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A Town Not Celebrated For Its Food


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#1 Aurora

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Posted 29 May 2003 - 04:27 AM

Tom - thank you for participating in this Q&A.

I am a Milwaukee native now living in Chicago.

Milwaukee is a great town, but like most mid-sized cities, it doesn't recieve much attention. Though not considered by most to be a culinary destination, the city has a number of wonderful food offerings, but they suffer the same lack of celebration in terms of national and even regional attention. During your tenure, what types of challenges did this pose to you in terms of being successful in garnering attention for the culinary happenings in Milwaukee as the Food Editor at the Milwaukee Jounal (Journal - Sentinel)?

#2 Tom Sietsema

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Posted 31 May 2003 - 06:39 AM

I used my stint as food editor at the Milwaukee Journal to explore and write about all those wonderful local food traditions: frozen custard, cheese curds, brats, fish fries in Milwaukee and fish boils in Door County ... it was great (and fattening) fun, those two short years. But I was writing for a local audience, not a national one.

Does that annswer your question?

#3 Aurora

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Posted 31 May 2003 - 06:26 PM

I used my stint as food editor at the Milwaukee Journal to explore and write about all those wonderful local food traditions: frozen custard, cheese curds, brats, fish fries in Milwaukee and fish boils in Door County ... it was great (and fattening) fun, those two short years. But I was writing for a local audience, not a national one.

    Does that annswer your question?

Thank you, it does.

In the midst of all that bratwurst and fried fish, the relatively small number of high-end establishments tends to be lost in the shuffle. Given the Milwaukee community's tastes for the food you mention (frozen custard, and a good brat are things of beauty, I might add), is it your opinion that the fine-dining genre that does exist, even if small by proportion, is intentionally underplayed in terms of Milwaukee food writing?

#4 Tom Sietsema

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Posted 01 June 2003 - 04:04 AM

I don't think so. Sanford, which has a James Beard award to its credit (for best regional restaurant in the Midwest), has received a lot of ink, for example.

It's amusing about Milwaukee. The steroetypes are true: people really do drink beer, eat brats (pronounced BRAHTS, by the way) and go bowling. I loved my time there.