Executive Chef, I.d. / Delafield Hotel
THE STORY BEHIND THE CHEF
Executive Chef Joe Heppe, a Lake Country native, honed his craft in Chicago and has been putting his imprint on I.d's menu since July 2017.
Heppe grew up in Hartland, Wis., and in his early years worked in kitchens around Milwaukee, including Gracious Catering and Bjonda. After moving to Chicago, he joined the city's highly reputable restaurant scene, which began to greatly influence his style. The Indian-Latin fusion restaurant Vermilion and Chef Jose Garce's Mercat a la Planxa were the first to make an impact on Heppe. After working in every aspect of the kitchen, he ultimately became the executive chef at Untitled, followed by Oak + Char, known for its open hearth cooking. During Heppe's time in Chicago, the restaurants he tenured received high praise and numerous awards.
When Oak + Char closed, Heppe was offered the opportunity to come on board the newly reopened Edgewater hotel in Madison as the executive chef.
In 2017, I.d. beckoned Heppe back to Lake Country to focus on what originally drew him to his field: the food. The restaurant features a beautiful open kitchen, complete with a wood-burning grill and hearth. With ambitious goals and a skilled team, he plans to utilize his relationships with the local farmers, small business owners and diners to create a unique shared plate menu.
Heppe describes his style as a marriage of classic and rustic with global inspiration that pays respect to Midwestern seasonal sensibility. Heppe finds inspiration every day in the restaurant and loves seeing how cooking allows people of different cultures to connect through food. Heppe resides with his wife and two children in Madison.