Flank steak with Wisconsin Blue, hamburger with aged Cheddar and Gruyère Mac and Cheese are just some of the extraordinary savory dishes at pastry chef Mindy Segal’s Bucktown Chicago restaurant and dessert bar, HotChocolate. Featured on EatWisconsinCheese.com, “In the Kitchen” this month, Chef Segal shares with us her Wisconsin Cheese favorites. (And check out our past interview with Chef Segal here.)
Favorite Wisconsin Cheese: I have many! Right now I’m using Dunbarton Blue, a Cheddar-Blue, a lot. I think it has a very unique flavor and texture.
On Wisconsin Cheese: I think what’s great about Wisconsin Cheese is that there is a lot of tradition in making the cheese and you can understand the importance of that tradition when tasting the final product.
On Wisconsin Cheese at HotChocolate: I choose to support producers that are in my neck of the woods and luckily enough, there are some really great Wisconsin cheesemakers making some really incredible artisan cheeses.
Favorite WC Dish at HotChocolate: Hard to say! I’m going to say my burger with Carry Valley four-year-aged Cheddar.
Pairing Suggestions: I love pairing local to local. So If you’re going to be cooking with a Wisconsin Cheese, I use foods from Wisconsin and a Wisconsin craft beer.
On Handing Cheese in the Kitchen: When getting larger cuts or wheels of cheese cut the cheese into smaller pieces that you can work with so you are not changing the temperature of the cheese too much. Also, wrap cheese in deli paper, wax paper or parchment paper, and not plastic wrap.
New at HotChocolate: In April I have plans to renovate HotChocolate and am working on another concept hopefully to open in late 2013.