Cate Miller

Recent Articles

An exception to the rule: great Chipotle recipes
An exception to the rule

great Chipotle recipes

I don’t normally plug chain restaurants, but Chipotle is one I’d like to have in my own neighborhood. The meat they use is a special attraction to me because every time I’ve supped there, everything from the steak to the chicken or pork has been tender and lean. Although I generally prefer independently owned places, […]

Introducing: Sound Bites
Introducing

Sound Bites

Welcome to the new Sound Bites, a ThirdCoast Digest/VITAL blog about excellent eating and great values here on the Third Coast. As in my previous columns for Vital Source Magazine, “Chow, Baby!” and “Eat This,” these will be informative blogs about local troughing, from the humblest hot dog to the most luxurious fois gras. We’ll […]

Keeping warm, Ukrainian style

Keeping warm, Ukrainian style

Vasyl Lemberskyy Owner/Chef – Transfer Pizzeria Café 101 W. Mitchell St. 414-763-0438 • transfermke.com   (photos by Melissa Merline) The economy may be suffering, but you’d never know it from the percolating patronage of a restaurant less than a year old: Transfer. Co-owner and, in his own words, “Chef Extraordinaire” Vasyl Lemberskyy grew up in […]

A fresh catch for New Year’s Eve

A fresh catch for New Year’s Eve

Chef Dan Smith McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood Restaurant 414-475-0700 mccormickandschmicks.com “Fresh” comes to mind when I think of the seafood at McCormick & Schmick’s. The slightly briny oysters taste like they were just harvested and served at a seaside bistro instead of a restaurant landlocked in a shopping center parking lot. Chef Dan Smith uses […]

More than green beans

More than green beans

By Catherine McGarry Miller Photos by Lynn Allen Chef Partner Dustin Green Fleming’s Prime Steakhouse and Wine Bar flemingssteakhouse.com At 28, Flemings Chef Partner Dustin Green has mounted the corporate cookery ladder like a firefighter rescuing a baby. His love for cooking started at age 10 and lead to two college degrees in culinary arts […]

Octoberfeast

Octoberfeast

Oktoberfest is a 16-day festival held each year in Munich, Germany. Originated in 1810 to commemorate the wedding of Crown Prince Ludwig and Princess Therese of Bavaria, it is reputed to be the world’s largest fair, with millions celebrating every year by troughing mass quantities of food and lager. Here are a couple of great […]

Back to School: Father & Son Lunch Box Specials
Back to School

Father & Son Lunch Box Specials

Vanessa Goodman and Erick Fisher met at the The Trellis in Williamsburg, Virginia, where they worked long hours for chef/owner Marcel Desaulnier, a James Beard Award- winner and chocolatiere known as “The Guru of Ganache.” Fisher apprenticed at restaurants while still in school in his ethnically diverse hometown of Long Beach, California. Devon Seafood Grill […]

Wrap and Roll

Wrap and Roll

Wraps are perfect for summertime – they require little cooking and pack up easily for boating, picnics and other excursions. Don’t be put off by Christopher Miller’s (no relation) lengthy instructions and ingredients – it’s all quick and easy to do! My recipe has just a few ingredients and has always been a crowd pleaser […]

Red, White & Bleu

Red, White & Bleu

The French celebrate their independence in July, just like us – on the 14th, the anniversary of the day the peasants stormed the Bastille and raided its cache of weapons. Their banner, like ours, is red, white and blue, colors that stand for liberty, equality, and fraternity, the ideals of the French Revolution. Taste Chef […]

Gone Fishing

Gone Fishing

Photos by Erin Landry Summer is never so sweet as it is after a crushing winter. So it’s time to pull out the fishing rod and relax to the tune of water lapping at the shore. Here are two easy fish and shrimp dishes for your catch – with a cocktail to wash them down. […]

Mom’s sweet comforts

Mom’s sweet comforts

Food has always been a human fascination that far surpasses its integral role in survival. We love things that taste good; we crave the flavors that remind us of our childhood, that excite us and that make taking nourishment an experience beyond simple sustenance. Some of us enjoy expanding our palates at a trusted bistro. […]

For the health of it

For the health of it

By Catherine McGarry Miller Photos by Erin Gebhart Yeah, yeah, yeah. We all know we should eat healthier. We Americans are overfed and undernourished and we know it. Still, to most of us, the words “healthy” and “tasty” seem incompatible. It’s Judy Mayer’s job to bridge that gap. As Nutritionist for Outpost Natural Foods, Mayer […]

Have a heart

Have a heart

Maxie’s Southern Comfort 6732 W. Fairview Avenue 414-292-3969 maxies.com Save yourself a trip to N’awlins: Take I94 to 68th. Head north one block north and pull into Maxie’s Southern Comfort. With snow piled high as corn in July, Maxie’s is a hot spot that has already been discovered after eight months in business. Executive Chef […]

Chow, Baby: Light my Fire
Chow, Baby

Light my Fire

"Fat is the canvas upon which the flavor flows. It’s the glue that sticks the flavor particles to your tongue,” David Piette, Executive Chef of Sabor Brazilian Churrascaria, avers.

When the Banana Leaves Split

When the Banana Leaves Split

North Shore Bistro 8649 N. Port Washington Fox Point, WI 53217 414-351-6100 “Yes, we have no banana leaves. We have no banana leaves today.” This devastating news from his purveyor might have crushed any other chef just hours away from a gala dinner for the prestigious American Culinary Federation. The problem? His showcase dish was […]

Chow, Baby:  The Real Deal
Chow, Baby

The Real Deal

mi • key’s 811 N. Jefferson St Milwaukee 414-273-5397 www.mikeysmilwaukee.com The hospitality industry is rife with nomads. Chefs and hoteliers are like the Bedouin – each job is only a temporary oasis. In this world, Peter Alioto is an anomaly – a man who finds a niche and stays there. If mi • key’s takes […]

Chow, Baby:  Now I’m a believer…
Chow, Baby

Now I’m a believer…

Photos by Kevin C. Groen Hubbard Park Lodge 3565 N. Morris Blvd. Milwaukee, WI 53211 414-332-4207 Christopher Taube, now 28, hated high school. (Who didn’t?) He found it just plain BO-RING. (Who didn’t?) But instead of slogging it out like the rest of us, Taube just didn’t go. But life as a teenage dropout was […]

Chow, Baby:  Forever young
Chow, Baby

Forever young

photos by Kevin C. Groen Chip & Py’s 1340 W. Towne Square Road (I43 at Mequon Road) 262-241-9589 Longevity in the restaurant business is a rare, hard-earned reward. Yet Julie and Richard Staniszewski have made the journey to the 25th anniversary of Chip & Py’s seem practically effortless. From the day they opened their doors […]

Chow, Baby:  Let us eat cake!
Chow, Baby

Let us eat cake!

photos by Kevin C. Groen Cake Lady & Petite Pastries 3561 S. Kinnickinnic Ave. St. Francis 414-294-4220 cakeladydesigns.com Michelangelo fashioned the treasured Statue of David and the Pieta. Rodin gained prominence for his ponderous works, The Thinker and The Kiss. An anonymous artist chiseled out a place in art infamy with the Venus de Milo. […]

Chow, Baby:  Watts Tea Shop – 103 years and counting
Chow, Baby

Watts Tea Shop – 103 years and counting

photos by Kevin C. Groen Watts Tea Shop 761 N. Jefferson Street Milwaukee, WI 53202 414-290-5720 Tom Millot is one of those rare managers who actually wants his employees to learn how to do his job. As Executive Chef of Watts Tea Shop, he fosters leadership qualities in his staff of 14 full and part […]

Chow, Baby:  Kawoomph!
Chow, Baby

Kawoomph!

Photos by Kevin C. Groen Mason Street Grill 425 East Mason Street 414-298-3131 www.masonstreetgrill.com Kawoomph” is the term Mark Weber coined to describe the explosive sound brandy makes as it hits a searing pan of steak au poivre. Mason Street Grill adopted it as the name for its logo: a steer with a chicken hat […]

Céad mile fáilte

Céad mile fáilte

By Catherine McGarry Miller + Photos by Kevin C. Groen Be forewarned; if you toddle over to County Clare on St. Paddy’s day for an Irish Coffee, have your designated driver on deck or cab fare in fist before you take a swig. Oh, there might me a shot or two of coffee in it, […]

Hat Trick – Third time’s a charm for Al and Susie Brkich

Hat Trick – Third time’s a charm for Al and Susie Brkich

By Catherine McGarry Miller + Photos by Kevin C. Groen Cranky Al’s Bakery, Coffee & Pizza 6901 W. North Avenue 414-258-5282 Hey, Mikey, I got your pizza ready,” Cranky Al Brkich hails a customer. “I only dropped it twice!” Mikey shrugs his shoulders and smirks, “That’s better ‘n last time.” There’s a round of giggles […]

Down on the farm with David Swanson

Down on the farm with David Swanson

The doughboy ditty that poses the question, “How you gonna keep them down on the farm after they’ve seen Paree?” has a simple answer for Chef David Swanson. It’s where the food is. Swanson has seen and studied in “Paree.” His many culinary credits include a degree from Kendall College in Evanston, Illinois, and employment […]

Harmony in contradiction

Harmony in contradiction

By Catherine McGarry Miller forty8 head chef Adam Swatloske, former high school linebacker, perennial Packers fan and rock music junkie, is the type of guy you’d expect to see warming a regular’s stool at the bar where he works. He’d never even tasted anything you’d call gourmet until he was 17 and got his first […]

Caribbean cowboy

Caribbean cowboy

By Catherine McGarry Miller + photos by Kevin C. Groen At 19, Montana native Michael Morton was a mosh pit punk who also briefly studied art in Missoula. “I’d be hard-pressed to tell you what I was trying to say,” he admits of his found-object constructions. “I was young and trying to make statements, but […]

Ciao-chow: Stacia Van de Loo storms Vucciria
Ciao-chow

Stacia Van de Loo storms Vucciria

By Catherine McGarry Miller + photos by Kevin C. Groen Stacia Van de Loo came into the world in a Trans Am hurtling down Highway 57. “I was almost born in a bowling alley, but Mom pushed me back up and gave birth going 120, headed for a small clinic in Adell (pop. 517). I […]

Casablanca

Casablanca

By Catherine McGarry Miller + photos by Kevin C. Groen Christmas carols aside, Jerusalem is not currently known for its harmony. But for Jesse Musa, chef and owner of Casablanca, it was a place that lived up to its Hebraic name: �yerusha shalem,� or heritage of peace. Musa recalls his hometown as a pleasant, beautiful […]

Talkin’ Turkey with Brian Moran

Talkin’ Turkey with Brian Moran

By Catherine McGarry Miller Chef Brian Moran makes everything oh-so-simple and delicious. Moran’s recipe for a perfect turkey dinner? Buy your bird fresh from the butcher. Lavish it with aromatic vegetables (carrots, celery and onions), adorn it with sage and thyme, sprinkle on a bit of salt and a generous grind of black pepper. Bake […]

Around the World and Back Again

Around the World and Back Again

By Catherine McGarry Miller Bacchus is a place for celebrations. Its wall of 230 wines encased in elegant glass and chrome is a nod to the restaurant’s namesake, the god of wine. It is not, however, a dipsomaniac’s domain. Bacchus exudes class from its carte to its cultivated customers. Executive Chef Adam Siegal started, surprisingly, […]

Crazy Water Shines

Crazy Water Shines

By Catherine McGarry Miller Crazy Water 839 S. 2nd St. 414-645-2606 Dinner 7 days a week, 5-9 p.m.; Fri. and Sat. until ten Culinary performance artist Peggy Magister plays nightly in the window of her popular Walker’s Point restaurant, Crazy Water. She’s on stage more and closer to her audience than most Broadway stars. If […]

The Sauce Guru of the Fifth Ward

The Sauce Guru of the Fifth Ward

By Catherine McGarry Miller Dion Willis is something of a rarity in today’s world: he’s happy. Barclay’s Executive Chef is a contented family man who loves his job and is so confident in his own abilities that he’ll take on all comers. Although Barclay Gallery and Garden Café in the “Fifth Ward” (Walker’s Point to […]

Not So Fast – Slow Food at Sticks & Stones

Not So Fast – Slow Food at Sticks & Stones

By Catherine McGarry Miller Britton Unkefer cooks in the slow lane, which isn’t to say he’s pokey. As head chef of Sticks and Stones in Brookfield, he serves between 120 and 200 customers expeditiously six nights a week. Rather, Unkefer is a devotée of the Slow Food movement, the idea behind which is to stop […]

Tenuta’s a Hit in Bay View

Tenuta’s a Hit in Bay View

By Catherine McGarry Miller “It was either the job or get married.  I chose the job,” says Tenuta chef Frank Alia who picked a culinary career over wedded bliss.  To do both would lead to divorce, he admits, and cooking is a zeal bred from his Southern Calabrese Italian heritage.  After a short stint as […]