Kohler Food and Wine Experience – 2013
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A few weeks ago I mentioned I was headed to Kohler, Wisconsin for the 2013 Kohler Food and Wine Experience, along with a few fellow food writers and bloggers. We were invited by Kohler to see what it was all about. It was a delightful time. A fun weekend spent with lovely friends, great food, a relaxing spa, all in wonderful accommodations is hard to beat. Plus Kohler is such a quaint village, filled with inviting folks.
There were so many highlights from the trip, too many to cover without turning this into the longest post ever. So I thought I’d share a few, followed by a list of specific things I recommend not to miss when you visit Kohler.
The American Club was our home for our trip. And man, was it cozy. Such a treat and quite honestly a challenge to leave it each day. One of my favorite touches were the Frette towels. Nice.
A of course a trip to the Kohler Design Center was a must. It was colorful introduction to the world of Kohler.
I found more than a few sinks that I could live with, and we were all in awe of Kohler’s Wall of China. The Kohler people are a creative bunch for sure.
One of my favorite places in Kohler is the Craverie Chocolatier Cafe, a chocolate shop in The Shops at Woodlake, which we returned to a few times over the course of the weekend for coffee or a chocolate Terrapin fix. Chocolate Terrapins are Kohler’s amazing alternative to a turtle. On one trip we ordered a little bit of everything for an afternoon dessert bash. The chocolates and other decadent temptations were unbelievable.
They have a collection of chocolates that look like jewels, almost too pretty to eat. Almost. My favorite by far are the Blackstrap Molasses Terrapins. My word … they were guilty of 3 of the 5 pounds I gained over the weekend. While on the subject of chocolate, if you’re a chocolate fan, Kohler also hosts and In Celebration of Chocolate Weekend, a chocolate event held February 7-9, 2014 I’m thinking that would be one fantastic weekend, don’t you?
As I mentioned before, the main reason our group of food writers and bloggers were there was for the Kohler Food and Wine Experience, an event held over the course of 3 days with a combination of tastings, cooking demonstrations, and book signings from renowned chefs. We enjoyed a variety of sessions, one with Cat Cora.
We also had a chance to sit down with Cat following her session in the oh so quaint Greenhouse Coffee Shop to visit for a while. She shared about her passion for preparing healthy, real food, and cooking with her family.
One of my favorite sessions was one sponsored by Stella Artois on cooking with beer. While I do enjoy a glass of wine, I have to admit that beer is my preference. And Stella is on the list of my favorite beers, so I was excited to try some of their other Belgian beers, and learn tips for cooking with beer. The hosts for that session were crazy fun, and so inspiring to watch.
Another real treat was being able to see Jacques Pepin and his daughter, Claudine cook together. They are so charming. We had the chance to meet them later too. That’s Amanda, from Kevin & Amanda, and me with Jacques and Claudine.
(Claudine, Me, Amanda, and Jacques.)
Talk about starstruck. I grew up watching Jacques, and it was so neat to meet him and see how he is so very down to earth and personable.
Of course, our weekend was packed with wonderful meals and wine tastings at several of the restaurants in The Village of Kohler, including an unforgettable multi-course meal at The American Club’s Immigrant Restaurant, and dinner at the River Wildlife’s Lodge Restaurant, a rustic cabin on the Kohler property. Outstanding service and food. Dining at restaurants like those inspire me when I’m cooking at home for my family.
Although I missed my family, I was not ready to leave at the end of our trip to Kohler. It was a much needed respite in our hectic schedule, and much too short. I do hope to return one day with my husband and share a terrapin or five.
A few personal recommendations for what to do while in Kohler:
Kohler Food and Wine Experience: It would make a wonderful surprise gift for anyone who enjoys food, wine, and cooking.
The American Club: Splurge and stay. It’s a treat, and honestly, it was difficult to leave my room each day. Top-notch service. Just perfect.
Craverie Chocolatier Cafe: Be sure to try the terrapins, and grab a box for those back at home.
Kohler Waters Spa: The Classic Facial was over the top, and the hot and cold plunge pools were invigorating.
The Shops at Woodlake: A little browsing is always fun, and the Craverie Chocolatier Cafe is there too, so grab a chocolate Terrapin and browse away.
The Horse and Plow: Try the Beer and Cheese Soup.
Greenhouse Coffee Shop: located in The American Club Fountain Courtyard: So quaint and cozy. Excellent lattes.
Whistling Straits and Blackwolf Run: If you golf, you know these are not to be missed.
Disclosure: I was hosted by Kohler at this event. As always, all opinions are my own.