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Inside Kathy Papineau's Riverwest kitchen

It's early on a Friday morning, and Kathy Papineau is carefully selecting jumbo onions from a 50-pound sack, inspecting each one for blemishes.  

She is setting up five individual chef stations, placing the onions atop a bright green, well-worn cutting board on a long stainless steel table.  A sharpened chef's knife sits to the right of the board, blade side in, and a repurposed plastic container is on the left hand side, ready for kitchen scraps.  

Everything is just so -- perfect mise en place.

Her restaurant-grade kitchen near Booth and Keefe streets won't look this pristine for much longer, though.  A group of curious tween chefs is on the way, eager to learn how to make a new dish -- home made lasagna.  

And those carefully preened chef stations will surely be splashed with tomato sauce and onion peels.

But she doesn't mind a little mess.  The young chefs will learn how to prepare healthy food, on their own, from scratch.  And for Kathy, that's all that matters.

This is MKE Kitchen, a 1,100 square foot commercial kitchen Kathy has been working toward opening for nearly a decade.  She uses it for her catering business, and in addition to cooking classes, she also rents it out to other food entrepreneurs who don't have their own space to do their cooking.

Click the podcast player above to hear Kathy's perspective on the food system and listen in a on a recent cooking class.


WEB EXTRA: Just for 88nine listeners, Kathy provided the recipe for her signature soup.

Kathy's Curry Carrot Soup

1 lb carrots - local and organic - of course
1 medium onion - L & O, of course
3 Tbls Olive oil
2 Tbls Good Curry Powder - I like organic Frontier Brand from the Outpost
1 Tbls salt - or to taste
1/2 bunch of Cilantro - stems and leaves alike.  (The stems is where a ton of the flavor is.)
1 Clove crushed garlic

Peel the carrots and cut into rounds about the size of your thumb.
Dice the onions.
Saute the onions until just soft, then add the carrots, saute until just soft and then add the curry.  Saute until it becomes very fragrant.  Add about 3 cups of water (or enough to completely cover the carrots) boil and then reduce heat to medium.  Cook until the carrots are very soft.  Add the crushed garlic, salt and cilantro and then blend with and emulsion blender or regular blender!  Add a bit more water if it's too thick!  YUM. Eat with a piece of Breadsmith rustic Italian Bread!

Director of Digital Content | Radio Milwaukee