Get inspired by Wisconsin chefs who incorporate versatile Crave Brothers Fresh Mozzarella, Mascarpone and fresh Cheddar Curds in their restaurant recipes. Crave Brothers Cheese continues to win national and international awards, but for area chefs it has one more advantage: It's a locally sourced product. And, as these chefs have discovered, artisan cheese can elevate the flavor and texture of recipes, whether you're preparing meals for customers or at home for friends and family.

For example, all fresh mozzarella is not created equal. Since 2002, Crave Brothers Fresh Mozzarella has earned 20 awards in prestigious competitions, including a First Place Award in the 2015 American Cheese Society Competition. Crave Brothers Fresh Mozzarella is also appreciated by local chefs like Jason Dunn, chef/owner of The Bistro at Lewis Station Winery in Lake Mills, WI. Dunn is a third-generation restaurateur who sources the freshest food possible from area butchers, farmers and cheesemakers. Originally from Madison, Dunn is a graduate of the Madison Area Technical College Culinary Program and worked at prominent area restaurants such as Quivey's Grove, Essen Haus, White Horse Inn, Sandhill Inn and others. His bistro-style menu, available Wednesday through Saturday at Lewis Station Winery, relies on high-quality ingredients such as versatile Fresh Mozzarella. That's why he makes a trip each week to Crave Brothers Cheese in Waterloo to pick up his supply of farmstead cheese in person.

The Bistro offers tapas such as the signature Caprese Cocktail (a version of the classic salad, served in stemmed glassware) and Cracker Bread Bistro Pizzas. The menu describes the Caprese Cocktail ($6.50) as Crave Brothers Fresh Mozzarella, tomatoes and fresh herbs with balsamic vinegar and extra virgin olive oil. According to the menu notes, all five varieties of pizza ($10 each) feature house-made crusts and Crave Brothers Fresh Mozzarella. Chef Dunn actively supports and promotes Wisconsin Cheese. His mission is, "Slow down, have great food and great conversation."

Crave Brothers award-winning Mascarpone is another locally made cheese featured on the Bistro's menu in a variety of dishes, including desserts like Red Velvet Cake with Mascarpone Frosting. The fresh flavor and creamy texture of Mascarpone add richness to savory selections and specials. All told, Crave Brothers Mascarpone has earned more than two dozen awards in regional, national and international cheese competitions.

Crave Brothers Cheese is also an integral part of the menu at Hartwig's Diner, opened 15 years ago in Waterloo, WI, by chef/owner Scott Hartwig. Before opening his diner, he worked with some of the greatest chefs in Wisconsin. For the past decade, Hartwig has been creating Daily Soup offerings at his restaurant, almost all of which feature the local flavor of Crave Brothers Cheese. Hartwig believes global economy starts at the local level. "I try to incorporate Crave Brothers Cheese into everything I do," he says. "It is delicious, and made in Waterloo." Hartwig's Diner serves more than 500 cups of soup each week.

Other menu favorites at Hartwig's Diner include a weekly Friday fish fry and Saturday night prime rib dinners. Chef Hartwig uses fresh Crave Cheddar Curds, Fresh Mozzarella and Mascarpone cheeses in his recipes. In addition to soups, he features dishes that pair seasonal vegetables with ingredients such as Crave Cheese. For example, he recently made Ravioli Stuffed with Asparagus and served it with vegetables, fresh herbs and a cream stock broth made with Crave Cheddar Cheese Curds. "It was beautiful," he says. "The cheese adds that rich color and flavor. Your eyes have to eat first."

Crave Brothers Farmstead Classics Cheeses are made with milk from the Crave family's dairy herd. The farmstead cheese-making facility uses 100% green power, and practices water conservation and recycling. For product information and more recipe ideas, visit the Crave Brothers website:

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