & Jason Beren

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Think back at whatever it is you microwaved for dinner Monday night, and wish you’d had the good sense to join the Culinary Arts Fellowship group at Big Sky, a terrific little restaurant in downtown Stoughton.

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(Photo 1: from left: Sharon Hoffmann, Chuck Casey, Martha Casey & Paul Hoffmann; Photo 2: from left: Nancy & Ed Young & Keith & Juli Baumgartner)

When the lamb chops were served, everyone wished they’d ordered those–but the same happened with the swordfish, the osso bucco, and the mushroom strudel; one thing was better than the next, and the creme brulee that topped it off was great too.  So good was the food that Jason Beren forgot to take pictures, and Keith Baumgartner begged his wife to take photos in his place.  There were no food fights (the food was too good to throw at anyone), but there were plenty of lively conversations among the great looking, sophisticated, modest Rotarians who attended this fun event.

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(Photo 1: Nick Topitzes; Photo 2: Erin Luken, Jason Beren, Casey & Eric Oelkers; Photo 3: Hannah & Eli Van Camp)

There’s nothing open in Stoughton on Monday evenings–not even the Big Sky, but it opened especially for us: The chef (who worked for years with the chef to the late King Hussein of Jordan) told us we’d be welcome back anytime, and although most of us had never been there before, we all said we would definitely return with more friends in tow.

Are you sorry you didn’t come?  Good; make sure you sign up next time!  Thanks to Nick and Judy Topitzes for bringing us to Big Sky and to Paul Hoffmann, our outgoing fellowship group chair!

¡estaba delicioso!

–submitted by Robyn Kitson; photos by Kris Ashe

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From Left: Robyn Kitson, Bev Mazur, Greg Mickells, and John Burgan

Spanish food was the theme as Rotarians of the Culinary Arts Fellowship Group gathered at the Madison Club Monday evening.

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Photo 1: Mary & Robert Borland; Photo 2: Sandy & Theran Morales; Photo 3: Rick & Joanna Bova

The feast began while Rotarians socialized with Madison Club staff circulating the room offering hors d’oeuvres of croquettas de jamon, manchego, olive and chorizo pinxtos, and smoked rainbow trout bocadillos.

IMG_0083Chef Andrew Wilson invited us into the kitchen to witness his creation of classic paella. It was fascinating to see the master at work, adding the different ingredients – the chicken and the olive oil and the shrimp for just a little bit of coloring – peppers, basil, saffron, and then the mussels and shrimp and green beans…a bit of rabbit, too.

Rotarians filled four tables to partake in this artfully prepared Spanish spread.

First course: goat cheese stuffed piquillo, peppers, Serrano ham, oranges and parsley puree; wine pairing of Ulacia Txacolina- Basque Coast.
Second course: grilled octopus, roasted pearl onions, romesco sauce; wine pairing of Cune Rioja Crianza.
Third course: paella with saffron rice, rabbit, chicken, chorizo and shellfish; wine pairing of Pata Negra Ribero del Duero Reserva.
Fourth course: caramel flan with fresh figs and whipped cream.

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Photo 1: Becky Steinhoff, RYE Student Charlotte de Monceau; Photo 2: Juli & Keith Baumgartner; Photo 3: Christine Beatty

Jason Beren concluded the evening with a toast on behalf of the whole group to Valerie Kazamias for planning this popular, well-attended event.

Estaba delicioso!

Culinary Arts Group Enjoys Cuban Meal at Maple Bluff

–submitted by Paul Hoffmann

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Paul and Sharon Hoffmann

The Rotary Culinary Arts Fellowship event at Maple Bluff Country Club on April 23 was a night of lively conversation over a delicious Cuban themed four course meal.

The evening started off with a glass of wine of choice to enjoy while everyone was arriving. A little Cuban background music set the mood and it gave us time to meet the other Rotarians and guests.

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Executive Chef Steve Hahn

Once everyone was gathered together and introductions were made we were escorted to the kitchen for a cooking demonstration by Le Cordon Bleu trained Chef Steve Hahn who recently returned from a Caribbean trip. The chef prepared a quick appetizer of conch and plantains served with a refreshing mojito. The Chef demonstrated how the main course of red snapper was going to be prepared. It was pan seared and then topped with a shrimp and coconut mousseline which was slightly baked.

After the demonstration, the first course of conch fritters was served back in the dining room which has a beautiful view over Lake Mendota towards the Capital. The next course was a smoked tomato gazpacho soup topped with avocado infused foam. The main course was the red snapper mousseline with rice and beans. The final course was a dessert of flan with a guava puree and thinly sliced peaches. The evening was a great way to get to know other Rotarians.

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Photo 1: Mark & Candace Moody; Photo 2: Lynne Judd, Tracy & Mark Brant; Photo 3: Ron Luskin & Terry Ruzicka, Paul Olsen; Photo 4: Dan Dieck & Nona Hogan, Roth Judd

If you enjoy special dining experiences, please consider joining the Culinary Arts fellowship on their next food adventure.