Featured Program

Please join us for CHEW meetings at 7:15 pm  on the first Wednesdays of the month at the Goodman Community Center, 149 Waubesa St, Madison, Wisconsin.

CHEW meetings are open to the pubic. Scroll down for info about meetings, membership, the newsletter and the CHEW library.

Coming Up Next:

Wednesday, October 5, 7:15 pm, Goodman Community Center – “The People’s Place: Soul Food Restaurants from the Civil Rights Era to Today,” presented by Dave Hoekstra

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. loved the fried catfish and lemon icebox pie at Memphis’s Four Way restaurant. Chef Leah Chase introduced George W. Bush to baked cheese grits and scolded Barack Obama for putting Tabasco sauce on her gumbo at New Orleans’s Dooky Chase’s. Celebrated former Chicago Sun-Times columnist Dave Hoekstra tells these stories and more from his book, The People’s Place: Soul Food Restaurants and Reminiscences from the Civil Rights Era to Today, in which he travels, tastes, and talks his way through twenty of America’s best, liveliest, and most historically significant soul food restaurants. Following the “soul food corridor” from the South through northern industrial cities, Hoekstra gives voice to the remarkable chefs, workers, and small business owners (often women) who provided sustenance and a safe haven for civil rights pioneers, not to mention presidents and politicians; music, film, and sports legends; and countless everyday, working-class people.

Dave Hoekstra was a Chicago Sun-Times staff writer from 1985-2014. dave-hoekstra-photo1His work has also appeared in Playboy magazine, the Chicago Reader and the Journal of Country Music. Ticket To   Everywhere, his collection of Sun-Times travel columns, was published by Lake Claremont Press. He also wrote Farm Aid: A Song For America and was a contributor to The Unofficial Guide to Chicago. See more of Dave’s work at http://www.davehoekstra.com/.

Photo courtesy of Dave Hoekstra


Future Programs

Wed, Nov. 2, 7:15 p.m. Goodman Community Center. “For the Love of Hops,” presented by Rich Joseph

Hops are one of Wisconsin’s first and greatest agricultural crops, one that helped the state become a world-class beer producer.  In the late 1800s, Wisconsin went from being a global leader in hops production to zero acres in just a few short years.  Today, the increased interest in craft beers has created a resurgence in the growing of this important spice. Aficionados are also re-discovering the use of hops as a culinary treat and a natural antibiotic. Come learn about the up-and-down (and up again!) history of hops, hear from a hops grower and tap room owner and sample specialties made from locally grrichhops-2own hops.

Rich Joseph owns The Hop Garden, an eight-acre hop yard located outside Belleville, Wisconsin and The Hop Garden Tap Room in Paoli. He is founder of the Wisconsin Hops Exchange and his hops are featured at many of Wisconsin’s finest breweries and brewpubs.


Wed. Dec. 7, 7:15 p.m., Goodman Community Center  – “Asparagus and Barley Groats: Pioneer Wisconsin Foodways,” presented by Kathleen Ernst

Early European and Yankee immigrants brought diverse food traditions when they settled in Wisconsin.  Some dishes quickly disappeared from Wisconsin’s culinary landscape, and some are treasured to this day.  This illustrated program, featuring material from Kathleen Ernst’s book, A Settler’s Year:  Pioneer Life Through The Seasons,  will provide an overview of the challenges and satisfactions inherent in feeding a family on the Wisconsin frontier.

Kathleen is a social historian and edernst07-1ucator who worked as a collections curator at Old  World Wisconsin. Her talk will draw from her book, A Settler’s Year:  Pioneer Life Through The Seasons. She is also author of many historical novels for young readers, as well as a number of murder mysteries that feature the character Chloe Ellefson and take place in Wisconsin. Her 34 books have sold over 1.6 million copies.  For more info, visit kathleenernst.com.


Please join us for CHEW meetings at 7:15 pm  on the first Wednesdays of the month at the Goodman Community Center, 149 Waubesa St, Madison, WI.


Membership – To be come a member of CHEW click here.

Newsletter – To receive our email newsletter, just send us a note at chewwisconsin@gmail.com

Meetings – Meeting place and time: click here. Depending on speaker/topic, location can vary, please check the monthly meeting details for location if different than the Goodman Community Center.

If you’re coming to the meeting, why not bring a nonperishable food item to donate to the Goodman Center food pantry!  The Center is giving out food as fast as it can take it in and the need has never been greater. Items needed: tuna, beans, shelf-stable milk, juice, canned fruits & vegetables, macaroni & cheese, peanut butter, cereal, infant formula, baby food, diapers, soup (not tomato), rice, can openers. Financial donations also welcome.


CHEW Library – One advantage of coming to a monthly CHEW meeting is access to CHEW’s traveling library. Our collection totals almost 60 titles – ranging from the esteemed Ovens of Brittany Cookbook to Near a Thousand Tables: A History of Food. We have copies of the books written by virtually every guest speaker we have had in the last ten years, e.g.,  Putting Down Roots: Gardening Insights from Wisconsin’s Settlers by Marcia Carmichael, chief gardener at Old World Wisconsin; Kathleen Kline’s People of the Sturgeon: Wisconsin’s Love Affair with an Ancient Fish, and Cluck: From Jungle Fowl to Chicks by Susan Troller. To peruse all the book titles on the CHEW web site, click Culinary. You can put in an “order” for a specific book by emailing chewwisconsin@gmail.comand the book will be brought to the next meeting, if it hasn’t already been checked out. Several titles will also be featured at each meeting–you’ll hear a short review and will have the opportunity to check one of the featured titles out for a month. We are happy to provide this personal service.