What Happens When You Challenge 3 Wisconsin Chefs to a Cheese Duel?

Discover Wisconsin

January 22, 2019

What happens when you challenge three talented and award-winning Wisconsin chefs to create three different dishes using the same variety of cheese? Magic!
If Wisconsin is well known for anything, it’s got to be for our award-winning cheese! So we decided to have three talented chefs make three very different dishes using the same type of cheese!

First up is Nathan Berg, head chef at the Lakely Restaurant in the Oxbow Hotel in Eau Claire. We challenged him to use Kammerude Gouda from Comstock Creamery.
His first course consisted of Kraut Balls! Using strained sauerkraut, shredded Kammerude Gouda, and a bit of flour and panko bread crumbs to bind it together! Serve with a house-made Cranberry mustard; it’s a mouthful of Wisconsin goodness!

For his second course, he made an airline chicken breast served with a Kammerude Gouda potato gratin. Thin layers of potato covered with shredded Gouda cheese and layered with heavy cream and baked to perfection!
The dessert course consisted of a strawberry rhubarb tart topped with a creamy Kammerude Gouda and whiskey ice cream! Scrumptious!
The next chef we challenged was Luke Zahm of the Driftless Café in Viroqua. We challenged him with Sid Cook’s Glacier Penta Crème Blue Cheese.
For the first course Luke created a pizza. Starting with an herbed aoli base, topped with house-cured bacon, figs, caramelized onions, and of course; Glacier Penta Crème Blue Cheese!

For the main course, Luke created a creamy wild rice risotto using the blue cheese as the base, and serving it with a pork chop covered with door county cherries in a bourbon and local honey sauce reduction and edible flowers!
For the dessert course, Luke and his pastry chef concocted a whipped Penta Crème blue cheese cake with a walnut crust. Amazing lemony taste with just a hint of blue cheese flavor! Delicious!

And last, but certainly not least, is Chef Adam Siegel from Lake Park Bistro in Milwaukee. We challenged Chef Siegel to create three dishes using a Wisconsin original; Widmer’s Aged Brick cheese or Aged Brick cheese spread!
For the first course, Adam created an appetizer of ravioli pasta stuffed with Aged Brick spread, basted in a brown butter sauce with wild mushrooms and brick cheese shavings! Incredibly tasty!
For the second course, chef created another form of pasta infusing a choux pastry with aged brick and poaching it to create a flavored gnocchi tossed with summer vegetables like sweet corn, sweet bell peppers, patty-pan squash, some duck confit added in, and covered with a brick cheese fondue sauce! Completely scrumptious!
And for the pièce de résistance, a peach tart with accents of Aged Brick cheese! Devine!
Well one thing is certain, not only is Wisconsin Cheese the best, it’s also incredibly diverse in the many different ways to enjoy it! I hope we’ve inspired you to try some new cheeses and maybe even do a little experimenting in your own kitchen! And no matter how you use it, there’s no wrong way to hit a Wisconsin cheese trifecta!

Amy Wallace is a member of the Discover Wisconsin crew. Stream Discover Wisconsin on Roku, Apple TV, Smart TV, Amazon Fire, Chromecast or discoverwisconsin.com. Or tune in Saturdays at 10 a.m. on Fox Sports Wisconsin.

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