As the Culinary Director at The Book Kitchen, Susan serves as the driving force behind the creation of captivating culinary content and plays a pivotal role in establishing a connection between the Driftless Farmers and our dining table. Her expertise and dedication to the culinary world make her an instrumental figure in bridging the gap between local producers and the delightful dining experiences offered at The Book Kitchen.
While Susan has a broad culinary background, her expertise primarily lies on the savory side of the kitchen. Her mastery extends to fresh meats, poultry, dairy, eggs, and an array of fresh produce, making her a seasoned professional in these culinary domains.
Susan was born in Minnesota and comes from hardy Nordic stock. Farming was in her parent’s background, it follows that Susan has a strong connection to food. She received her BS degree majoring in home economics from the University of Wisconsin – Stout, where she met her Italian-American husband, Salvatore, in a chemistry class.
Susan’s mother was a librarian, so no surprise that Susan shares her love of books – her 800 plus cookbook library is extensive. She has worked on many cookbooks and publications over the years. Susan co-authored the Skinny Beef cookbook on behalf of the beef industry, worked on seven cookbooks with Better Homes and Gardens and a grilling cookbook for Weber. Her work has been included in several magazines – Southern Cast Iron, Louisiana Cookin‘, Taste of the South, Victoria Magazine, Southern Lady, Cooking with Paula Deen.
Susan has worked on many special food events – from the White House Easter Egg Roll to Napa Valley wine dinners in the vineyards to Farm tours for Bloggers and other media.
In addition to her work at The Book Kitchen, she owns CulinaryGarage, a boutique agency specializing in the creation of original, brand-building content. With a focus on recipes, photography, and videos, her work resonates with consumers and breathes life into brands.
Prior to being on her own, Susan was Director of Culinary for the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association, where she played a crucial role in promoting and enhancing the culinary aspects of beef, a testament to her significant influence in the food industry.
Susan is a member of Les Dames d’Escoffier International, a prestigious organization that celebrates and supports women in the food, fine beverage, and hospitality industries and a founding member of the Greater Madison Chapter.