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LOCAVORE

TITLE OF SECTION

MILWAUKEE

IF THEY PLANT I T, W E W I L L E AT

S W E E T WAT E R ORGANICS

E AT LOCAL 1


M I LWAU K E E


THE GOOD LAND


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CONTENTS M I A D B R I D G E | L O C AV O R E

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IF THEY PLANT IT, WE WILL EAT

SWEETWATER ORGANICS

Heather Ray

Ana Stephens

Milwaukee chefs change the way we read our menus.

MIAD students help the community while getting their hands dirty.

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LETTER TO THE EDITOR

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HEALTH

08 |

FEATURE

13 |

RECIPE

15 |

FEATURE

23 |

SPOTLIGHT

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FEATURE

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CONTRIBUTERS

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25 EAT LOCAL

Heather Ronaldson

Thanks to chefs, the Farm-to-Table movement blossoms in Milwaukee.

Alison Galarza

Benefits of Farm-to-Table Eating

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If They Plant it, We Will Eat Lemon & Rosemary Salmon

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Sweetwater Organics

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Braise & Chef Dave Swanson

Eat Local

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Locavore 2


EDITOR’S LETTER by Alison Galarza

Milwaukee is often an under-appreciated city, judged by those who barely skim its surface. Outsiders may see it as a third-tier city living in the shadow of Chicago; desperately trying to revitalize and unite it’s neighborhoods. What was once a booming industrial-based city now lays stagnant with vacant buildings along a murky river.

I believe those people are very wrong, and that dismissing our city is a mistake. Milwaukee is not a hidden gem. One does not have to dig deep to discover the beauty and energy within. Every morning, I drive past the shimmering Lake Michigan. Every morning for a few seconds, I am reminded of how blessed I am to live near such a beautiful body of water. One which many of us have taken for granted. Lake Michigan has been the provider of life in the region since it’s creation. It provides for Wisconsin’s agricultural industry, which is what we are now recognized for.

The land and water are what we must give thanks to for the ability to provide fresh produce and healthy livestock. We are fortunate to be able to reap the harvest that Wisconsin provides- so why don’t more businesses feature local farms? We couldn’t be in a more ideal location to adopt the farm to table lifestyle, yet it’s not as utilized as it should be. “Organic” and “locally grown” shouldn’t be a sales pitch here, it should be the standard.

This month’s edition of Bridge will showcase Milwaukee’s farmto-table movement. It is important to recognize the shakers and movers who truly recognize the gift that our state has, and shares it with their customers. We should all be people who eat good, locally grown food. We should all be Locavores.

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RECIPE

LEMON & ROSEMARY SALMON DIRECTIONS

INGREDIENTS

This is a perfect dinner-for-two recipe on busy nights. Begin by preheating the oven to 425 and prepare an oiled baking sheet. Season the salmon filets by drizzling olive oil, salt, pepper, and just a dash of garlic powder.

1 lb salmon fillet

Slice the lemons and onions- lay them across the fillets along with the rosemary sprigs. They key to cooking salmon is simplicity, only season to compliment the fish’s natural flavor. Cover the sheet in foil, and bake for about eight minutes, or until the fillets have flakey consistency. Squeeze a dash of lemon juice on the fillets, and they are ready to be served. Serve with asparagus, roasted potatoes, or on a bed of fresh greens.

Olive oil 2 lemons 1 White onion Fresh Rosemary sprigs Garlic powder Salt & Pepper

BUY LOCAL Support local businesses and enjoy quality food by purchasing ingredients from local vendors. For this recipe, salmon from the St. Paul Fish Company (located in Milwaukee), is suggested.

RECIPE & PHOTOGRAPHY by ALISON GALARZA

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RECIPE

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M I LWA U K E E C H E F S & F A R M E R S

IF THEY PLANT IT,

WE WILL EAT

Milwaukee chefs & farmers change the way we read menus

Do you know

of her dreams- a deep freezer. “Now

where your dinner came from? Diners

I can get my meat,” Tornio said. Late

who order the New York Strip Fajitas

last summer, she made the 20 mile trip

at Café Corazon in Riverwest do. The

from her Greenfield home to MoonShine

beef comes straight from the owner’s

Acres in Mukwonago, where she picked

family farm in Waupun, Wisconsin. In

up a quarter steer and half a Berkshire

Bay View, the Burger at HoneyPie is

pig. “It’s not any cheaper than what

made with Wisconsin grass-fed beef and

you would find in the supermarket, but

a sunny side egg from Yuppie Hill Farms

I know the animals are raised naturally

in Burlington. Even a salad at Palomino

without hormones or antibiotics, and

Bar is piled high with local greens from

good meat like that is hard to find,” she

Milwaukee’s Growing Power. How do

said. “Plus, I get to tell them how much

customers know? It’s up there on the

bacon I want.” It’s safe to say the Tornios

blackboard. Farm-to-table, whether

do a lot of home cooking, but that’s

you’re tired of the phrase or not, is

not to say they don’t take advantage of

gaining momentum in Milwaukee, and

Milwaukee’s broad-based culinary scene.

it’s just as much of a marketing tool these

When they do, knowing where their food

days as it is a philosophy. It’s redefining

comes from makes a difference.

the way we eat, the way we shop, the W R I T T E N b y H E AT H E R R AY

I L L U S T R AT I O N S b y S E N N E S S A S O U K K A S E R M

It’s 5 o’clock.

way we read a menu. But what does it

The Tornios aren’t alone. The quest

mean? In the restaurant world, it simply

to eat more locally-grown produce

means the chef can tell you what farm

and sustainable-raised meat is gaining

the carrots in your soup came from. But

popularity. Between 2002 and 2007

who’s asking? Folks like Stacy Tornio,

local food and farmers markets were

that’s who. The 33-year-old wife and

among the fastest-growing segments of

working mother of two was overjoyed

agriculture in the United States, according

when she finally got the kitchen appliance

to the latest Census of Agriculture, with 8


M I LWA U K E E C H E F S & F A R M E R S

sales rising by nearly 50 percent. By

says over the phone as he begins

in Brewer’s Hill. With the help

2012, a mere 10 states accounted

to boil water for his 11-year-old

of numerous Roots’ employees,

for more than half of the country’s

daughter’s spaghetti dinner. “I’m not

including Executive Chef Dan Jacobs,

nearly $7 billion local food sales- and

interested in recipes, though. When

Gruenwald opened Wolf Peach, a

Wisconsin ranked No. 8.

I read about food, I want to know

communal-style dining experience

ALL IN T H E ROOTS

its history, its origin, where it comes

that carries on the spirit of sourcing

It was during

from.” At Roots, it wasn’t enough

from local artisans and farms.

this early surge

to be just another farm-to-table.

of farmers

“Seed-to-plate is what I like to call

Today, Wolf Peach joins a prosperous

market frenzy

it. We were planting, growing and

collection of farm-to-fork restaurants,

that aspiring

harvesting what we were plating.

a sign that Farmer Joe Schmidt

restaurateur Chef

That was such a beautiful thing,” says

and Chef John Raymond did what

John Raymond

Chef John, speaking about Roots in

they set out to do, planting a seed-

seized the

the past tense. It’s been almost two

to-plate concept that Milwaukee

opportunity to fulfill his decade-long

years since he stepped away from “his

diners would continue to sustain. La

dream. Inspired by the pioneering

baby,” turning it over to developer

Merenda in Walker’s Point (2007),

efforts of Alice Waters’ Berkeley, CA

Tim Dixon in what he calls a mutual

Meritage in Washington Heights

farm-to-table restaurant (founded in

transition. After a couple dozen years

(2007), and HoneyPie (2009) and

1971) Chez Panisse,

in the restaurant business, it was

Odd Duck (2012) in Bay View market

Chef John teamed up with farmer

time… “These are the days I want to

to customers with “inspired by local

and friend Joe Schmidt in 2005 to

spend with my daughter,” and late

ingredients”-style descriptives

open Milwaukee’s first chef/farmer-

nights in a restaurant, coupled with

while packing tables.

owned restaurant- Roots.

the hardships of farming, leave

“The goal was to produce as much

little time for that. Within weeks

While Roots was introducing

as we could with our own hands,”

of the restaurant’s closing, Dixon

Milwaukee diners to the farmer-chef

says Chef John. “It’s how I grew up,

recruited the former bookkeeper

model, another aspiring restaurateur

and I have such an intense passion

at Roots, Gina Gruenwald, to

was busy building an infrastructure

for food and respect for the land.

open a new restaurant in the same

that would soon offer multiple chef-

I could talk about it for hours,” he

space perched on Hubbard St.

owned restaurants convenient access

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M I LWA U K E E C H E F S & F A R M E R S

B U ILDIN G T H E S U P P ORT N ET WO R K :

is based loosely on a CSA, or

place for another farm to fill the order.

Community Supported Agriculture,

That’s part of the thinking behind

which allows members to buy a share

the RSA. It’s a network of farms with

from a farm in exchange for weekly

diversified offerings marketing to an

or biweekly crops. But unlike a CSA

ensemble of Milwaukee chef-owned

THE RS A M O D E L

that typically relies on produce from

restaurants. To get the program up

a single farm, chefs who buy into

and running, Swanson met with

Swanson’s Braise RSA enter into an

willing chef participants to gauge

to locally sourced food- minus the

alliance of Wisconsin farms. Swanson

their needs for the season. From

travails of growing it on their own.

recognized early on that there was

there, he was able to match chefs with

In 2008, the Buy Local, Buy Wisconsin

no easy way for restaurants to source

the best possible growers, drawing

(BLBW) grant launched as part of

locally without a considerable amount

from the nearly 40 intimate farmer

Governor Jim Doyle’s budget with an

of work. Researching farms, arranging

relationships he built while working

initial $225,000 to propel local food

deliveries, and adapting the menu

with various restaurants and through

sales. Among the recipients was Chef

based on supply are all added hurdles-

his cooking school. During the winter

Dave Swanson, who at the time was

and added costs.

months, he met with each farm

four years into his traveling cooking

individually to place the restaurants’

school business (now called Braise

“Farmers don’t always have time

orders before planting season.

Culinary School), a venture that

for all those deliveries, either,” he

Payments were made to the farmers

took participants out into the fields,

adds. Not to mention the great deal

upfront to help them avoid short-term

orchards and forests for a hands-on

of planning that goes into servicing

loans with higher interest rates and

course that literally “connected people

a restaurant with specific crops and

improve their preseason cash flow.

to their food,” a familiar motto for

meats. And what about farms that are

anyone who knows Chef Dave.

at capacity? They might not be able to

By the end of its first season, the

afford the extra labor for growth, but

RSA was a win-win-win for not

The BLBW was just the funding

… perhaps they could benefit from

only restaurants and farms, but for

Swanson needed to launch his next

a market for end-of-season surplus.

the consumers. Members like Chef

big idea: a Restaurant Supported

Also, if crops from one farm are

Jan Kelly at Meritage can keep the

Agriculture (RSA). The concept

damaged, relationships are already in

emphasis of her blended, seasonal

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M I LWA U K E E C H E F S & F A R M E R S

Raymond is keeping his hands in

where I love to be.” And the farmers

FRO M T H E G RO U N D… UP T H E CORPORATE LADDER

can spend more time on the farm. “It

produce and created a market for

The company provides café and

means fewer phone calls and a one-

90 unique products, according to the

catering services to corporations and

stop delivery for us,” says April Yuds

BLBW 2008/2009 Annual Impact

universities in more than 30 states,

at LotFotL Community Farm, one of

Report. The model has been so

including Wisconsin, where it services

the Braise RSA farms in Elkhorn, WI.

successful that schools and other

thousands of employees at the Kohl’s

“Sometimes we have to settle for a

organizations with similar interests

corporate campuses in Menomonee

lower price, but now we have a market

have turned to Swanson for guidance.

Falls. They source ingredients for

for veggie seconds and some of the

“I think it’s great that colleges and

their seven cafes with seasonal menus

harder-to-sell, more unusual items.”

other institutions from around the

from small, owner-operated farms

menu on local ingredients. “It’s a way for us to get back to serving real food,” Kelly says. “And it makes my life as a chef a lot easier. I love to talk to farmers; I have such respect for what they do, but boy it’s a lot of work to visit and research farms. The RSA does the homework for me so I can spend more time in the kitchen,

the dirt while lending his culinary talents to Bon Appetit. But if you’re thinking about the foodie magazine, guess again. Although Roots was once recognized by the esteemed culinary publication, here we’re referring to Bon Appétit Management Company (BAMCO), a refreshing farm-to-fork venture in the food service world.

country are recognizing what we’re

and ranches from within a 150-mile

The added support from area chefs

doing, but it’s difficult for me to help.

radius. “Essentially, I’m a forager,”

to farms like LotFotL (which stands

This is a model specific to us,” he

says Chef John. “I seek out the best

for Living Off the Fat of the Land)

says. “What works in Wisconsin might

producers in the region.”

goes beyond dollars. “As farmers, we

not be the best approach for an area

work crazy hours,” says Yuds. “But I

like, say, Texas.” The RSA dynamics- a

In 2011, Bon Appétit Co. arrived at

try not to keep track. If I do, I realize

collaborative effort with sustainability

their desired milestone in the Farm

some days I’m working for something

and sharing at its core- have bound

to Fork program, reaching 1,000

around $1.50 an hour. But I’m not

Swanson and the member chefs into

contracts with small farmers, fishers

expecting my wage to come in the

a tight-knit group who have learned

and food artisans from around the

form of a paycheck. It’s the lifestyle

to overcome the challenges that come

country- a target hit thanks to the

that comes with it that makes farming

with farm-to-table service. “We might

company’s decision to hire designated

the most rewarding and enriching job

get in a whole steer and break it down

foragers. But if you ask Chef John

I have ever done.”

so that HoneyPie and Comet get the

if he misses the restaurant business,

cuts they need, or Jan at Meritage

he’ll tell you, “Yes… No… Maybe

Today, the RSA program that started

might be looking for something

some days I do. I mean, it’s a different

with a couple dozen farms and a

in particular,” he says. “We’re not

lifestyle with a lot of late nights. For

handful of area restaurants-now

worried about competition among us.

now, I’m enjoying spending the extra

including Swanson’s very own Braise,

If you give10 chefs a carrot and tell

time with my daughter.” And being in

which opened in Walker’s Point in

them to create something, you’re

a position to bring from-the-ground

2012-currently includes more than

going to get 10 very different dishes.”

ingredients to the masses?

400 farms and 20-plus chefs. In its

“Well, that’s kind of amazing too”.

first year, the RSA generated nearly

Since closing the doors to Roots in

$110,000 in new sales of local farm

2012, former owner and chef John

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M I LWA U K E E C H E F S & F A R M E R S

Well, that’s kind of amazing, too.

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H E A LT H

WRITTEN by THE SAN FRANCISCO TRIBUNE

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Local food is often more nutritious. Because it’s not shipped long distances, locally grown food is often tasty and healthy. Food that’s shipped is

local food better for your health, it’s also better

for the environment. For instance, the average 18-wheeled

often resilient to travel, according to the Leopold Center

semi-truck travels about 5 miles per gallon of gas. That

for Sustainable Agriculture. A study of 16 popular fruits

means about 500 gallons of diesel fuel is needed to haul

and vegetables showed the average was transferred

produce an average distance of 1,500 miles.

nearly 1,500 miles before being sold. In addition, 39 percent of fruit and 12 percent of veggies were imported from outside the United States. To keep food from going bad during travel, some fruits and veggies are picked before they are able to completely ripen and absorb nutrients. While this allows produce to ripen en route so consumers have access to fresh foods year-round, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says this mean foods often lack nutrients that would be there if allowed to ripen before being picked and shipped.

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Local food is better for the earth. Not only is


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The local economy also benefits when consumers buy their food locally. Because a large volume of produce is shipped upward of 1,500 miles before

reaching the consumer, the local areas where the food was grown and raised don’t always benefit from the sale of the food. On the other hand, buying food locally can improve the economic vitality of small, local farms.

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Farm-to-table eating offers diners a wide variety of choices when it comes to food. Farm-totable offerings include any type of whole food

imaginable, just as long as it’s in season. This not only means fresh fruit and vegetables, but also meat, cheese and other dairy products, nuts and even baked items.

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The concept of farm-to-table is not only being adopted by restaurants, but the idea is also being instilled in younger generations. Farm-to-school

or farm-to-cafeteria movements are growing nationwide. This helps support small- to- mid-size local farms by giving them regular business, and in return, students get healthy locally grown food. Many schools also offer nutrition education that aims to teach kids where food comes from and to be healthy eaters.

H E A LT H

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PHOTOGRAPHY by ALISON GALARZA WRITTEN by ANA STEPHENS

his semester I volunteered

Coming into work, seeing what

43 hours at Sweet Water

had to be done such as painting

Organics in the neighborhood

a work space, or making a sign

of Bay View. My responsibilities

and physically doing it, left me

there included maintaining the

with a sense of gratification when

general store helping out with

seeing the result of our efforts

things like merchandising, stock

put in. Sweet Water as a whole

and working with customers. I

reflects a philosophy of creating

enjoyed these tasks because they

“transformative change� through

enabled me to work with people, to

sustainable tools, and resources,

educate visitors coming on tours,

which benefit the community. Their

as well as an avenue to apply my

alternative ways of urban farming

artistic interests. My supervisors,

provide an infinite amount of

Toni Johns and Margaret Muza,

education and job opportunities

were two very enthusiastic

within their headquarters. What

individuals who made the work

makes their on-goings unique is

environment exciting and fun.

that it is a collaborative effort in every sense of the word. Fish

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We were constantly brainstorming

farming, planting, harvesting and

creative projects to do and

teaching all take place under the

through our collective dedication,

same roof. Activities and classes

we accomplished many of them.

are offered yearlong throughout


TITLE OF SECTION

the Sweet Water complex.

and nearly all tasks given at the

Because it is completely run off

foundation involve making it

of volunteers, they are always

happen and working with others.

bringing people in for tours,

and interdisciplinary educational

seeking new help and trying to

programming for sustainability

get the word out. Whether you

with a focus on the potential of

are interested in composting,

urban agriculture and aquaculture

the science of hydroponics or

in the 21st century setting.� What

the art of merchandising there

is commendable about this is how

are jobs/volunteer opportunities

they have addressed important

available for nearly everyone.

issues relating to the community

What is particularly great about

(nutrition, agriculture, sustainable

the activities that go on there

methods in urban farming) and

are how hands-on they are.

they have proceeded to give back,

Learning is doing at Sweet Water

through the opportunities they

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offer and through the distribution. How have

many jobs I took on working in the

they achieved this? I believe they have done this

general store, I sought out to organize

through dedication and hard work. For being an

a volunteer appreciation event one that

organization primarily run by volunteers, they have

would in essence help bring people together

found some very dedicated and knowledgeable

and celebrate their hard work. What I proposed

individuals who have put in the time and work

was a potluck gathering open to everyone who was

to expand the foundation. What began in 2008,

a part of Sweet Water, friends and family as well

as an abandoned warehouse, designated to store

included. I worked with my two supervisors,

train cars, is now a flourishing oasis of thriving

as well as a guy named Jeff Redmond

agriculture, a center for learning and a spectacle of

who was head of the art projects held

modern science. I don’t think Sweet Water would

at the foundation. Jeff became

be what it is today if it weren’t for the shared sense

an important contact for this

of pride, purpose and responsibility the people who

endeavor and for future projects

work there have. Their expansion and success of

as well. Preparation for the

how the foundation functions today have been built

potluck took a few weeks.

from the ground up, literally, with a collective drive

I spent hours cleaning the

and passion for what goes on. 

printing materials which hadn’t been used for a while,

ne common job there is harvesting lettuce.

scrubbing squeegees and so

This job is something that most anyone

on, in the trenches of sweet

could do if taught. However you might

water’s back warehouse.

wonder what motivates these volunteers to come

What seemed like gritty job

in on a weekly basis on their own time to stand for

from the get-go, turned out to be

hours without pay to pick leaves of this seemingly

more than worth while for people

precious hydro-lettuce? If there weren’t a sense

were more than excited to get their

of community there, with a genuine interest and

custom shirts made. The event took place

passion for the tasks that needed to be done, none

in Sweet Water’s newly established art gallery

of this would happen, or survive for that matter.

space, which is right next to the general store. Jeff

There seems to be a shared sense of pride and

had hung some of his work in the space that week

importance for the activities that go on there.

to promote the new edition, which was another aspect that excited people.

For instance, if the lettuce pickers didn’t come in

The turnout of the event was

to work how would the fish in the same system,

great. We had about 50

survive? If there weren’t any fish left, how would

people come and

Sweet Water go on to provide The Green Kitchen (and countless other local businesses) the staple, nutritious ingredients they need to serve their customers? Though this on their menu, would customers come back; would they stay in business? Sweet Water’s business model/ collective efforts function like a food chain. No single task is undermined in the process of production. Everyone is valued, every job is relative. Aside from the

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participate. Families, founders and young volunteers all came and donated a dish to pass. What was scheduled as a 5-hour event turned into a day long extravaganza of live printing, music

Hosting it in the outdoor area of Sweet Water would be a great way of making it visible to people passing by. Inviting local vendors, musicians & neighboring businesses will be a great thing for the community. Jeff was kind enough to offer his screen-printing

and games. I took on the task of printing shirts

materials again/ anytime needed, which I am very

throughout the whole day.

grateful and excited about. I have plans for the near future to work with him on a mural project there

What made is more than satisfying was the joy that people seemed to get out of receiving a shirt. Families and their kids were able to participate, the

as well, which is to be taking place in early summer. This is something, which I have wanted to do for some time there now. The plan is to paint a large portion of the exterior of the building, which now sits

moms went crazy! It was funny

untouched. Not only will this advertise for visitors,

to see people make runs to the

but help make for a more inviting outdoor area for

thrift store to keep on bringing

events to be hosted.

clothing back to be printed on. Jeff especially seemed thrilled

Needless to say, I am very excited to continue to

that his equipment was being put

work with and create projects at Sweet Water!

to use, and his screens were so appreciated. I myself, lost track of time because it was so much fun,

ver the course of this semester I have been interested in the readings we have been

and can say that it surpassed any

given which discuss the power of community.

of my expectations. The experience

Ferdinand Tonnie’s writings on discussing his term

in itself embedded a gratifying sense of

of Gemeinschaft vs. Gesellschaft for example were

community and collective accomplishment.

one, which I found to be relative to my personal

It goes to show that again, the people who

volunteer experience. His expansive investigation

I got to know there are just genuinely awesome

on the meanings of community (or Gemeinschaft)

people! As for the future, myself and the people who

left me with countless ideas to consider.

helped me plan that event want to make a public version of our potluck happen for the summer. In turn, this could be a great way of recruiting more volunteers to help continue to expand Sweet Water.

To start, I found it compelling that he based his definitions (or comparisons for that matter) on the element of human will. Meaning, the ways in which a community functions, or changes can be measured by the willingness of its residents. I found this idea particularly relative to the progressive environment I was in at Sweet Water Organics. There, the people who ran the foundation faced a seemingly unrealistic business model. That being, a volunteer-run foundation that sells fish and vegetables for nearly noprofit at all. However, as discussed previously, through getting to know these people, their motivation and success has come out of a shared sense of purpose and collective will. This is what Tonnie might have

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considered as a harmonious way of working, unknowingly being a part of something bigger. Tonnie also discussed the importance of connecting with others, and the dangers of distancing ourselves from other communities. In turn what this results in is a barrier of fear, which I find particularly relative to the city

of Milwaukee. It is no mystery that our city continues to be labeled as one of the most segregated cities in the nation. This very complex issue has everything to do with our government, politicians, investors as well as our neighbors and residents who are faced with economical challenges that permit a whole lot of progress to be made. If there’s one aspect to this issue that I find particularly compelling it is how we as a community can come together as a people to voice these changes that need to be made. Tonnie discusses this idea thoroughly in stressing how much power and responsibility that we as residents have to bind together. In his chapter Disillusion he states, “The substance of the common spirit has become so weak or the link connecting him with the others worn so thin that it has to be excluded

from consideration. In contrast to the family and co-operative relationship, this is true of all relations among separate individuals where there is no common understanding, and no time-honored custom or belief creates

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a common bond.” (2) What can be

segregation, I do believe can be

In doing so, he proposes that we have

interpreted as a form of segregation

connected through the misuse and

evolved as a society to dismiss issues

is what he describes as a mental/

unbalanced amount of funding

of well being for one another. He poses

psychological war. This being a result

which seems to be lacking from our

the question: “What if we factored

of no communication between groups

government towards infrastructure.

into our estimates of productivity,

of different backgrounds, letting the

efficiency, or well-being the difference

stereotypes be the only thing that

This of course, is much easier said

between a humiliating handout and a

function between them.

than done for many reasons. One

benefit as of right? We might conclude

being, the amount of investments

that the provision of universal social

On page 2 he explains, “Even peaceful

that goes toward tourism in the

services, public health insurance, or

and neighborly relations are in reality

city of Milwaukee. In the state of

subsidized public transportation was

based upon a warlike situation.

Wisconsin alone, tourism brings in

actually a cost-effective way to achieve

This is, according to our concepts,

around $13 billion dollars a year in

our common objectives.”

the condition of Gesellschaft-like

annual business, bringing in around

civilization, in which peace and

66,000 jobs. Therefore, being one of

If there’s one thing I believe in it’s the

commerce are maintained through

our state’s major cities Milwaukee

importance of bringing these issues

conventions and the underlying

alone invests billions of dollars into

down to a very human-to-human level.

mutual fear.” (Tonnie) These social

tourism infrastructure to help sustain

We can read about all these things as

issues can be applied to many of

the industry. Summerfest for example,

much as we want, and granted there

the neighborhoods, which remain

is just one of the many sites where

is vital that we educate ourselves on

segregated in our city. However a

these investments are channeled. But

different ideas, however I believe in

major component to consider in the

an obvious question that I seem to

the value of doing things. Going back

spirit of change is again, the power

continue to wonder is if Milwaukee

to Tonnie’s emphasis on the power

we have a people who make up what

has all this money, why do we continue

of the people, I strongly agree with

Tonnie refers to as “The Real State”.

to struggle with seemingly simpler

this. Daniel Judt also discussed this

Furthermore, many of the economical

problems like public transportation,

in his article “Rethinking Politics in

issues, which Milwaukee faces, cannot

the lack of homeless shelters, food

the Classroom” which talked about

be fixed without the help and attention

pantry’s and community centers?

teaching younger students about

from its society. A topic, which I

(Marshall) As Judt states on page 169,

politics and the importance of sparking

focused on this semester, in particular

“Societies are complex and contain

conversations on controversial issues

was our city’s infrastructure and how

conflicting interests.” Therefore there

early on. The over arching idea here

it seems to be more than dysfunctional

is not just one simple solution to any

was the value placed on making things

in relationship to its residents.

of these issues. An interesting point

relative. Whether it is an experience,

that he goes onto discuss is the ways in

an idea or something spontaneous

In particular, the downtown area

which society influences how and what

I believe that there can be a lot

where countless buildings seems

we see as things of value. He discusses

gained through reflection and

to sit vacant, when the number of

how the society has encouraged us

thoughtful consideration. This is

Milwaukee’s homeless population

to invest more and more in private

how we can better our communities

increases. This issue, along with

interests in order to benefit ourselves.

and ourselves.

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S W E E T WAT E R O R G A N I C S

ver the course of this semester I can say that volunteering has opened my eyes on ideas of community and the importance of making connections. The readings we have been given as well as in class discussions have brought up some very important points such as the power we have as people and the responsibility we have to demand change. However, I do believe the most impact experience I have gotten from this course has been through the volunteer work itself. Sweet water was a great setting where art and community work went hand in hand. This type of creative environment is one in which I can see myself continuing being a part of. I have always been very driven by the process of making things. I do think this is one reason why I enjoyed working at Sweet Water so much. Everything from harvesting lettuce, catching fish and the event we threw was extremely hands on and process-driven. Being able to experience first hand the pay-off of hard work and to see a change in the place after putting in hard work was extremely satisfying. Likewise, having the openness to craft new events and projects was very motivating. Of course running a business of any kind being run off of volunteers is risky and has its pros and cons. However this is an aspect of Sweet Water, which I enjoyed the most because it offered flexibility and creativity to go into the planning of new projects. The people that I worked with played a huge role in everything too. Getting to know the charismatic co-workers at the warehouse was just as much fun as the jobs themselves. Being around entertaining individuals who were so dedicated and creatively motivated, was an encouraging environment to be a part of. After all, it is because of these people who come in and spend their time there who make the place run. The event that I am proposing is a long-term project in which all of these unique

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SPOTLIGHT

B R A I S E E L E VAT E S M I LWA U K E E DINING SCENE PHOTOGRAPHY by ALISON GALARZA ARTICLE by JEFF BEUTNER

With a number of

The room, dominated by two

the tiny bits of pancetta. The larger

restaurants opening

communal tables constructed with

size is suitable as a small entrée.

in formerly shuttered

wood from the building’s former

spots, Walker’s Point is

bowling alleys, has a second bar

Braise is a “Community Supported

where patrons can spy on kitchen

Restaurant.” Members may purchase

boom. The latest opening is Braise,

activities or watch the brick oven

vouchers in packages ranging from

located in the former M’s bar. The

in use. The items prepared in this

$250 to $5,000. The basic level

remodeled Braise is an ambitious

kitchen are all very tempting.

includes three $100 dinner vouchers.

showing signs of a dining

project part restaurant and part

23

The upper levels add cooking

cooking school. Chef/owner David

The menu presents three categories:

classes, a kitchen work-share

Swanson focuses his menu on locally

the “Butcher Block,” or bar menu,

program, and an Urban Ecology

sourced foods.

the “Main” menu, with the entrées,

Center family membership, among

and the “Dessert” menu. The house-

other perks. Whether a member or

Braise offers a very pleasant setting.

pickled green tomato risotto with

not, Braise offers everyone a winning

The front room, featuring a bar and

paprika oil ($5-$9) is an ideal starter

experience. This is one of the finest

a few tables, has a rustic character-

that captures the spirit of Braise. It

restaurants to open in this area in

rustic as in Aspen, Colo. The rear

is a bit daring, with the tart flavor

quite some time.

dining room is where you will find

of the tomatoes dominating, but

even more action.

everything works together, including

Excerpt of a review written by Jeff Beutner. Visit shepherdexpress.com to read the full review.


CHEF TALK

(EXCERPTED) INTERVIEW by KYLE CHEREK

A sit down with Braise chef Dave Swanson; talking about his start as a chef and what it’s like running a locally-sourced ingredient delivery program.

KYLE: I was talking with another Chef, and she was saying how she loathes that restaurants now list the farms where the ingredients are from- because she feels that it should be normal. What do you think about that? DAVE: I never put the names down on the menu. Never. In the restaurant biz, we call that the “laundry list”, when you read the menu item, and you read it through, to the point where you don’t even know what you’re eating. We couldn’t do that, there are six or seven farms per each dish. We don’t want to hit out customers over the head with that when they come in. I completely agree that restaurants should all be sourcing locally, it shouldn’t be a selling point.

KYLE: Now, you come from the Chicago restaurant scene. Then you came here to be Chef de cuisine at Stanford, and then you stayed. Why? Was Milwaukee as dynamic for you as it is for me? DAVE: Yeah, I mean, I fell in love with Milwaukee. People always told me to go to Madison, because all the stuff I was doing is going on in Madison. But that’s why I wanted to do it here. We should really bring the farmers of Wisconsin into the light of day, into Milwaukee. KYLE: Does it frustrate you that it took you since 2004 to pull this place together?

DAVE: I mean, the real estate market was crazy. I couldn’t afford it. I had my business plans wrote out in ‘92, but life happens, and you never know what will happen. KYLE: How often do you get out in the food scene here? DAVE: Not very often. With doing RSA and home delivery, I’m busy. KYLE: Do you wish you could? DAVE: Um, yeah. It’s just about building relationships. I started out as a delivery guy for RSA, so a lot of Chefs sort of looked at me like “Who the fuck is this guy?” not realizing that I was the guy behind everything. But I love seeing other restaurants using our ingredients.

This is one of the finest restaurants to open in this area in quite some time. 24

SPOTLIGHT


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EAT L PHOTOGRAPHY by ALISON GALARZA

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W R I T T E N b y H E AT H E R R O N A L D S O N


E AT LO C A L

OCAL

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Farm-to-table relationships blossom among chefs, farmers, consumers EAT LOCAL may be a buzz phrase

Area Technical College. “If you take

for the Oconomowoc Lake Club, where

seen on countless bumper stickers,

your menu to a farmers market,

he was the executive chef for 21 years.

restaurant menus and websites. But

it just doesn’t work,” he added.

It’s fitting that he is one of six chefs

in recent years, it’s been taken a step

participating in a panel on farm

further to form relationships between

For chefs, that means cooking with

-to-table sourcing at a special

Wisconsin farmers and restaurant

beets, cabbage, carrots and potatoes in

breakfast Sunday morning at

owners in what has been called the

winter; asparagus, spinach and rhubarb

Wine & Dine Wisconsin.

farm-to-table movement.

in spring; broccoli, cabbage, chard, eggplant, scallions and tomatoes in

“As a chef, we have all this stuff

In farm-to-table, chefs seek Wisconsin

summer; and arugula, leeks, parsnips,

available to us around the world,”

farmers to serve as their restaurants’

rutabagas and turnips in fall, according

Kaestner said. It’s no surprise, then,

primary food supplier. This not only

to a seasonal availability chart provided

that writing a restaurant menu

puts dollars back into Wisconsin’s

by the Farmer Chef Connection.

around seasonal ingredients is jarring for chefs who order food

pocket, it also brings seasonal ingredients to consumers’ dinner

Local ingredients influenced Kaestner’s

online from large distributors in

plates at reasonable prices. The only

menus for more than 20 years. Industry

Chile and California, for example,

thing that changes is the menu.

leaders call him the “grandfather” of

and are used to year-round

the farm-to-table movement because

availability of ingredients. It’s an

“Most chefs 10 years ago weren’t

he was one of the first Wisconsin chefs

adjustment for clients, as well.

adjusted to the seasons,” said Jack

to vigorously source local food. At one

Kaestner, an instructor at Milwaukee

point, he had 35 farmers supplying food

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“Many of the good chefs are interested


TITLE OF SECTION

in the challenge of seasonality, but it’s

items. Chefs make exceptions, too,

with each other about their needs and

the customers who are slow to come

when purchasing saltwater seafood or

wants. “It’s like a marriage,” Deacon

around to that notion,” said David

exotic ingredients such as pineapple

said. “You really want someone you

Kozlowski, co-owner of Pinehold

and avocados — or when customers

are in tune with.”

Gardens farm in Oak Creek.

insist on eating out-of-season produce,

That’s kind of the tough nut of the whole thing. La Merenda has sourced locally since opening in 2007 and has put out more than 300 different menu items since then. It’s a challenge, said chefowner Peter Sandroni, but it keeps the restaurant from “resting back on its laurels and becoming complacent.” But not all items have local origins; think salt, sugar and other pantry

such as asparagus in October, Kaestner said.

Deacon worked with Kaestner 20 years ago to create a local food guide,

Chefs typically source from multiple

the Farm Fresh Atlas of Southeastern

produce and protein farms to achieve

Wisconsin, and now coordinates

product diversity. This also prevents

Milwaukee’s winter farmers market.

overwhelming one farmer.

Connections with protein farmer

As a rule of thumb, farmers should

might be stronger than with produce

match the size of their farm to the size

farmers because proteins are a more

of the restaurant they want to supply

consequential part of the restaurants’

so they are not overwhelmed with the

menus, said Kozlowski, whose farm

quantity of food ordered by chefs,

earns 10% to 15% of its annual

said Deb Deacon of the Farmer Chef

revenue from restaurant sales.

Connection, an online resource for

Jeff Preder of Jeff-Leen Farm said 40%

small-scale farmers who want to

to 45% of his annual beef, chicken

sell to restaurants. It’s also important

and egg sales come from restaurants.

for chefs and farmers to be transparent

“It’s nice having the restaurants’

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E AT LO C A L

(sales) during the winter so you have outlets for products year-round,” said Preder, who co-owns the Random Lake farm with his wife, Kathleen.

At La Merenda, the cooks are so used to seeing Sandra Raduenz, Pinehold Gardens’ co-owner, in the kitchen making personal deliveries that one purchased a used car from her. Janet Gamble of Turtle Creek Gardens asked Sandroni to cater her daughter’s wedding.

“It’s an honor,” Sandroni said. “It speaks volumes of the relationships we’ve created with people,” Customers are invited to join the farm-to-table conversation at 9:30 a.m. Sunday during a breakfast event at Wine & Dine Wisconsin. Sandroni, Kaestner and other local chefs (including Justin Aprahamian of Sanford, Dan Van Rite of Hinterland, David Swanson of Braise, Joe Muench

When done right, farm-to-table can be personal. 29


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If you go. Wine & Dine Wisconsin runs from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at the Wisconsin Center, 400 W. Wisconsin Ave. Basic ticket price: $50 in advance (through midnight Friday), $70 at the door. Weekend pass (good for both days), $85. Buy tickets at wineanddinewisconsin.com. You must print out your e-ticket and bring it with you. Those without Internet access, call (414) 224-2468. Attendees must be 21 and older. First floor: Critic’s Choice dining area (ballroom), noon to 3 p.m. (requires extra $25 ticket). Special events (extra cost). Second floor: Main exhibit area with vendors, samples, tasting, chefs’ demonstrations. Seminars (extra $10 ticket). A conversation with chef & author Sandy D’Amato: 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. Saturday,Room 101, $45 (includes a copy of his book). Chefs farm-to-table round table & breakfast: 9:30 to 11 a.m. Sunday, Room 101, $15. Seminars: ($10 each, Room 201A or B) Saturday: “To Taste or Travel” (on Washington state wines), 12:30 to 1:15 p.m.; “From Bake to Brew: Local Terroir on Your Tongue,” 2 to 2:45 p.m. Sunday: “Let’s Have Drinks,” 12:30 to 1:15 p.m.

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LOCAVORE EDI TOR IN CHIE F Alison Galarza

A RT D IRE CTION Alison Galarza

PHOTOG RAP HY Alison Galarza Adobe Stock

I LLU STRATION Sennessa Soukkaserm

W RI TTEN CON TRIB UTE RS Heather Ronaldson Jeff Beutner Kyle Cherek Alison Galarza Ana Stephens Heather Ray San Francisco Tribune

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W E S H O U L D A L L B E LO C AVO R E S .

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LOCAVORE