Tag Archives: Culinary Arts Fellowship

Culinary Arts Fellowship Enjoys Haute Cuisine

–submitted by Mary Thompson; photos by Vicki Holschuh and Eagan Heath

IMG_2282Twenty Rotarians enjoyed an evening of haute cuisine and interesting conversation during our Culinary Arts Fellowship on December 4, 2017.  Many thanks to Boris Frank  (pictured here with Steve Wallman) for planning an innovative dining experience with Chef Tim Van Doren from Johnny Delmonico’s Steakhouse.  Our server, Cynthia McDonald, was well known to our group for her service at our weekly Rotary meetings.  She made the evening  special.

IMG_2286Our first course began with Chef’s demonstration on how to correctly shuck oysters as we learned the difference between the briny East Coast oysters and the more fruity flavor of the West Coast variety.  Also, it’s OK to eat oysters year round because they are farmed  around the world dispelling the idea of eating them only in a month ending in “R”.  The oysters were accompanied by a charred scallion mignonette and sparkling wine.

The entree played with our senses as the chef prepared  beef tartare (a hit!), with warm grilled lettuce and horseradish blue cheese ice cream.  For the less adventurous, like me, the tartare was cooked.  And those who selected the vegetarian option delighted in beet tartare.  The 2016 Meomi Pinot Noir was a perfect complement.

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Photo 1: Mary O’Brien and Christine Beatty; Photo 2 from left: Mary Thompson, Loretta Himmelbach, Robert Holschuh and Larry Jenkins

To complete our dining experience, Chef prepared  deconstructed  s’mores finished with hickory smoke under glass.

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Chef Van Doren received applause for our dining adventure.  We will certainly return for another ultimate dining experience.  And, Culinary Arts Fellowship Chair Loretta Himmelsbach reminded everyone of the next Culinary Arts Fellowship Event on February 5, 2018 at the Vignette Dining Club.

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!

Highlights from Culinary Steak Fry August 4

–submitted by Mary Borland; photos by Juli Aulik and Donna Beestman

The Rotary Culinary Arts Fellowship Group met for a fun summer gathering on the sandy shore of Lake Mendota the evening of August 4. It was a perfect summer night in Madison! If someone looking to move to Madison was in town August 4, they would have immediately fallen in love with our city just due to the perfect weather.

From left: Dorothy Brown, Randy Banks, Donna Jurek, and Ellsworth Brown

From left: Dorothy Brown, Randy Banks, Donna Jurek, and Ellsworth Brown

Add a view of Lake Mendota and the Capitol, and it can’t be beat! The group enjoyed an Old-fashioned, delicious Lakeside Steak Fry, including appetizers and dessert, under the direction of celebrated Chef Steven Hahn (below) of the Maple Bluff Country Club.

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Chef Steve demonstrated how to make the marinade used on the evening’s steaks and answered a multitude of questions from the group including how to test if a steak is done without piercing it with a meat thermometer and how long to marinate the steaks.

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After enjoying the wonderful buffet, guests lingered on the shores of the Maple Bluff Beach House as the sun set and left thankful for the new friends they made and the wonderful food they enjoyed.

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If you’d like to join the Rotary Culinary Arts Fellowship Group, please contact the Rotary office – we’d love to have you!

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.

Buon Appetito! A Tour of Italy at The Madison Club

–submitted by Kay Schwichtenberg; photos by Kris Ashe

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Buon Appetito!  That is how Chef Andrew Wilson greeted 38 Rotarians and their guests on Tuesday evening, November 5 at the Madison Club.    A tour of Italy through its cuisine was on tap for the evening.

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Part of our tour allowed us some time in the kitchen with Chef Wilson.  He demonstrated making pasta from scratch as well as some delicious fillings.  The pasta was prepared with local eggs from a farm in McFarland, many with double yolks resulting in wonderfully rich tortellini.

From there we gathered in the dining room to begin the ‘official tour’ starting with a Sicilian first course of octopus, fennel and olives.   The Emilia-Romagna region was next with a wonderful tortellini en brodo.   The third course was a specialty from the Lombardy region, Osso bucco and polenta.  And if we had not had quite enough with the wine flights and food, we finished the evening with a Piedmont specialty, Gianduja chocolate tart, sea salt caramel gelato and candied hazelnuts.

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When we left for the evening everyone was saying– complimenti alla cuoca!  Thank you to Culinary Arts Fellowship Group Chair Valerie Kazamias (pictured at left) for organizing this event for our group.