Here's a foodie adventure just south of Madison, coming up on September 12: Bounty of Green County - Feast on the Hilltop at New Glarus Brewery.
Green County is usually associated with cheese, but there are lots of other locally produced foods you might not expect. This event is being sponsored by Green County Tourism (I serve as director) and New Glarus Chamber.
FEAST ON THE HILLTOP – “MEET YOUR MAKER” Vendor Showcase
Saturday, Sept. 12, 10 am - 4 pm
Sample Green County’s delicious products and meet top producers. Discover some of the nation’s finest foods. Meet the growers, cheesemakers, brewers, farmers, bakers, candy makers, at an outdoor market "vendor showcase" at the recently opened Hilltop Facility of the New Glarus Brewing Company - home of the popular farmhouse-style ale "Spotted Cow".
Producers will serve samples, share recipes and suggest ideas for using their products in recipes, menus, and for entertaining. The brewery will be open for tours, and visitors can sample brews Tasting Room. Enjoy live local music in the Courtyard. Area producers will provide a series of presentations on various topics - cheese and beer pairing, cooking demonstrations, and chef secrets for cooking with local foods.
A selected group of area artisans will be chosen to set up throughout the brewery to demonstrate and display their work.
Admission $5 for adults; children 16 and under admitted free.
Saturday, Sept. 12, 6 - 8 pm
Feast on the finest of Green County products expertly prepared and elegantly presented by local chefs.
This limited seating "dining at the source" event features local foods at their freshest. Set on the picturesque grounds of the New Glarus Brewery on the rolling hills adjacent to the spectacular New Glarus Woods State Park, with a scenic vista overlooking the village of New Glarus.
You will meet the producers, bakers, candy makers, brewers, and cheesemakers whose products are featured on the menu and have the opportunity to ask questions. Dinner music, appetizer stations and beer tasting beginning at 6 pm - followed by a served dinner at 7 pm.
Tickets $50 per person. Limited seating - contact Green County Tourism for reservations at 1.888.222.9111.
BOUNTY OF GREEN COUNTY – FEAST ON THE HILLTOP PRESENTED BY: Green County Tourism, New Glarus Chamber of Commerce, New Glarus Brewing Company, and the Wisconsin Department of Tourism, with special thanks to Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board.
I'm moving to Madison in a few weeks, and would love to see what local hounds have to say on this question as well.
A couple of things I've come across which I'm looking forward to investigating are the Dane County Farmer's Market and the cheese shop, Fromagination. Madison also has a slow food group which does food-related events and activities.
Here's the farmer's market website: http://www.dcfm.org/
The cheese shop: http://www.fromagination.com/
Slow Food Madison's website: http://www.slowfoodwisconsin.org/
There was a recent thread about Wisconsin Cheese, which mentioned that Green County Cheese Days (coming up in September) is a good event. That thread can be found here:
Cheese Days: http://www.cheesedays.com/
Welcome, rachb and DanaB!
Check out what the REAP Food Group is up to: http://www.reapfoodgroup.org/ . Their Farm Fresh Atlas lists markets, producers (including pick-your-own) and CSAs; they also host events like the upcoming Food for Thought Festival, Sept. 20.
As for good stuff near Cambridge or Lake MIlls, I haven't uncovered any hidden gems there (tho Cafe Carpe in Fort Atkinson was nice, rustic, and folksy/artsy). It's been said the best fried cheese curds in the area can be found at the Door Creek Golf Course Restaurant on the far east side of Madison: http://www.doorcreekgolfcourse.com/ and so far I'm inclined to agree.