Wisconsin Foodie host Luke Zahm leans against a bar in a red plaid shirt, smiling

‘Wisconsin Foodie’ host Luke Zahm shares sneak peek of new season premiering Jan. 19

January 9, 2023 Luke Zahm Leave a Comment

I look back at the spring, summer and fall of taping Wisconsin Foodie, and I feel like I’m living in a dream.

It’s almost as if some of those events and times shared never happened, or at best they happened in a dream state. I will admit my own guilt and need to be constantly moving in the months when the sun shines brightest, and as the son of a farmer, the phrase “Make hay while the sun shines” was deeply embedded in my childhood psyche.

In the summer, I move fast. Life clicks. It happens, and it’s a time of intense celebration and discovery. Now, as we move into the rhythm of winter, I get a moment of time to look backwards and share my discovery and the greatest job in the state of Wisconsin.

This season on Wisconsin Foodie, we go deeper into the stories that create identity and our shared language of food. After all, everybody eats!

We get a chance to hang out with my friend, chef and television personality Yia Vang, and we get to cook! Yia grew up in Port Edwards, Wisconsin, and is keeping his stylized version of Hmong food alive and at the forefront of culinary conversation through his work, his culture and his restaurants in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Yia travels back to my home kitchen (The Owl Farm) to share his love of fresh, local food, and we cook with a live fire and mix it up. It’s so fun!

The Owl Farm makes her television debut. It’s an open air, wood-fired kitchen and dining space built in my yard by my college roommate and best friend, Adrian Ugo. Viewers get to see Owl Farm in all of her glory, and chefs visit to practice their craft over the fire. It’s gorgeous, to say the least.

The most powerful taping event of the season was easily our time spent at the Sikh Temple of Wisconsin in Oak Creek. This temple (or sangat), was the tragic home to an act of senseless violence on Aug. 5, 2012, when seven members of the Sikh community were killed in a mass shooting. Returning on the 10-year anniversary of such a tragic event, I expected to find deep wells of trauma and grief. What we found was nothing short of a miracle.

We were welcomed into the temple with love and open arms. Many from the community were busy readying for the anticipated crowd of thousands. As a crew, we attempted to do what we do best: talk about food and its significance.

As we built trust through smiles and a willingness to dig in and help, laughter and love filled the room. We prepared more than 3,000 samosa! The Sikh faith has a deep belief that food is a common baseline for all. In fact, their sangats are designed with entrances in the four cardinal directions to welcome all inside to commune and share a meal.

Through serving others with love in their hearts and intentions, the darkness that I expected to discover had dissipated and was replaced with communal joy and levity. I was awestruck. I was moved. I was humbled and reminded that in a world that can sometimes be filled with darkness and destruction, human beings have the remarkable capability to love so completely that we wash the entire world with light.

My faith in humanity was refilled. I’m still brimming with it as I write this letter.

This season, my friends, I implore you to open your hearts and minds to each other. Give yourself the grace to be amazed by the kindness and good we find in the world everyday. And, of course, remember that we all call this place home.

While it means something different to each one of us, it’s something that we all have in common. I look forward to sharing the season with you.

Forever forward,

Luke Zahm
Wisconsin Foodie

11 thoughts on “‘Wisconsin Foodie’ host Luke Zahm shares sneak peek of new season premiering Jan. 19”

  • You need to check out Smokin Oak in Montello. Woman owned restaurant. Served the best smoked brisket I have ever eaten in the US. Their brisket would give Franklin BBQ in Austin a run for its money. And there is no wait. Order the burnt ends in BBQ sauce, or the Brisket Pootine for apps. Friendly service.

  • John Skorupa says:

    I wonder if you would send me your recipe for the venison leg confit? I’m drooling after watching that episode.Show is excellent.Tbsnk you

  • Hi Luke, Just finished watching your show on Hoard’s Dairyman and Union House. Great show! One correction. You said that the Union House est. 1860 is the oldest restaurant in Wisconsin. Actually that isn’t true. The oldest restaurant is the Red Circle Inn in Nashotah Wi. est. 1848. Great restaurant also. Thanks for all of the great shows and information.

  • Sherry Chariton says:

    Luke: My husband and I don’t plan anything for Thursday nights. We both enjoy watching the show. The show, shows us lot’s of different places in Wisconsin to check out. Please keep up the great work.

  • Sheila M JaDoul says:

    Hi Luke

    We love the show! We keep the recordings so we can go back and check out new places in Wisconsin.
    We’ve been anxiously awaiting the new season and it looks awesome!

    Best Wishes!

    Sheila & Ed JaDoul

  • Hey Luke! Don’t forget the bacon and sliders we made in a cast iron fry pan over a wood fire up on the hill at your dad’s place
    Love Tim

  • Hi Luke, I am Todd Temkin, a Wisconsin boy raising bees, llamas, alpacas, and Icelandic horses in Chilean Patagonia. I love the show. Just wanted you to know how far your footprint goes. Good luck with the new season.

  • Laura Streator says:

    Thank you Luke! Foodie is our go to show Thursday evenings with a good Bourbon! Thank you for sharing your joy and Happy New Year!

  • Hi Luke, My name is Michelle and I own Clasen’s European Bakery, Middleton, Wi. We have been in business 67 years and 3 Generations old. My father and Uncle emigrated to Wisconsin from Germany after the war. I would love to show you what we do at Clasen’s, along with my father Rolf, and my son Tony. We make everything from scratch from Breads, rolls, cookies, cakes, chocolates, Quiche and many more items. I look forward to hopefully connecting with you. Michelle Clasen

    • Oh, my goodness! I would love for Wisconsin Foodie to visit Clasen’s bakery. Best asiago rolls and bread ever! And so much more to love, my basket fills itself!

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