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Wisconsin's world award-winning cheese and more on This Bites

Tune in Friday mornings at 8am for 'This Bites,' a conversation with Milwaukee Magazine's Dining Critic Ann Christenson and 88Nine's Tarik Moody. Hear the latest on Milwaukee culinary and restaurant culture every Friday morning at 8 am and online at

Support for This Bites comes from hankr. The new visual food-finding app using photos of dishes available at Milwaukee restaurants to help hungry people figure out what they are in the mood to eat. The hankr app is available for Apple or Andriod devices.

On this week's This Bites, Ann & Tarik talked about the World Cheese Championship, where a Wisconsin cheese took top honors; Wisconsin's only James Beard award finalist, Chef Justin Carlisle; Nashville hot chicken's national rise; and Madison's forthcoming SloPig event.

Earlier this week in Madison, Wisconsin took top prize at this year's World Cheese Championship. It is first time since 1988 that any American-made cheese has won the award. The cheese that won was Emmi Roth USA’s Roth® Grand Cru® Surchoix. According to the Wisconsin State Journal, the cheese is an Alpine-styled cheese cured for more than nine months. This creates complex flavors with caramel and mushroom undertones.


Next, Ann & Tarik talked about the recently announced finalists for the James Beard Awards. Milwaukee chef Justin Carlisle was the only Wisconsinite to make the cut for "Best Midwest Chef."  The awards will be held at Chicago's Lyric Opera House on May 2.

Then Ann & Tarik discussed the national rise of Nashville Hot Chicken. There is a great story about Nashville Hot Chicken on the Bitter Southerner's website. A couple of Milwaukee restaurants offers their take on this spicy dish: Goodkind and Palomino.  Tarik also talked about how he makes his version. Here is his recipe.


Tarik's Nashville Hot Chicken (adapted from various recipes)

•    8 pieces of chicken (I usually use a combination of legs and thighs)
•    4 cups all-purpose flour
•    Canola or Peanut oil for deep frying

For the buttermilk brine:
•    3 cups of buttermilk
•    3 tbsp garlic powder
•    3 tbsp onion powder
•    1 tbsp sweet paprika
•    1 tbsp smoked paprika
•    2 tbsp kosher salt
•    1 tbsp black pepper
•    2 tbsp cayenne pepper
•    2 tbsp chipotle powder
•    1 tbsp crushed dried thai chili

For spicy oil mixture:
•    2 tbsp cayenne pepper
•    2 tbsp chipotle powder
•    1 tbsp crushed dried thai chili
•    1 tbsp smoked paprika
•    1 tbsp garlic powder
•    1/2 tbsp onion powder
•    2 tbsp dark brown sugar
•    1 cup of the frying oil
•    Salt and black pepper to taste


1. Mix all the brine ingredients in a container that can hold the chicken. Add the chicken to the brine mixture and toss to coat.  Place chicken in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or up to overnight.

2. Heat 2” oil in a dutch oven or sauce pan to 325°.  Place the flour in a bowl an season with salt and pepper, and some of the spice mixture that you will use to make the paste. Take the chicken out and dredge in the flour mixture. Take the dredged chicken and dip it back in the buttermilk brine and back in the flour one more time and place the chicken on a rack or baking sheet and let  it rest for at least 10-15 minutes.

3. Place the chicken in the dutch oven to fry till golden brown and crispy.  The chicken will be done when the internal temperature reaches 160°. Dark meat usually takes about 15-18 minutes. When the chicken is done, place it on a clean rack.

4. While you are frying the chicken, prepare the spice mixture. Mix all the ingredients in a bowl. When the chicken is done take about a cup of the frying oil and mix it in to the spicy mixture to create a paste. Brush the spicy oil mixture all over the chicken. Serve hot with picked and bread!

Finally, Ann & Tarik talked about the upcoming SloPig event in Madison.   SloPig will take place on April 10 at Madison's Edgewater Hotel. Two Milwaukee chefs will take part in this year's event: Goodkind's Paul Zerkel and Wolf Peach's Cole Ersel. Tickets are on sale now.

SloPig is a celebration of Heritage Pigs and the people who drive the movement. The event features a celebrity chef competition, craft punch competition, heritage pig product tasting, butchery demonstrations, artisan beer tasting, live bluegrass bands, craft spirit tasting, wine tastings, local art and much more. SloPig has been designed to bring you an overwhelming amount of heritage pork and local culinary crafted items all at the same time under one roof! Please join us at the beautiful Edgewater Hotel for our 6th annual event.

Director of Digital | Radio Milwaukee