Tag Archives: Culinary Arts Fellowship

Bar Corallini, a Special Niche for Recent Culinary Arts Fellowship Dinner

submitted by Sharyn Alden; photos by Ellen Carlson & Rebecca Prochaska

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Walking into Bar Corallini, in the Schenk’s Corners neighborhood on October 9, I had the feeling this warm, welcoming venue, with its strong Mediterranean vibes, could eventually be a go-to place where everyone would know your name.

The new restaurant, which opened in the same space where Chocolaterian used to be, has a glorious new look and robust feel and energy. The name, which means “little coral” in Italian, is also the nickname for those who live in Torre del Greco, the hometown of Corallini’s chef, Giovanni Novella.

Our five-course dinner, which included a glass of red or white wine, started with an enormous antipasti platter of items such as Prosciutto di Parma, and grilled eggplant and zucchini, which we passed around family-style. Next up, a heaping salad plate with seasonal garden veggies dressed with aged balsamic vinaigrette.

The third course, the pasta course, arrived in a large dish to be shared with all. The rigatoni alla Bolognese, created with house-made beef and pork Bolognese sauce was seasoned with fresh ricotta. The veggie choice- Pennoni alla Norma was highlighted with tomato and eggplant.

The fourth course, the entrée, was also served family style, a nice idea for giving many guests a wide number of dishes to sample. That gave us the option of having ‘seconds’ if we liked. The Pollo marsala, a breaded chicken dish and scene stealer, arrived in a creamy marsala sauce, and won high praise.

We paused then, waiting for a finale that would finish off the hand-crafted Italian dining.

So it was fitting to end the dinner with a deeply satisfying taste of dark chocolate.

The dessert course, dark chocolate sorbet, whipped up from the creative talents of Baron’s Gelato in Sheboygan, had a glistening, unique velvety texture with a super-sized taste. Accompanied by mini-cannolis, the dessert course had just the right about of sweetness that deserved to be considered the finale to this new restaurant’s line-up of featured dishes.

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Then it was time to raise our glasses in toast to event organizer and Fellowship Chair, Rebecca Prochaska.

I heard many say it was delightful dinner in a beautifully re-defined space. It was also a good choice for catching up with old friends and initiating new friendships.

Culinary Arts Fellowship Enjoys a Spanish-Inspired Feast

submitted by Annette Hellmer; photos by Charles McLimans & Steve Wallman

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Chef Tory Miller’s latest restaurant, Estrellon, opened its doors to the Culinary Arts Fellowship on Monday April 23rd.  Nearly 40 Rotarians enjoyed an array of Spanish-influenced dishes made with an abundance of locally-sourced ingredients accented by delicacies imported from Spain.

The restaurant is stylish and sophisticated with a white interior and dark exposed beams.  The open kitchen allows guests to watch as the chefs masterfully prepare the food.

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Chef Miller was unable to join us because he and his wife are expecting a new baby imminently.  Not to worry…the rest of the Estrellon team, led by Executive Sous Chef Kyle Thomas, had things covered.  The preparation and presentation of our meal was flawless.  We enjoyed a wide assortment of tapas, all of which were served family-style.

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Words cannot do the flavors justice.  The feast included tastings of 4 flavorful small plates, 5 delicious large plates, 2 varieties of Paella, and was capped off by the restaurant’s signature Basque cake.  The flavors ranged from delicate to bold, from simple to complex.  The meal, which featured twelve separate dishes in total, was downright amazing.

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Thank you to Glenda Noel-Ney and Loretta Himmelsbach who planned this great event.  We hope to see even more Rotarians join us for the next outing!

Visit our club’s Facebook page for more photos.

Culinary Arts Takes a Tour on the Spice Route

–submitted by Joyce Bromley; photos by Keith Baumgartner & Steve Wallman

IMG_0192Instead of following the yellow brick road to get to a magical destination, we drove through some beautiful Dane County roads on February 5 that led us to Vignette where a candle-lighted long table filled the length of the room.  The house was soon filled by Rotarians and that means the sounds of conversation and laughter everywhere.  Chef Mark Wroczynski prepared us for a journey with him along the ancient spice route sampling various spices and surprising us with a variety of techniques he used to make each morsel seem one mile further on the path.

We came to love the succulent descriptions along with the food and Chef Mark’s principle of beginning and ending each meal with a dessert.  His method of blending sweet with savory in each course made each initial taste a springboard of surprises.  Loretta Himmelsbach worked with Chef Mark to perfect the 4-course meal and mother nature perfected the ambiance.  Through the windows that extended along the entire dining hall wall, we enjoyed the snow reflecting light from the ground and the sparkle of diamonds in the air.  The best party is the one anyone who did not attend would regret, and this was that kind of party.

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Photo 1: from left: Haley Saalsaa, Ted Ballweg & Joan Ballweg; Photo 2: from left: Al Goedken, Brian Hellmer, Annete Hellmer, Carol Goedken & Loretta Himmelsbach; Photo 3: Betsy & Charles Wallman

IMG_2849We began with a red wine & star anise poached pear, orange coriander chocolate sauce, brandied caramel cream and for the savory—pepper candied almonds.  Course 2:  We were served a Szechuan pepper marshmallow wrapped in a crispy wonton in a bowl and then the soup was added—sweet  potato bisque with 5-spice roasted pumpkin seeds.  He warned us that it would numb our lips, but not interfere with our further enjoyment.   Course 3:  resting on orange gastrique was a roll of beef wrapped around roasted Chinese broccoli, roasted ginger sesame carrots, with the star of the evening—cashew fried rice arancini (ball) made from creamy risotto rice with mixed vegetables, formed into balls, breaded, and fried.  Course 4: Our last stop on the spice route was Key lime & matcha mousse torte with raspberry sauce.  The pretzel and ginger snaps crust as promised made it both sweet and savory.

Thank you Loretta, Chef Mark, and his sous-chef Brian for giving us such a memorable evening!

 

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!