A Culinary Adventure, From Gardens and Markets to Restaurants and Home Kitchens
May 2, 2013
11:03 AM
Local Flavor

Dream Big at the American Club Resort

Dream Big at the American Club Resort

A little R&R never hurt anybody. Photo by Paddy Cassidy.

Sometimes I want it all. By all I mean a larger house, a raise, a new car, a long-overdue honeymoon, an end to violence and a healthy planet. A few more pairs of shoes wouldn’t hurt, either. Don’t get me wrong, I’m very grateful for what I have; my family is loving and supportive, we have a smaller-than-ideal roof over our heads, an enormous, old poplar tree in our backyard, creative careers and we can bike to the farmers’ markets. But a girl can dream.

If you dream big, like I do, then staying at the American Club Resort in Kohler is a dream come true. My husband and I recently attended a food-focused event at the resort. From men in period clothes who open the door as you first arrive, to the champagne offered at the front desk, and the beautiful gardens throughout, an experience at the resort is the epitome of luxury. From food to bathrooms, here are the most memorable parts of our stay.

Stay

One step into the American Club and you are enveloped in Kohler’s rich history. The building was originally built by Walter J. Kohler for the immigrants who worked at the factory which looms across the street. Rustic wood floors, high ceilings and elegant furnishings start your journey. But the extravagance doesn’t stop there. Walking to the guest rooms, you pass glass-walled hallways that provide a view of the European-influenced gardens that reflect the Austrian heritage of the Kohler family.

Once in your room, you might find it hard to leave. Huge, comfy beds are framed by drapery and piled with pillows, adjustable lighting sets the mood, and the TV is hidden away in a wood cabinet. Oh and then there’s the bathroom. Now, hotel bathrooms are not usually something I would deem worthy of a write-up, but at Kohler, well, what do you expect? Our room sported “only” a shower. The broad showerhead rains water from above, while two adjustable jets in the wall send out a massaging spray. The hand held shower head offers a more controlled stream. Only the temptation of fine dining and cocktails, or the garden view from the room’s windows, will draw you out of the bathroom.

Eat

Once you decide to take your water soaked self out of your room, you might stop in The Greenhouse for complimentary coffee and tea. The actual greenhouse was brought from England, piece by piece, and reassembled on site. Light streams through the stained glass windows illuminating the plants hanging from the ceiling. Read the paper or catch up on work.

The Wisconsin Room offers an extravagant and ample brunch buffet. Smoked salmon, made-to-order omelets, braised veggies, a slice of chocolate torte and a mimosa will give you fuel for your strenuous spa treatments. Of course you can enjoy lunch and dinner, too, but you might want to check out the four-star Immigrant Room, open Friday and Saturday nights only, for contemporary fine dining and a romantic atmosphere. For more casual date night, stop in the Horse & Plow, a pub that features a generous tap beer selection, and pub fare such as beer-battered cheese curds, sliders, nachos and truly the most amazing pretzels ever.

The Winery, also in the American Club, is a must on your weekend retreat. An extensive wine collection, craft cocktails and small plates abound. The Scorched Boar, a mix of Scorched Boar Death’s Door Vodka, ancho Chile and grapefruit provides an addictive burn, and the Carrot Martini, a mix of Hendrick’s, carrot, orange and lemon, could pass as a health tonic. The chefs at Kohler are committed to using local and seasonal ingredients in their menus, and the vibrant Wisconsin flavors shine through.

Relax

If you survive all the good food and relaxing accommodations, a spa treatment might just put you over the edge. You might prefer the immersion pools, or the relaxation pool and spa treatments downstairs, or head to the rooftop for a whirlpool soak. Attendants help you find your way, and provide amenities, such as robes and towels. Large jugs of iced cucumber water replenish you. One of their newest spa treatments is the Hamman Ritual, based on the traditional Turkish bathing ritual. While you lay on the massage table, which sports a heated water mattress, the attendant scrubs, exfoliates and oils your skin. Perfectly heated water is repeatedly poured over you from head to toe. After an hour or so of the cleansing treatment, the attendant washes your hair and dries you with heated towels. It is the most relaxing, therapeutic bath I have ever had.

Go to the Bathroom

Everyone does it. And at Kohler, a simple trip to the loo is elevated to a heavenly experience. Visit as many as you can. The men’s room near The Winery features elevated platform sinks where the water cascades from the faucet over a marble block like a stream over a rock (I saw pictures, I swear). The recently renovated bathroom in the spa lobby alone is incredible. I mean, really, nothing beats a heated toilet seat. No magazines needed.

After spending an amazing, and rare, weekend away at The American Club Resort with my husband, I was happy to return to my less luxurious, but very fulfilling life. However, Universe, just to let you know, I am open to greater possibilities.

Food events coming up at Kohler

Enjoy a culinary focused stay at Kohler during one of their spectacular and delicious events.

Kohler Festival of Beer
May 31-June 2
Tickets are now available for the 5th annual frothy festival with several new events, including an interactive Grilling University, 5K Beer Run and a Pub Crawl. This three-day festival will bring together the country's top brewers and will feature tastings, educational sampling seminars and brand-new events for 2013. There is no shortage of food, entertainment and, of course, beer. americanclubresort.com/events/kohler_festival_of_beer

Kohler Food & Wine Experience
October 17-20
The 13th Annual Kohler Food & Wine Experience brings the best in food, wine and spirits from around the world to the Village of Kohler for a weekend full of flavor. Enjoy demonstrations by celebrity chefs, regional restaurateurs, winemakers and more, as well as our ever-popular signature Taste of the Vine event. Tickets go on sale in August. John Coletta of Chicago's Quartino Pizzeria and Winery were just confirmed as one of the headlining chefs for this year's event.

The Five-Star Dine Around
June 13
Experience an evening of amazing cuisine at The American Club resort. Enjoy five incredible courses, each served in a different Kitchens of Kohler restaurant, accompanied by a wine pairing and chef presentation. The event begins with a toast at The five-star, five-diamond American Club. americanclubresort.com/events/five_star_dine_around

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About This Blog

Writing has always provided an anchor for my passions, which focus deeply on food, dance, environmental conservation and culture. I grew up “helping” my dad cultivate a prolific garden that produced too many radishes and watching my mom make almost all of our food from scratch, including horehound candy. Meanwhile I took my first African dance class in high school, which ignited my continuing quest to travel to West Africa, via Europe and South America, to study dance.

Through my travels, I learned that we are all connected by food, and our basic need to eat. Since moving to Madison in 1998 to pursue degrees in conservation biology and dance, I have developed an appreciation for the richness of our local food community, and a great desire to share it with others. What started as a personal food blog, A World of Flavors, has since grown into a business teaching cooking classes and leading local and international food tours.

I look forward to sharing culinary adventures with you through my Madison Magazine blog Local Flavor and monthly Dining In recipe column.

  – Otehlia Cassidy
Follow Otehlia on Twitter @madisoneats

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