Win a Four-course meal for Four! We’ll serve this in your own home.
Three menu options to choose from:
Eggs, potato, truffle, chives
Cheese, greens, cherries, pecans
White fish (depends on market), beets, cabbage, parsnips
Custard, preserves, fresh fruit
Wild mushrooms, shallot, cream, Cognac<
Prawns, carrots, grits
Fowl of your choice, Brussels sprouts, butternut squash, bacon
Custard, preserves, fresh fruit
Menu 3, Vegetarian
Tomato, olive, cheese, bread, grapes
Carrot, apple ginger
Butternut squash, mushrooms, pasta, sage
Olive oil, lemon, pecans
Two bottles of wine matched to your selected choice!
Purchase tickets at
River Arts on Water Gallery
590 Water St., Prairie du Sac
827 Water St., Sauk City
or call 608-963-8451
Tickets are one for $10 or two for $18. Drawing held at River Arts on Water Gallery, October 30 at 7 p.m. Winner need not be present to win. Dinner is valued at $500.
First, I want to thank the Sauk Prairie Theatre Guild for providing me with this opportunity. I am honored to help raise money so that the community may continue to have and enjoy their local theatre troupe. However, creating a biography of my restaurant career seemed like a daunting task. What do you write about yourself so that people will want to eat a meal that you’ve cooked? I’ve learned that honesty is almost always the best policy. That said, here is my abbreviated life story and some of the reasons I think you should buy a ticket… or five!
My family moved from Madison to our farm on Crystal Lake Road when I was four. I grew up fishing bluegills that were fried for dinner, picking eggs that would be eaten for breakfast and planting and weeding the big vegetable garden that provided summer and fall meals. I remember being so content sitting at the table with my family eating a meal we’d all had a hand in, “oohing and awing” about how tender the sweet corn was or commenting on how perfectly unblemished our salt-and-peppered heirloom tomatoes were. Those memories stuck with me. As I began to learn more about food as I moved through the industry, I realized how lucky I was that my parents taught me to be food conscious at a young age. I attribute much of my passion for honest cooking and love of food to them. Both early members of the Willy St. Co-op, my mother made dinners of curry or bulgur and lentils while my father spent his weekends farming his organic amaranth for Nature’s Bakery. My sack lunches at school consisted of thick cheddar cheese sandwiches on wholegrain bread, carrot sticks and maybe a yogurt. At the time I was envious of my friends’ lunches; they had chips, pudding cups and bologna sandwiches on white, squishy bread. At the time, I thought my lunch was so strange but I know now that my parents were trying to provide me with tools. They wanted me to understand what goof food could do for my body and brain.
My curiosity and interest in food continued and when it was time to get a job when I was 14, working at a restaurant seemed just right. I could make money and learn about food! I became quite taken with working in restaurants; the fast pace and hard labor agreed with me so I just kept working. I worked my way through college at Fitz’s on the Lake and after five years at UW-Whitewater, graduation was still years away. I decided I no longer wanted to teach English and history to teenagers. I needed time to rethink this career thing. In the meantime, I had my job at the restaurant were there was a sense of family. We were there for each other. We worked hard and played harder. So I continued to stay, to do what had become second nature to me.
After while, I knew it was time for a challenge. I knew I was too comfortable, that if I didn’t push, I’d get bored and then I’d get sad. It was time for a move. Madison restaurants gave me what I needed; I learned lots of really cool “stuff.” My passion grew. I learned if food is paired with the right wine or beer, it assumes another level. I learned about the slow food movement and how important it is to support the local producers in our own area. It’s awesome for the local and state economy, it reduces our carbon and it’s good for your insides and brain. These are just some of the ideas mom and dad exposed me to as a child! Everything began to click and I was finally able to understand their lesson completely.
I’ve had the opportunity to work with some amazing and brilliant chefs who taught me to appreciate what’s all around us. At Delaney’s, chef Jerry Kohls taught me that food can be an extension of our artistic selves. While working there, I was inspired to attend entrepreneurial and business management courses so I could eventually have my own food business. While attending MATC for business, I decided to enroll in their culinary arts program. Going to culinary school was a turning point for me. Until then, I was still unsure if I wanted to keep going down the restaurant road. I knew I wanted to be “well-rounded and knowledgeable” if I were to continue and that’s exactly what school allowed me. To this day, I think it was one of the best decisions I ever made.
After I graduated, I put my two new degrees to work at The Old Fashioned on the Capitol Square. It was my dream job. By day I’d manage the lunch shift and by night, I’d serve as the restaurant’s event coordinator. I loved The Old Fashioned’s focus on Wisconsin ingredients. They are the leader in all things Wisconsin. Working there gave me a sense of pride. I was also allowed the opportunity to develop some menu items for the private event menu, which was really fun! Jen DeBolt, Bob Miller and Tami Lax, thank you for teaching me what Wisconsin has to offer: beautiful cheese, produce, honey, meat, beer. I can’t thank The Old Fashioned enough for their contribution to my food awareness. Any time I have the opportunity to enjoy local ingredients and talk with the people who produce them, it makes me really happy. I learned to do this from the wonderful people I met along the way.
When it was time for my husband Jason and I to put down some real roots (We met at The Old Fashioned and he’s my perfect match. Another part of my life I thank the industry for!)andto provide ourselves with our next challenge, I tried to think about a place I thought we could be happy forever. The simplicity of the farm on Crystal Lake Road was calling us, as were the garden and grounds- all they had been and all they could be. We began to think about what the land could help usbecome and all that we could learn from caring for it. It was one of life’s rare moments when everything becomes very clear. I would build the business I’d always wanted there; it would be the perfect place to cultivate those dreams.
We’ve been living on the farm for three months now. When I go to our family garden to pick ingredients for our dinner, those childhood feelings of contentment come flooding back and I’m certain that I am home. I am living in a wonderful place and time where I can do things as my grandparents did. I love to can pickles or tomatoes and think about how my Grandma Irwin did it just the same way. How could anyone fail to see the comfort that can bring?
I have already been long-winded in my explanation of why you might buy a raffle ticket from the Theatre Guild and why I might cook you and your loved ones a meal. If I have not sold you, my story probably didn’t strike a chord with you and that’s okay. For those who might be interested, please know that it would be my honor to cook for you! The reason I continue to strive to be the best culinary artist I can is so that I may see the satisfaction, the joy, and the surprise that goes along with cooking for others. For me there is not better way to show your true self than by doing what you love. My intention for this meal is to honor the awesome fall ingredients Wisconsin will have to offer us. As much as possible, vegetables will come from local gardens, meats from local butchers etc.
Ingredients have not been described in great detail because I am unsure of what we’ll have access to at the time of the meal. You may determine some of the details also. You will choose the four-course menu you would like me to prepare. Next I will visit you at you home so that we can discuss any dietary needs/preferences and assess any kitchen/equipment needs. A date for the dinner will then be chosen so that planning can continue. The meal will be cooked for you and three guests in your home and served at your table. Two bottles of wine will accompany the meal as well.
Thank you for taking the time to consider our offer. I can’t wait to meet and cook for you, Winner!
The Sauk Prairie Theatre Guild is searching for bees- “worker bees” to be exact.
“Worker bees” are folks that like to work behind the scenes for plays. They do not necessarily have an interest in “flying” around the stage as an actor or actress but enjoy creating and making sets, collecting and managing props, sewing costumes or finding them, like writing articles for the newspapers, like to create posters, enjoy doing make-up and hair, enjoy being line prompters and in general, are interested in creating a “buzzing” environment to make a play successful.
The SPTG’s next play will be a children’s musical play Alice in Christmas Land from Lewis Carroll and adapted for a large cast of young performers by Kathryn Schultz Miller of ArtReach Children’s Plays. The play will be performed at the River Arts Center on December 4, 5, and 6. Marita Kelter will direct the musical with the assistance of Jeni Hanko and Mike Irwin. In order for this to be a successful experience, we need a “bee hive” of activity!
Please consider becoming involved in the SPTG production crew! Please call Ellen at 963-8451 to find out more!
Tickets are on sale now for It’s All About Timing…in life*, in love, in business, in the theatre! Four short plays: The Doctor Will See You Now by Karen Mueller Bryson, Five Ex-Wives in ICU by Linda Thorsen Bond, Starlets in Training by Kelly Meadows, and Secret of Success by Jim Gustafson.
Join us the first weekend in March at Park Hall for one of these performances…and stop to visit with Paul’s Chocolates.
Click here to purchase tickets.
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