James Beard Nominated Chefs Cook Up Feast for MWMF Fundraiser

Consider this an early Christmas gift for the foodie in your life.

An intimate night with James Beard finalist and semi-finalist chefs from local La Crosse Distilling Co., Viroqua’s Driftless Café, and Milwaukee’s DanDan. On Tuesday, December 11, La Crosse Distilling Co. will host the Fieldnotes Dinner Series to benefit the Mid West Music Fest, a non-profit, multi-venue, multi-genre music festival held in downtown La Crosse, Wis. and Winona, Minn. since 2010. The event starts at 5:45 PM, seating promptly at 6:30 PM

The event will feature a one-of-a-kind, six-course meal prepared by chefs from the three renowned restaurants and paired with craft beer and La Crosse Distilling Co. spirits. Tickets ($200/person) are now on sale for the formal dinner fundraiser, and seating is limited to 40 guests.

The event brings together some of the best in the industry, including the distillery’s Executive Chef Jorge Guzman, who specializes in Mexican cuisine made from the freshest locally source ingredients. In addition to being a James Beard Best Chef Midwest finalist in 2017, Guzman has been featured on The Food Network and in Travel & Leisure, Time Magazine and Food & Wine.

Guzman will be joined by chefs Dan Van Rite and Dan Jacobs from Milwaukee’s award-winning restaurant DanDan, which specializes in Chinese cuisine and Luke Zahm of Viroqua’s farm-to-table Driftless Cafe. These three chefs have been recognized as semifinalists in the Best Chef: Midwest category of the James Beard Foundation.

Pre and post-dinner music will be provided by De La Buena, an afro-cuban quintet from Milwaukee. Tickets are available at www.midwestmusicfest.org or www.eventbrite.com

The chefs are donating their time and talents to cook up this delicious event menu.

1st Course – Jorge Guzmán

Albacore Agua Chile

ember roasted cucumbers | yogurt | lime | mint

2nd CourseJorge Guzmán

Charred Radicchio

pine nut mole | dill | smoked onions| black garlic

3rd Course – Luke Zahm

Beet Cured Salmon

masa | white pine broth | serrano & ground cherry salsa | achiote

4th Course – Luke Zahm


squash & goat cheese gnudi | kale | guajillo demi

5th CourseDan Van Rite & Dan Jacobs

Koji Pork Collar

celery root | pippian roja | pumpkin seeds

6th Course Dan Van Rite & Dan Jacobs

Milk Chocolate

white sesame crunch | tahini ganache | pocky

About Mid West Music Festival

Mid West Music Fest was born in 2009 when AmeriCorps volunteer Sam Brown was stationed in the historic city of Winona, beautifully nestled between the bluffs and the Mississippi River. Now entering its 10th year, Mid West Music Fest is a 4-day, two-weekend event with more than 100 acts and a dozen stages between to the two historic cities–including many special events and collaborations throughout the year. The mission of the MWMF is to promote music and art in the region, creating opportunities for artists, stimulating downtown economic development, and providing diverse educational resources for artists, community members, and children. Learn More at www.midwestmusicfest.org or on Facebook.

About La Crosse Distilling Co.

Opened in August 2018, La Crosse Distilling Co. (129 Vine St.) is La Crosse’s first distillery. The 10,000 sq. ft. distillery offers handcrafted, organic spirits, tours and a tasting room serving specialty cocktails, lunch and dinner. Learn more at www.lacrossedistilling.co or on Facebook or Instagram.

Contact info:

Parker Forsell

MWMF Executive Director



Julie Embling

La Crosse Distilling Co.