Category: Food & Drink

Get the scoop on Door County food and drink scene, including breweries, restaurants and taverns. From Brussels to Washington Island, we’ve got the latest on what the peninsula’s chefs, bartenders, and artisans are cooking up for you in Door County.

  • Everything’s Better with Cheese

    Who doesn’t love cheese? In my opinion, we Wisconsinites have a lot to be proud of. The variety of amazing artisan cheeses made in our backyard has got to be at the top of any amateur chef’s culinary list of awesomeness. Don’t take our access to amazing cheese for granted. We really have something here […]

  • Jim Lundstrom, WI Cheese Masters

    An Advocate for Artisan Cheese

    A fortuitous family drive opened up the world of artisan cheese to Jim Pionkoski. “We were past Dodgeville on our way to Spring Green,” Pionkoski said. “We passed a cheese factory and I had never been in one. It was an old one, a house somebody had converted into a cheese factory.” They stopped, thinking […]

  • Len Villano, cheese

    The Art of Serving Cheese

    Cheeses can be served in a variety of ways, times, and for different occasions. I will never forget the time my father, brother and I were visiting relatives in Scotland in the late ’70s. My cousin Robin and his wife Winnabelle had us over for dinner one evening, and after we finished a satisfying four-course […]

  • The Process

    Chris Renard graciously took us through the daily cheesemaking process that takes place at the Renard’s Cheese plant on County S. Chris and his wife Ann own and run the store on Highway 57, while his uncle Brian Renard lives above the County S plant and owns and runs the store next to the plant. […]

  • Len Villano, Jesse Johnson, goats

    New Kid on the Block: Door County Creamery

    T hree generations of goats greet Jesse Johnson with bawling entreaties for brunch as he arrives at the barn for the first of two daily feedings. “It’s second-cutting hay, which is usually the best cut of hay. It has alfalfa in it,” Johnson said as he spread two bales of the still-green hay in the […]

  • Len Villano, Gray family

    Fresh and Local at the Gray-Aire Dairy Farm

    Growing up on a farm is definitely not what it seems. It certainly has its perks, but when it comes down to the nitty-gritty it’s a lot of hard work and dedication. My name is Madalyn Gray, more commonly known as Maddy. It amazes me how much I have gained from growing up in this […]

  • Cheese by the Numbers

    3,000 Pounds of breaded cheese curds Renard’s sold every week in summer 2013 40 Percent of Renard’s cheese product sold as curds 90 Percent of Wisconsin’s milk that is made into cheese 33 Pounds of cheese the average American eats in a year 2.8 Billion pounds of cheese Wisconsin cheesemakers make every year 72 Pounds […]

  • Len Villano, Schoolhouse Artisan Cheese

    The Culture of Cheese: The Roots of Cheesemaking in the Door

    Wisconsin’s cheese culture runs as far back as the recipes used to turn fresh milk into wheels of soft chèvre or bricks of sharp cheddar. It is the industry that kept our grandfathers employed, it’s the food on our tables and it’s our heritage. Dairy farming first came to the state in the mid-1800s, and […]

  • Celebrating Wisconsin’s Historic Bars & Breweries

    Jim Draeger, State Historic Preservation Officer of the Wisconsin Historical Society, and Mark Speltz, co-authored a beautiful book about Wisconsin’s tavern culture, Bottoms Up: A Toast to Wisconsin’s Historic Bars & Breweries.

  • Len Villano

    Chili: A Cold Weather Comfort

    Being a year-round resident of Door County, visitors often ask, “What do you all do here in the off season?” My standard answer to this question is:  “It’s my favorite time of year. There is time to reflect, time to reconnect, time to be still, time to get out and enjoy the quietness of the […]

  • Len Villano

    Preserving My Heritage: Making Swedish Meatballs

    There’s one reason why Swedish meatballs are important to me, and she’s pictured here. That’s my mom – Jean (Lundburg) Ehmke – the daughter of two Swedish immigrants, one from Stockholm and the other from Åseda in Småland. As a proud Swedish woman, my mother tried to reinforce the traditions of her heritage and culture; […]

  • RECIPE: Pumpkin Parmesan Ravioli in Browned Sage Butter

    I am connected with a group of women who gather in the kitchen every couple of months for what we call a worship session. What we are really doing is putting food up, making lots of one thing that can be stored in the freezer or canned. The last time we gathered we focused on […]

  • Len Villano

    Fermented Cabbage Connects Ann Miller to her German Roots

    Ann Miller never set out to be the Kraut Lady of Door County. In fact, she originally wanted to become a plumber in her native Door County as a way to make herself indispensable year round to the smooth flow of life in the place where she grew up, but her father, Carl, talked her […]

  • Len Villano

    Picnic Basket + Fresh Local Ingredients = Summer Serenity

    Summer is the best time of year to pack up some of your favorite salads, snacks, sandwiches and fruit and head out for a picnic. A humid summer breeze, paired with the chameleon-like Door County summer fields and a sunny day motivate me to pack up lunch or early dinner, grab a book, blanket and […]

  • Crafting Cocktails

    A little more than a year since it opened, the Wickman House in Ellison Bay has fulfilled its calling. “Our whole mission behind opening this restaurant was to be a bar-centric restaurant that was focused on service-oriented, farm-to-table food,” said Mike Holmes, co-owner of the restaurant.

  • What Came First: The Chicken or the Eggs?

    Raising chickens on a small scale has been trending ever since commercial chicken farming protocols have been brought to our attention. More and more often I hear of families and individuals bringing food production back home. People are paying attention to what they put in their body, and they are jumping on the chicken train […]

  • Recipe: Chickens, Eggs & Quiche

    Quiche, simply defined, is a savory egg pie or custard. Quiches are delicious and are so versatile – they can be pie-sized or individual bite–size morsels and can be made the day of an event or parbaked and frozen. Quiche is great for breakfast, lunch or dinner. It can be eaten cold or warm, which […]

  • Setting the Steakhouse Bar High

    When you name your new restaurant Chop, you set the expectation bar pretty high when it comes to delivering traditional American steakhouse cuisine. “We want to be the first choice for a great steak in Door County – period,” said Jody Wuollett, who owns and runs the Sister Bay restaurant with his wife, Patsy, and […]

  • Tempting Tailgate Foods

    Tailgating has evolved around the “bratwurst,” and we need to bow our heads for a moment of silence and praise the brat, an item of perfection by itself. When pairing food with standing, drinking beer and watching football, the brat is where it’s at. Add a little onion, ketchup, mustard or kraut and you are […]

  • Katie Sikora, cheese curds

    Cheese Curds: A Wisconsin Delicacy

    Born and raised in Wisconsin, I have eaten a fair amount of fried cheese in my 27 years. Working in restaurants in Door County over the course of many summers, I have also served a large number of cheese curds to folks visiting our beloved peninsula. So I have heard tourists ask the million-dollar question […]