Category Archives: Food & Beverage

Industry news and pointers on fine dining, cooking, baking, wine, and more

Cheers the New Year at Madden’s New Year’s Eve Wine Dinner

Before the clock strikes midnight and the champagne toasts begin, enjoy a decadent meal and savory wine at the Classic Grill at Madden’s on Gull Lake.

New Year’s Eve is a time to cherish your friends, family and yourself. Get away from the crowds and celebrate the night in an intimate setting overlooking the beautiful, snow-covered golf course.

Mingle with friends and other guests as social hour begins the night at 5:30. Dinner commences at 6:30 and will include seven delicious courses each paired, with a different wine provided by Wirtz Beverage and Ste. Michelle Wine Estates.

The meal features a variety of options from lobster to tenderloin dressed up to please every taste bud and concludes with a heavenly combination of fruit and chocolate. As an extra bonus, a bottle of wine will be raffled off with each course!

This elegant dinner costs $120 per person. Please call (218) 829-2811 for reservations.

We hope to see you as you ring in the New Year on December 31!

New Year’s Eve Wine Dinner
The Classic Grill at Madden’s on Gull Lake
December 31, doors open 5:30 p.m., dinner being at 6:30 p.m.
Call (218) 829-2811 for reservations

Leave a comment

Posted by on December 7, 2011 in Food & Beverage, Madden's Events


Sustainability at Madden’s: A Way of Life

At Madden’s sustainability is a daily way of life. Ask any employee from our golf course maintenance to laundry staff and from front desk to food and beverage staff; they each could tell you at least a few things about our green initiative. Built from a “seed” of an idea by President Brian Thuringer in 2008, our green program covers all aspects of resort life.

The initiative is led by a Green Team made up of staff volunteers who want to help make the world a little greener. The team is made up of members of Madden’s management team and seasonal employees. There are representatives from all departments on the resort.

Having representatives from all departments on the resort is essential to the success of the program as each department plays a role in its success. Here are some specific things departments are doing:

Food & Beverage Department:

Our horticulture team works on our newest herb garden at The Classic Grill

Herb Gardens: On-site vegetable and herb gardens reduce shipping costs and our carbon footprint while providing our guests with fresh produce and herbs.

Wine selection: Since the incorporation of the green program we have begun to serve more wines from vinters who practice sustainable or organic viticulture. Sustainable viticulture: wine produced with the goal of producing the finest and healthiest grapes while conserving resources, maintaining the environment, and cultivating positive relationships with employees and surrounding communities. Organic viticulture: Wine produced based on local organic regulations with the standard premise of avoiding all chemical fertilizers and chemical pest controls.

Placemats replace table linens and flowers are fresh cut from Madden's gardens.

Dinnerware: All outdoor bars and dining areas utilize reusable glasses and dinnerware.

Placemats: Placemats replace table linens to reduce laundry energy and water consumption.

Fresh Cut Flowers: Flowers used in dining areas are fresh cut from Madden’s gardens. This reduces our carbon footprint by minimizing transportation costs.

Property Management

Vending Energy Misers: Recently installed vending misers help save energy daily by automatically monitoring the lighting and temperature in vending machines. If no one is around the vending machine, the lights will shut off. It also montiors room temperature and runs the cooling system when neccessary.

Faucet Aerators: Faucet aerators have been installed in all of our guest rooms to help save water.

Light Bulbs: Energy efficient lightbulbs have been installed throughout the property to reduce energy usage.

“Exit” Lights: Emergency Exit lights have been converted to LED light bulbs.

Efficiency Assessments: We have examined areas where heating and air-conditioning efficiencies may be improved with additional insulation.

Air Conditioning Units: We have phased out older air conditioning units to upgrades that will improve our energy efficiency.

Grounds & Golf Department:

Allowing natural fescues to grow on our golf courses reduces inputs like mowing and fertilizing

Transitioning to Bent Grass: Bent grass on our golf course allow for less maintenance expenses with a slower growth rate.

Natural Fescues: Allowing fescues to grow on mounds and out of play rough areas has decreased input costs like mowing and fertilizing while adding to the pristine natural view of our golf courses.

Reduced fertilizer and pesticides: By increasing our bent grass populations and adding fescues we have reduced our use of fertilizers and pesticide use by 25% with lower inputs in maintenance such as mowing and venting.

Look for a post later this week to learn more about our sustainability effort on our golf courses.

Laundry Department

Ozone Laundry System: Our property’s overall carbon footprint was significantly reduced with this new Ozone system. We greatly reduced our natural gas consumption and improved sewage water quality by 30-50%.

Staff Training

Staff members can "bust" a co-worker for not being green

“Cut the Juice:” Staff are trained on our green program in their orientation and are expected to follow our guidelines at work and for our live-on seasonal staff, at home as well. We encourage staff to “Cut the juice when not in use.”

Green Award: We take nominations for a monthly Green Award recipient. Madden’s staff are recognized for going above and beyond when it comes to being sustainable.

“Busted:” We’ve implemented programs for a staff to add a little fun to staying green. When an employee catches another employee not being green (like not shutting off lights or computer monitors) they can post a “Busted for not being green” sign on that staff member’s desk or light switch.

All Around Green

Karen's little red recycling wagon is towed by a red FarmAll tractor

Daily recycling: Karen Enberg is well-known around the resort as the recylcing lady. Her full-time job is daily pick up and transference of recyclables including cardboard, paper/office waste, plastics, steel, aluminium, and glass.

Purchasing Green Products: All new room amenities are made of recyclable plastic. All new appliances and equipment carry the “Energy Star” seal when available. All restrooms have been converted to using Green Seal Certified soap and paper towels made from 100% recycled material, made by using a chlorine-free process which reduces water usage by 80%

Guest Rooms: Guest rooms contain informational signage for sheet and towel changing program. Each room also has a recycling bag with a card encouraging guests to recycle plastic, glass, aluminum, and newspapers. Finally there is signage to encourage guests to shut off lights and air conditioning when not in use.

Signage in Guest Rooms Encourage Guests to Recycle

Reduce, Reuse, Donate

All guest room amenities are made with recylcable plastic bottles. Leftover amenities are dontated to local charities.

Green Range Renewable Energy: All used fryer oil is locally recycled to make biodiesel fuel.

Guest room amenities: Leftover guest room amenities like soap and shampoo donated to local charities.

Furniture: Mattresses and other furniture items are donated to local Habitat for Humanity and the Bridging Organization serving families in transition.

Batteries: All AA batteries from guest door locks are reused to completion in resort paging system.

**Check back throughout the week for more posts about the sustainability effort at Madden’s. Thanks for reading, Elizabeth**


Tags: , , ,

Summer Fun Wines

Is it too late to talk about summer wines? We don’t think so! There’s still time for you to enjoy them. Plus when you’re feeling just a bit too cold in the winter, you could always drink them to remind you of summer. Here are some reccommendations off of Madden’s menu from our wine steward, Daniel. To summer!

Getting outside, poolside wines:

Summer white wines:

Perfect for a midday treat– the “Ca da Medicci” Lambursco. Served in a champagne flute with a strawberry garnish, it is like a strawberry creamsicle with bubbles and has one of the lowest alcohol content of wines we sell by the bottle.

Fun addition this year is the novellum chardo. A unsual European chard. Crisp and refreshing, awesome fruits.

A versatile white, by the bottle only– the Kurt Angerer. A Veltliner from Austria. Unusual with a white pepper finish. Is great with fish and grilled meats as well.

For the sweet wine lovers, don’t forget the Prosecco with its apple, honey, peach and melon flavors.

Take it up a notch with the Caymus Conundreum– a maritage of four white grapes, sold in the smaller 375 bottle. Perfect 2-3 glass bottle for those who want to be refreshed without drinking a regular sized bottle of 4-5 glasses.

Summer red wines:

Pinot Noirs are always a good choice. I love the addition of the El Portillo, a great South American red pino. Awesome black cherry and strawberry fruit on the front end with an equally brilliant finish.

**What is your favorite summer wine? Share with us by commenting below or emailing**

Daniel, Madden’s Wine Steward


Tags: , ,

Chef Matias Latorre to serve Elk Tenderloin at upcoming event

This week we’ve been featuring information to help you prepare for Madden’s Food and WIne weekend; a run down of events planned, lists of featured chefs, vinters, and presenters, and a simple six step process for wine tasting at home. Today I’d like to introduce you to Matias Latorre, one of our renowned chefs at Madden’s and share with you the dish he will be featuring at our upcoming Food and Wine Weekend.

Chef Matias Latorre

Matias Latorre Ellsworth began his career in Santiago, Chile. Matias attended culinary school for four years with a special French degree, B.T.S from the University of Tolouse, France in Restaurant and Hotel administration. He also completed different courses of Enology and competed in culinary competitions.
Traveling around the world Matias worked as a cook at The Ritz-Carlton Tyson Corner and at the Grand Hyatt in Santiago, Chile, also gaining culinary experience as a Sushi Chef. Matias was Chef Tournant in different restaurants such as The Wildflower and Cucina Rustica in Vail, Colorado. Matias has worked as chef de Cuisine in a fine dining steak house in Santiago, Chile, as well as being the restaurant manager at a French Bistro and Cucina Rustica Italian Restaurant. Matias has been Chef de cuisine at the Restaurant at Madden Inn, The Classic Grill, and now is our Chef at Madden Lodge. We are looking forward to his new dish that will be debuted at our Food and Wine Weekend, August 26-28.

Featured Elk Tenderloin

Matias will serve rosemary and merken rubbed elk tenderloin topped with maple glazed roasted root vegetables and bacon served with black currant and Madeira sauce. Now thats a mouth full–literally and figuratively! I can only imagine how delicious this dish will be! The elk will be seasoned with fresh rosemary from our herb gardens and Merken, a combination of dried and smoked chilies, toasted coriander seeds, cumin and salt. Mmmmm! Then the root vegetables: squash, turnips, parsnips, radishes, onions, and a bit of diced bacon, all will be roasted and glazed in maple syrup. My stomaches is growling already! I don’t want to miss anything so imagine it covered in a decadent black currant sauce. All I can say about this special sauce is it  has black currant jam and Madeira wine in it. I don’t want to give anymore of it away!

Food & Wine Weekend

Join us for Food and Wine weekend at the end of August and you’ll get to try this fantastic dish. And the best thing is, this is only one meal! The whole weekend will be packed with amazing recipes from well-known chefs both from Madden’s and from several Twin Cities restaurants. And of course it is Food and Wine weekend so you’ll also get to indulge in wine tastings with vinters from around the U.S. I’ll stop my plug here. I think the recipe speaks for itself. If you’d like to join us for the event or learn more, please call our reservationists at 800.642.5363 or visit our website at


Tags: , ,

Simple Summer Drink: “Classic” Lemonade

Looking for a fun summer drink recipe? Try our “Classic” lemonade recipe often referred to as “TC’s lemonade” around the resort.


– – Extra Tall Glass
– – Ice
– – Stoli
– – Lemonade
– – Cranberry Juice
– – Lemon slices or other fruit (optional)
– – Sugar (optional)


– – If desired, rim the extra tall glass with sugar before mixing the drink
– – Add ice (about half full)
– – Add a shot of Stoli
– – Fill half of the glass with lemonade
– – Fill to the top with cranberry juice
– – If desired, garnish with lemon slices or other fruit

Leave a comment

Posted by on August 12, 2011 in Food & Beverage


Tags: ,

Simple 6 Step Process for Wine Tasting at Home

This week on our blog is dedicated to food and wine; specifically our upcoming Food and Wine Weekend (August 26-28). To get you in a wine tasting mood, I suggest hosting your own wine tasting party. Here are some simple steps to hosting your own party from our own wine steward, Daniel:

A great way to enjoy a bottle or two of wine with friends is to host a wine tasting. Put a nice spin on the tasting by making it into a food pairing test: pairing the right wine with a good meal will always enhance any future dining experience.

Even for the novice wine drinker, this simple test should prove helpful, fun, and no doubt great for conversation. To get started here’s what you’ll need:

Wine (of course!)

Apart from the wine, water is key as it is important to clear your palate between tastes. Bananas and mild white cheeses are usually best for this simple test. Try this test with a bottle of white wine and a bottle of red. For the best results, start on the light end–moving from white to red with your wine, and from fruit to cheese to chocolate with your samplings.

1. Start with a bite of the fruit. Then follow with a sip of wine. If the flavors don’t seem to clash and they compliment one another then it should pair well with most fish or any light fare.

2. Be sure to drink the water between each sampling.

3. Move on and get a bite of the cheese with a wine. If these flavors seem to compliment each other and don’t clash, the wine should pair well with milk sauces and cream ladened dishes.

4. Again water before you go on to the chocolate.

5. After the taste of chocolate and a sip of wine, if the flavors compliment one another then the wine should pair well with most grilled or spicy dishes.

6. Finish off the bottle of white before going through the same process with your red wine.

Of course there are no absolutes as individual tastes are subjective. Make sure to share with your tasting partners the flavors that you do taste. If you find that you enjoy a particular property of the wine, take note and look for it when considering future wine purchases.

Enjoy, Daniel, Madden’s Wine Steward

**Let us know how your home wine tasting went. Comment below or email us at**

1 Comment

Posted by on August 11, 2011 in Food & Beverage, Resident Bloggers


Tags: ,

Featured Chefs, Presenters, & Vinters for the 2011 Food & Wine Weekend

We’re counting down the days until our Food & Wine Weekend! Here is a sneak peak into the chefs, presenters, and vinters who will be at the event.


Jake Uttich, Oceannaire
Adam Bartos, The St. Paul Grill
Lance Kappas, The Saint Paul Hotel
Brian Bossert, Tria
Adam Leisenheimer, Enjoy!
Ken Minder, RJ’s American Grill
George Snyder, Pazzaluna
Bob Schuld, Madden’s Food & Beverage Head/Executive Chef
Amy DeSanto, Madden’s Pastry Chef
Matias Latorre, Madden’s
Mike Scofield, Madden’s
To learn more about the chefs and their backgrounds, please visit our website.


B.T. McElrath, Chocolatier
Bill Waddington, The Tea Source
Alan Krohnke, Roastery 7


Chateue Ste Michelle
Majestic Wines
J Lohr
Heck Estates
Chiensis & Oveya Negra
Paustis Wines
Smoking Loon

1 Comment

Posted by on August 9, 2011 in Food & Beverage, Madden's Events


Tags: , , , ,