Sunday, October 12, 2008

Star Alumni

Writing about “Chef of the Year” Derek Rowe of Harvest, I mentioned that his first job in a restaurant kitchen was at L’Etoile. Harvest owner Tammy Lax also once worked there as chef de cuisine and chief forager. Since 1976, countless L’Etoile’s employees—chefs, cooks and servers—have moved on to become stars in their own right. Some have found fame in the big city like Elka Gilmore who opened acclaimed restaurants in Los Angeles and San Francisco. Others stayed closer to home like Chef David Kasprzak and his wife Jane Sybers who run Dining Room 209 Main in Monticello. Eric Rupert now is corporate chef for the Sub-Zero Corporation here in Madison. Of course I’d be amiss if I didn’t mention Madison’s favorite bartender, Mary Ward, who now presides as Queen of Libations at The Chophouse and once worked at L’Etoile as well. Seemingly, wishes made at L’Etoile can be dreams come true.

7th Annual Madison Food & Wine Show
October 17 – 19 at the Alliant Energy Center

It’s coming up this weekend (more information is on the website) and for the sixth year in a row, I’ll be one of the three judges for the final round of the Dueling Chef competition (Sunday, October 19 at 3 p.m.).

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