PBS food expert will host college’s chef series

Joseph Craker, Staff Writer

Hosting the third annual Madison College Chef Series beginning this month will be food expert Kyle Cherek, host of the award-winning show “Wisconsin Foodie.”

For years, Cherek has taken his “Wisconsin Foodie” audience on PBS to every corner of the state on a quest for the best cuisine. This autumn, Cherek is coming to the Truax Campus demo kitchen where he will help to showcase some of the greatest culinary minds in the region, several of whom are former graduates of the Madison College Culinary Arts program.

“Kyle has introduced people to many opportunities surrounding the food industry in the state,” said Chef Paul Short, director of the Culinary Arts program. “Our students need to know the various paths they can follow with this degree.” An apt fit, Cherek and the Chef Series will go together like macaroni and cheese.

The witty and unique host is more than just a foodie himself. For years Cherek has recorded award-winning food stories throughout Wisconsin, documenting both where the food is sourced and how it affects our culture. He also regularly contributes to NPR, and has been featured on The Cooking Channel and The Travel Channel.  Cherek holds a particular interest in the science of “food memories:” the powerful link between our sense of taste and our ability to recall an experience.

Bryan Woodhouse, director of the Center for Entrepreneurship at Madison College, is excited to have the Chef Series ready to roll once more. “The series spotlights amazing local and regional culinary professionals we have and creates opportunities for the community to hear their stories, learn professional techniques, and experience their cuisine,” said Woodhouse.

In the past, the Chef Series has had some serious talent on showcase. This includes local culinarians such as Dan Fox (Heritage Tavern) and Daniel Bonanno (A Pig in a Fur Coat) as well as those from the Greater Midwest area such as Mindy Segal (Mindy’s HotChocolate in Chicago). Culinary Arts students and foodies alike will be treated to talent of equal merit this year.

Chef Justin Carlisle, owner of Ardent in Milwaukee and graduate of Madison College’s Culinary Arts program, will be the first to showcase his skills and style on Tuesday, October 23 starting at 6 PM in the Demonstration Kitchen at Truax. Carlisle’s restaurant, which opened in 2013, has been named Best Restaurant in Wisconsin by Business Insider and one of the 15 best new restaurants by Condé Nast Traveler. Carlisle himself has been nominated for the James Beard Award (Best Chef – Midwest) four years running.  Tickets are available thru this link under the Chef Series tab.