Science of the Supper Club - Terese Allen, Ron Faiola, Robin Shepard - 10/17/2014 - 8:00pm

Science of the Supper Club

H.F. DeLuca Forum

This hallmark event, which can only happen in Wisconsin, spotlights the distinctive food, culture and history of Wisconsin’s supper clubs. Presented in three “courses,” this Friday evening celebration features the origins of the signature Old Fashioned cocktail, relish tray, fish fry and other hallmarks of a true supper club experience.  Appetizers begin at 5 p.m. with a special happy hour SoundWaves lecture and concert, continues to the main course highlighting food samples, demonstrations and talks from University of Wisconsin–Madison College of Agricultural and Life Sciences faculty and concludes with a special “dessert” with authors Terese Allen and Ron Faiola.


5 p.m., Happy Hour
Appetizers, cocktails, and SoundWaves
Steenbock’s on Orchard

Experience the heart and soul of Wisconsin and learn about the distinctive land, lakes, culture and music of the Badger state over an Old Fashioned and appetizers.


6-8 p.m., Main Course
Town Center

Join UW–Madison experts during the 125th anniversary of the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences as they explore everything from vegetables of the relish tray, to the standard meat and fish courses with their traditional sides featured at supper club throughout the state.  We’re pairing iconic Wisconsin foods with science at this special event.  


8-9 p.m., Dessert
Wisconsin Book Festival presentations
H.F. DeLuca Forum


Wisconsin Book Festival authors, Terese Allen, Ron Faiola, and Robin Shepard, share their perspectives on the enduring allure of the supper club. In “Fish Fries and Rib-Eyes and Highballs, Oh My!: The History and Lore of Supper Clubs in Wisconsin”, Faiola, Shepherd and Allen answer such questions as, Why are Manhattans and Old-Fashioneds made with brandy in Wisconsin? How did the Friday night fish fry originate? What makes a supper club authentic? And what’s with the funny name, “supper club,” anyway? Come learn and celebrate the evolving story and multi-layered meanings of this idiosyncratic and much-beloved Wisconsin tradition.


This event is being held in partnership with the Wisconsin Science Festival.

Terese Allen


Terese Allen has been called Wisconsin’s premier food writer and “the keeper of the state’s culinary heritage.” Her columns have run in Edible Madison, Edible Door, Isthmus, Wisconsin Trails, and elsewhere. Her books include The Dane County Farmers’ Market Cookbook, The Flavor of Wisconsin, The Flavor of Wisconsin for Kids, Fresh Market Wisconsin, Wisconsin Local Foods Journal, and The Ovens of Brittany Cookbook. A former chef, Allen is the co-founder and longtime leader of the Culinary History Enthusiasts of Wisconsin (CHEW), former food editor at the Organic Valley company, and past president of REAP Food Group. She divides her time between Madison and Washington Island in Wisconsin.

Recent Book
Dane County Farmers’ Market Cookbook: Local Foods, Global Flavors

Ron Faiola

Ron Faiola

Ron Faiola got his start in the food service industry as a teenager and continued as he made his way through film school at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.  Faiola was a video specialist for a Milwaukee law firm before starting his own production company, Push Button Gadget Inc.  In 2009, he produced and directed Fish Fry Night Milwaukee, a documentary about the popular Wisconsin tradition of the Friday night fish fry.  His follow-up, Wisconsin Supper Clubs:  An Old Fashioned Experience (2011), showcased the unique locations, food and atmosphere of 14 supper clubs around the state.  Wisconsin Supper Clubs has appeared on PBS stations nationwide and earned mentions in such newspapers as the New York Times, the Chicago Tribune, the Washington Post, and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel as well as other print and web-based media around the United States.


Recent Book
Wisconsin Supper Clubs

Robin Shepard

Robin Shepard

Robin Shepard serves the Department of Life Sciences Communication as an Associate Professor with expertise in environmental communication campaigns, and evaluating non-formal education and extension programs. Beyond his primary academic and administrative responsibilities Robin is perhaps as well known for his historic brewery walks and presentations.  In 2006 he received the WAA’s Award for Outstanding Outreach and Teaching for his informative and often entertaining look at the culture of beer. In 2012 he led a group of UW Alumni on a 12 day educational tour through Germany, which included cultural and natural history; and, yes, a study of beer.  His book “Wisconsin‘s Best Breweries and Brewpubs: Searching for the Perfect Pint" was given the top book prize in 2001 by the North American Guild of Beer Writers.  He’s also written two additional books about the brewing industry.  Last fall he published a historical analysis of Wisconsin’s post-prohibition brewing industry in the international journal of Brewing History.  You can find his regular weekly column, BEER HERE, in both the Isthmus newspaper, and the paper’s web-based Daily Page.