Imagine preparing 19th century basic but delicious dishes over an open hearth fire and on a wood-burning stove in an 1860’s inn. Or at the opposite end of the culinary spectrum, learn slicing and sautéing ala French Classic cuisine in a gleaming, up-to-date cooking school.
Both experiences are in and near Elkhart Lake, a Wisconsin resort town north of Milwaukee.
The experience might start with checking in at the Osthoff Resort, a lakeside property that looks as if it were welcoming guests since Victorian times but was built mid 1990’s. Plan to stay a while. All rooms are suites with balconies, fireplaces and full kitchens.
Staying at the Osthoff means merely walking downstairs to L’ecole de la Maison, a culinary school operated by Chef Scott Baker.
During a recent class, students learned how to make, among other things, Cocquilles St. Jacques and Crepes Suzettes.
The school offers more than a dozen choices ranging from Italian Pastas and Sauces and Summer Soups and Stocks to European Brunch and French Classic.
A one-day L’ecole de la Maison course typically costs $185. The Osthoff Resort, 101 Osthoff Avenue, Elkhart Lake WI 53020, 800-876-3399
However, Elkhart Lake is also about a 15 minute drive to the Wade House, a historic Wisconsin stagecoach inn that has Hearthside dinners and breakfasts where visitors who have signed up ahead of time can learn to cook old-fashioned, hearty meals using century-old style cooking tools and methods.
A recent lunch hear consisted of squash soup, red cabbage with apples, mashed turnips, pork loin roast, bread pudding, cranberry bread and cider cake. A class is $45 a person.
Breakfasts will be offered July through September. Dinner-style lunches will be available Oct. 22 and 29 and November 12.
Tour Wade House before or after the meal. The upstairs still has its small rooms for overnight guests and the rooms used by the inn’s family. Call 920-526-3271 for more information.
Wade House, PO Box 34, W7824 Center Street, Greenbush, WI 53026
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