For the ninth straight year, October is Dining Month on OnMilwaukee, presented by the restaurants of Potawatomi Hotel & Casino. All month, we're stuffed with restaurant reviews, dining guides, delectable features, chef profiles and unique articles on everything food, as well as voting for your "Best of Dining 2015."
Every week in 2015, OnMilwaukee.com and local design company Too Much Metal will join forces to introduce the latest member of the Milwaukee All-Stars – a team of unfamiliar winners living in the city who consistently and diligently make it shine. Each week, a new member will join the team – based on your recommendations – and at the end of the year all will come together in a Rally of the Raddest Milwaukeeans. We're not sure what that means quite yet, so for now, meet …
Katie Romenesko is originally from Appleton but today lives in Milwaukee's Bay View neighborhood.
Currently, Romenesko works for Sur La Table in Bayshore as the culinary lead / resident pastry instructor. Prior to this position, she worked three years for Joe Sorge's Hospitality Democracy Restaurant Group. During this time, she opened Holey Moley, a craft doughnut shop at 316 N. Milwaukee St.
OnMilwaukee / Too Much Metal: How long have you worked in the food / baking industry?
Katie Romensko: I’ve been baking as a hobby for about a decade, but have been doing it professionally for about five years, and I just started teaching a few months ago.
OnMilwaukee / Too Much Metal: What time of year is your favorite in Milwaukee?
Romensko: Summer! Amazing weather and so many adventures to be had.
OnMilwaukee / Too Much Metal: What’s your favorite or least favorite smell in Milwaukee?
Romenesko: Favorite: yeasty Miller Valley. Yeast is my favorite bakery smell, so a whole area that smells like it? Heaven.
OnMilwaukee / Too Much Metal: What’s your hope for Milwaukee?
Romenesko: That we continue to grow and change and progress. That we become a place people have to see for themselves. We have a lot of game-changers in this city, a lot of potential for greatness.
OnMilwaukee / Too Much Metal: What made you fall in love with Milwaukee?
Romenesko: Milwaukee is such a small-town big-city. Some days it feels like everybody knows everybody, and yet I have the pleasure of meeting amazing new people all the time. It's never boring, it's ever-changing, but still retains the comfort of feeling like home.
OnMilwaukee / Too Much Metal: Why do you do what you do?
Romenesko: Because of people’s reaction to a good dessert. Yes, I like to eat the sweets. Yes, I like to physically create something and see the finished product. But the child-like excitement that a cupcake sparks in the average adult? That's why I do it. And now teaching is a completely different sort of rewarding – when someone realizes that they themselves are capable of creating some things they were formerly intimidated by is something I love being a part of.
OnMilwaukee / Too Much Metal: What’s your one guilty pleasure?
Romenesko: All the great sweets I can make myself, and that are available in the city, and I'm still a sucker for a cheap bag of gummi worms.
OnMilwaukee / Too Much Metal: Name a Milwaukeean you would like to high five.
Romenesko: Kurt Fogle and Matt Haase. Can I just come hang out in your pastry dungeons and soak up your awesomeness?
Do you know a Milwaukee All-Star? OnMilwaukee.com and Too Much Metal are looking for true-hearted folks living in the city of Milwaukee who love what they do – and do it with zest and style. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com with recommendations.