Cooks’ Exchange: For the best recipes, it’s sometimes all in who you know | Madison.com Recipes, Food and Cooking Tips

The old saying, “It’s all in who you know,” recently blossomed while stopping by Cherokee Country Club for lunch to chat with their restaurant manager and longtime friend, Wayne Poburka, about my Sept. 30 column featuring beer recipes. A few readers tried the beer cake recipe in a recent column that didn’t turnout as expected making me wonder if a mistake had been made listing the ingredients.

He listened intently, then mentioned the possibility of checking further with Cherokee’s new executive chef Mike Kinzler. Hoping for a quick solution, arrangements were made to meet Chef Kinzler to share my concerns. Welcoming a need for help, he asked for the recipe and arrangements were made to be in touch a few days later with the results.

In the meantime, I learned more about Chef Kinzler who grew up in Polk County, attended UW-Stout and WITC-Ashland, receiving bachelor’s and associate culinary Degrees from both in hospitality and restaurant management while stressing the finest food service for college students and professors.

Kinzler’s bright future also found him excelling as a chef at Devil’s Head ski resort where he met his wife, Jennifer, before he moved to a job at Madison Marriott West, and then 16 years at Bishops Bay Country Club, all along being guided by local culinarian Abdul Bensaid.

In the meantime, Chef Kinzler and his wife were blessed with four children, Kayla, Kyle, Aubrie and son, Kaleb, who now works along his father’s side at Cherokee thus creating a family of exceptional culinarians.