Fox Cities

2014 Destination Guide

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"Locally-sourced" has quickly become the buzz phrase in food. What is locally-sourced? Locally-sourced foods are those that are grown within 100 miles of the Fox Cities. Many of our area restaurants proudly include food from our farm markets or even their own gardens to create masterpieces that are not only visually-appealing, but also fresh and delicious! Locals and visitors alike appreciate knowing that their food is local and picked fresh hours before it was put on their plate. Check out a few of the local restaurants that use locally-sourced items on their menus and find out why. Zuppa's Market, Cafe & Catering How long have you been using locallysourced food in your menu items? I have been cooking with locally-sourced ingredients when available since graduating from the CIA and working at Gordon in Chicago around 1989, long before it was the publicized practice it is today. Why local? There are many reasons to buy local. First and foremost the ingredients are of higher quality and simply taste better. Locally sourced produce is "grown to be eaten shortly after harvest" not "grown to be shipped" and is therefore fresher than something that has to travel hundreds or thousands of miles to get here. As a chef I can be certain that my menu items will be the best they can be if I am using the best ingredients I can find. Also, supporting independent, local farmers helps everyone in the community. Are there any negatives to using locally-sourced food? Making a commitment to using locally sourced food means dealing with a larger number of smaller producers as opposed to one large vendor who can provide one stop shopping This takes more time and effort. The products can be inconsistent and unpredictable and sometimes more costly. I believe it is worth the added effort and expense to use local ingredients whenever possible, this is something I am committed to and it is something my customers appreciate. Apollon Restaurant Mediterranean Rim & Cannova's PizzEria & Fine Fine Hellenic Cuisine Italian Restaurant How long have you been using locallysourced food in your menu items? We have been using locally grown food for many years. Why local? Using local helps support our community. It also gives you a chance to pick quality items. Granted, a tomato is a tomato, but when you taste a tomato picked right off the vine at its peak of ripeness, that is where you notice the difference. Are there any negatives to using locally-sourced food? Yes. Unfortunately for us here in Wisconsin, we can't have that fresh produce all year round. How often do you change menu items to coincide with the fresh items? Every time something new comes in the door. Fruit, vegetables, and spices all mature at different times and as a result, we change menu items to keep up with what is fresh. Favorite menu item? Lamb Tenderloin How long have you been using locallysourced food in your menu items? We decided two years ago that we would support our local growers and create great seasonal by purchasing fresh from our local farmers at farmer's markets. Of course, we have always used Wisconsin cheeses. There is nothing like them! Why local? Because the ingredients are as fresh as you can get and you are supporting the local economy and local farms. It allows us to add new ingredients to our list of what we use. Are there any negatives to using locally-sourced food? Yes. Each week the market is different, so you can't always count on a specific item. With seasonal items, they are not always available when you want them. How often do you change menu items to coincide with the fresh items? We have a weekly market menu. Our larger menu can be adapted; it's not specific to a vegetable but rather a market vegetable so it can be changed. Saffron. This is just an amazing dish. Tenderloin strips of lamb that are grilled and then finished with a champagne saffron and shiitake mushroom cream sauce. Delicious! Favorite menu item? The Market Salad, APOLLON CHEF AND OWNER STAVROS KODIS / CRAIG PERSHA CANNOVA'S EXECUTIVE CHEF MIKE BALISTRIERI How often do you change menu items to coincide with the fresh items? Our it's basically a Farmers Market salad with local eggs, local cheese, house made pancetta, truffle oil from the Olive Cellar and seasonal veggies – spring/asparagus, summer/peas & beans, fall/squash. It is fresh and delicious. regular cafe menu changes several times a year to give it a seasonal feel. We have daily specials for both lunch and dinner and two daily soups that enable us to utilize fresh ingredients continuously. Also, we can customize our catering and private dining menus to highlight locally sourced ingredients. Favorite menu item? Since opening in 1999 Zuppas signature warm pear salad has been our most popular menu item. I believe that our made from scratch, warm honey balsamic dressing is the reason for this. It is not found elsewhere and pairs nicely with the greens, blue cheese, cranberries and pistachios in the salad. ZUPPA'S CHEF PETER KUENZI

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