Tag Archives | Bavette La Boucherie


Sinking Your Teeth In

Local-Sourcing Lunch Spots

Roundup by Brett Kell
Photography by Joe Laedtke

Too frequently the domain of dry sandwiches, limp lettuce and vending machine staredowns, lunch is sorely overlooked as an important meal. However, an increasing number of local restaurants are turning their attention toward the lunch hour as a means of further expressing their commitment to inventive, high-quality and tasty dishes.

More than a few lunch menus reflect diversity of flavor, with a particular focus on locally-sourced ingredients. Below is a rundown of just some spots where the lunch game is strong.

Bavette La Boucherie

Part butcher shop, part lunch counter, part modern gastro-bar, Bavette sources whole animals responsibly raised on small, local farms. Chef/owner Karen Bell, a global traveler with a keen interest in sustainability, said she gets beef from Schmidt Farm in Juneau, pork from Kirschbaum Family Farm in Kewaskum, and lamb from Pinn-Oak Ridge Farms, LLC in Delevan, and Farm 45, LLC in Jackson.

Meats sourced by Bavette star in an impressively diverse selection of snacks, soups, salads, and sandwiches; among them a corned beef tongue reuben, pork meatball bahn mi, pressed Cuban, and BBQ pork. Bell said other hits include pate, rillette, and raw preparations. The … Read More

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Peggy Magister, chef and owner of Crazy Water

Milwaukee’s Women Chefs Pave the Way

Commanding Kitchens, Overcoming Industry Challenges

Story by Molly Rippinger
Photography by Joe Laedtke

Jan Kelly

No one would call Milwaukee’s female chefs pretentious. They aren’t seeking fame or showboating their successes. Instead, these women are approachable, humble and passionate about their craft.

These chefs are in the restaurant industry for the pure pleasure of cooking.

They adore being in the back of the house and aren’t afraid to face the challenges that deter many women from entering the field—physically grueling shifts in a hot, high-intensity environment, horrible hours and a culture deeply rooted in a boy’s club attitude.

Cooking is what drew these chefs to the kitchen and is what drives them to run some of the best restaurants in town. Unfortunately, there are only about a dozen women doing it.

Life on the Line

“It’s a hard industry,” says A.J. Dixon, chef and owner of Lazy Susan in Bay View. “TV has made [cooking] a very glorified field.”

The hours are long, the pay is low and the work is physical. In 2013, only 20 percent of chefs were female according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics. Locally, Carol Deptolla, dining critic for The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, … Read More

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Fig and Black Olive Stuffed Leg of Lamb With Mint Chimichurri

Courtesy of Chef Karen Bell, Bavette La Boucherie
  • 1 leg of lamb, butterflied
  • 6 tbl olive oil
  • 1 large onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 cups breadcrumbs
  • 1 oz mint, chopped
  • 1 oz basil, chopped
  • 1 oz tarragon, chopped
  • 1 oz chives, chopped
  • 1 lemon, zested
  • 8 oz dried figs, chopped
  • 4 oz kalamata olives, chopped
  • 6 oz toasted slivered almonds, chopped
  • 1 egg
  • salt & pepper
  • chicken broth

Preheat oven to 400°F.

In a pan prepare the stuffing by heating the olive oil and add the onion and garlic, cook gently until softened.

Remove from the heat and stir in the breadcrumbs, figs, olives, almonds, lemon zest, herbs and egg. Season with salt and pepper. Set stuffing aside.

Trim away any excess fat from the lamb, pat dry, season with salt and pepper on all sides.

Spread the stuffing evenly on the cut side of the lamb, roll to enclose and tie in several places with kitchen string to secure the stuffing from coming out.

In a large skillet on high heat sear the leg of lamb on all sides about 3-4 minutes on each side and place in a Dutch oven and roast for 1 hour 15 minutes. … Read More

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Raising Lamb, Delivering Locally

Delavan’s Pinn-Oak Ridge Farm doubles as processing hub

Story by Jenna Kashou
Photography by Joe Laedtke

Wearing a tan, canvas baseball cap embroidered with her own logo, Pinn-Oak Ridge Farm owner Darlene Pinnow patiently awaited me at Bavette La Boucherie, the hippest new butcher shop in Milwaukee’s Third Ward.

Darlene sat with her hands neatly folded and a nervous smile on her face – eager to chat, but unsure what to expect. She was slightly out of her element – a country girl in the big city. Pinnow grew up in a farming family; between Darlene and her husband Steve, there are five proud generations of farmers. So when the two married 43 years ago, it was only natural that they buy their own farm.

We had agreed to meet at Bavette because Darlene was there every Thursday to hand-deliver Chef Karen Bell’s order. As she told me about how she got started in this business, I was still trying to grasp the idea that the lamb she was delivering had just been harvested and processed on Monday in Delavan. It was as simple as that: farmers and chefs, working in perfect harmony – with no middleman and no … Read More

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Meat Your Lunch at Bavette

Photo courtesy of Bavette La Boucherie

There is no place in the city (that we know of) where you can see so clearly where your lunch came from. Bavette, a conscientiously-sourced boucherie (French for “butcher shop”) in the Third Ward, showcases a veteran meat cutter’s talents on the center block, ringed by a counter and tables. Eat your lunch as the butcher methodically separates the whole animal into primals and then cuts down from there – it’s the most honest way to call yourself a carnivore.

Some days, sitting at the counter, you even witness a flurry of activity as Black Earth Meats delivers the animal of the day. This level of transparency weaves through all of Bavette’s offerings, which range from prepared sausages to off-cuts to lesser-known specialty items.

Bavette is owned by Karen Bell, but it’s a family affair. Her sisters and nephew help out, doing dishes and serving customers. A Milwaukee native who spent years operating a restaurant in Spain, Karen’s offerings show a thoughtful touch and European influence.

Bavette La Boucherie
330 East Menomonee Street
Milwaukee, WI
(414) 334-0538


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