In Dining

Christian Schroeder is chef at Von Trier, which added food earlier this year. (PHOTO: David Bernacchi)

In Dining

Schroeder is working to create a culinary reputation at a Milwaukee institution known for its beer. (PHOTO: David Bernacchi)

Featured chef: Von Trier's Christian Schroeder

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OMC: What are your favorite places to eat out in Milwaukee?

CS: I've recently enjoyed going to Parkside 23 in Brookfield with family and friends on a few occasions. Their menu is simple, yet very good and cooked properly. My biggest frustration is ordering food and having it not cooked properly or lacking in flavor. These people get it right. If I'm in the mood for sushi, which I pretty much always am, I love Takara in Elm Grove. If I'm in the mood for steak, Carnivore or Eddie Martini's.

OMC: Do you have a favorite cookbook?

CS: I will always love José Audré's tapas cookbook ("Tapas: A Taste of Spain in America"). It brings authentic Spanish cooking and its roots to the masses and shows how simplistic amazing food can truly be.

OMC: Do you have a favorite TV Celebrity Chef?

CS: No, not really. I respect any chef who loves what he or she does, is good at what he or she does, and kicks ass doing it.

OMC: What's the biggest development in culinary arts over the last 10 years?

CS: The two things that immediately pop in my head is that charcuterie has become mainstream to an extent, and that everyone and their grandma are sous vide cooking. Sous vide cooking has been around in excess of 40 years. It's an amazing way to prepare food consistently, but was basically a tool chefs would use to mass produce amazing food. It has become the norm and I feel it qualifies as a development even though it is far from it.

OMC: Which kitchen utensil can you not live without?

CS: Cryovac machine and cutlery, obviously.

OMC: What's the next big trend in food?

CS: We are currently seeing many trends in food which I feel will keep progressing in coming years. Locally sourced produce has taken center stage in my opinion, which is great. The whole high-end gastropub theme will continue to gain in popularity, which is also great. People are expecting much more from their dining experience these days and it pushes chefs and restaurants to raise the bar.

The surgence of Peruvian cuisine has peaked its head out at times, but I feel with its flavor profile, it will rapidly gain in popularity in the future. Not just L.A. and New York.

OMC: What's the toughest day or night to work in the restaurant business?

CS: For me, it would be Christmas and New Year's from the standpoint of "missing out" with family and friends.

OMC: What is your favorite guilty dining pleasure?

CS: That's easy. My mother's comfort food and baked goods. Phenomenal! Hope I don't sound like a Mama's boy (laughs).

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