Jack Kaestner currently teaches sustainability, culinary science and cuisine restaurant – dining room in the two year culinary arts program at Milwaukee Area Technical College.
Previous to teaching he was the Executive Chef at Oconomowoc Lake Club for 20 years. His education includes a culinary degree from the Culinary Institute of America (Hyde Park, New York) as well as a BS in Food Science/Food Service Administration from the University of Wisconsin – Madison, including additional studies in meat and animal science. He was a founding board member of the Slow Food Wisconsin SE.
Chef Jack believes buying local food not only gives you fresher, tastier and more unique food, it provides a face to the grower and a sense of the place where it was grown. He feels the importance of the food served is not just the final product or the fresh local food, but rather the relationship that develops with his clientele and farmers. It is this relationship that changes food from a homogenized commodity to something of value.
Jack also participated in on a 3 year SARE Sustainable Agriculture, Research and Education project:
Local Food – chef consultant for the SARE (Sustainable Agriculture, Research and Education) National Conference he helped develop 3 days of menus for 600 attendees that utilized 90% locally sourced food. Also the Wisconsin Academy of Sciences, Arts and Letters.
Jack first encountered buying directly from farmers in 1983 while working at Chez Michel in Madison where they featured on premise herb gardens and local produce from area farms. From these simple roots grew a lifelong passion for supporting sustainable local agriculture and promoting it within the community.