I think anytime you visit a new city or place, you’re usually pleasantly surprised by some little gems and local spots that you find. Upon moving to Wisconsin, I knew about the weather, Madison, the university, the Farmers Market and all the glorious cheese. I would soon learn about the fabulous food scene here, restaurants owning farm-to-table, Door County, Devils Lake State Park and most recently, Kohler, Wisconsin and The American Club.
When you think of Wisconsin, you might not think luxury. You might not think getaway or destination. Well, it looks like I discovered Kohler, Wisconsin and The American Club just in time. The American Club is a luxury spa and resort located in Kohler, Wisconsin. It is owned and operated by the Kohler Company and has received various awards, including the Top 100 Golf Resorts by Conde Nast Traveler magazine, and is the Midwest’s only AAA Five Diamond Resort Hotel.
Recently, I attended the Kohler Food and Wine Experience, a 4-day extravaganza of food, wine and fun, and had the great honor of also staying at The American Club. As soon as we arrived, I was blown away by the customer service and attention to detail. I have never stayed at a hotel or resort like this. After checking in, we were escorted to our room by the front desk employee and learned a little bit of history about The American Club, which was built in 1918 to house the Kohler Company’s immigrant workers at the time.
Upon checking in and entering our room, we were given a huge (and heavy) gift bag and found some lovely and delicious chocolates in our room. Now, obviously, if the resort is owned and operated by the Kohler Company, you know the rooms and the bathrooms are nice. To call them “nice” is an understatement. I truly felt like I was staying in luxury and just absolute innovation and comfort in the bathrooms.
I didn’t want to leave the bathroom you guys. Everything was amazing.
This was the coolest shower ever. It was hard not to take an hour long shower.
I was able to bring a guest with me for the weekend and, because it was my birthday weekend, my awesome husband let me take one of my girlfriends, Rina, so we could have fun and enjoy Kohler and the Food and Wine Experience.
The first evening, we attended a welcome reception, where we tried this fabulous martini, The Carrot 43. Significance of 43…It took 43 tries to get it right! This delicious martini was created by a team at the Forbes Four-Star Immigrant Restaurant & Winery Bar, located in The American Club. You guys, this martini was so good. I had two but would have definitely had a third if I had time. We had to leave to go to dinner at the Immigrant Restaurant. (I am sharing this fabulous recipe with you all down below! You have to try this martini!)
Dinner was absolutely fabulous and I have to go back to Kohler just to eat at The Immigrant Restaurant again.
Friday started with cooking demonstrations, a Cabernet and Beef Academy tasting, a knife skills 101 class and much more. There were so many different sessions going on (and some at the same time), so I was not able to attend all of them. All of the main cooking demonstrations took place on the Stella Artois Main Stage. Oh and by the way, there was a Stella Artois tent right next door the entire weekend serving all the beer you could drink, including their delicious Cidre, made with hand picked apples.
The first cooking demo in the main stage was Graham Elliot, of Graham Elliot Bistro in Chicago. Graham was hilarious and entertaining and it was so fun to watch him in action. I personally haven’t dined at his restaurant but I’m going to the next time I’m in Chicago for sure!
Next up was one of my absolute faves: America’s Test Kitchen. Christopher, Jack and Bridget cooked up the ultimate comfort foods and shared their Best Chicken Stew and Chewy Brownies recipes. Both were absolutely fabulous you guys .. and if you want the chicken stew recipe, click here!
My Friday high continued as Geoffrey Zakarian floated on stage to “Fly Me to The Moon” by Frank Sinatra. One of my favorite songs! GZ knows how to keep an audience entertained. He had the attention of every person under that tent. He was magical and delightful.
Friday night, we attended a party, Taste of the Vine, in the beautiful Kohler Design Center. There was food and over 40+ different brands of wine to sample. Here’s me and Jocelyn at table #1.
The design center was so cool. . with . . you guessed it, toilets and bath tubs everywhere. How could I not get in one?!
Saturday was another jam packed, wonderful day .. the highlight? Seeing GZ do another cooking demo and being able to sit and chat with him for 30 minutes with other media reps. He does so much, just wrote a cookbook, My Perfect Pantry, and has a ton of other stuff in the works. He is the man to follow.
And the guy’s got mad style. Just look at him.
Saturday ended with a fabulous dinner at Blackwolf Run, which is just a hop, skip and a jump away from The American Club. I had the butter roasted lobster tail . . divine!! I was so impressed with all of the restaurants in Kohler. The entire weekend was truly a culinary delight for me.
And I can’t wait until they announce the line-up for next year’s Kohler Food and Wine Experience!! Save The Date: October 24-27, 2015!!!
The weekend ended with a complimentary spa treatment (on my birthday!) at the beautiful Kohler Waters Spa, where I got to relax and have a 90 minute detox massage. Believe me when I say, I did not want it to end. Kohler, WI is the most charming place I have ever visited and I’m so glad I know about this beautiful resort as we head into winter.
Are you looking for a getaway this holiday season? First class accommodations, a five-star hydrotherapy focused spa, outdoor adventure, shopping and fine dining? What more could you need? If you’re in the Midwest .. heck, if you’re looking to getaway period this holiday season. Look no further. You have to check out Destination Kohler.
And as promised, here is the martini that everyone needs to try.
The Carrot 43 Martini
- 1 ¼ oz Hendricks Gin
- ¾ oz Cointreau
- 1 oz Fresh Orange Juice
- ½ oz Fresh Carrot Juice
- ½ oz Fresh Lemon Juice
- ½ oz Simple Syrup
- Garnish: Fresh Sliced Cucumber
- Shake all the ingredients together in a martini shaker and strain into a martini glass. Garnish with a fresh sliced cucumber and enjoy!
A huge thank you to the Kohler Company and The American Club for sponsoring this trip. This was the media trip of a lifetime and I was honored to be a part of it. And, as always, all opinions expressed here are 100% my own.