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. His next move was opening Untitled as the executive chef, 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.
After Oak + Char, 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.
CHEF DE CUISINE
Chef de cuisine Ben Kufalk grew up in Mukwonago Wisconsin but moved to Chicago to pursue a career in culinary arts. After earning his bachelor's degree in culinary arts from Kendall College he worked at the two Michelin star Acadia. Next, he worked with chef Bruce Sherman at North Pond where he learned to cook with a focus on seasonality and the best produce. Finally he learned to make the best burger in Chicago at The Loyalist before heading back to Wisconsin to start a family. Ben likes bold and unique flavors which he uses to highlight the great midwestern ingredients on the I D menu.
ASSISTANT GENERAL MANAGER & SOMMELIER
Luke has been in the restaurant industry for 8 years, and has been at I.d. for over 3 years. When he started at I.d., he quickly found a passion for wine. He particularly loves wines from the old world, and the way wine can elevate the experience of a dish. His favorite thing about I.d.’s shared plate concept is it allows him to do multiple wine pairings for guests. He recently passed his level 1 examination through the court of master sommeliers and continues to study for higher level exams.
As a child, Brandon gained inspiration by watching his mother and grandmother in the kitchen. He attended culinary school at Fox Valley Technical College in Appleton, WI. Shortly thereafter, he began honing his craft at I.d. Music has played a tremendous role throughout his life in creativity. His joy for cooking is watching how food brings everyone together. He resides in Greenfield with his girlfriend.
Howard, a Wisconsin local, he received his Culinary Management degree from Waukesha County Technical College. After which he gained experience among several prominent Lake Country locations including Artisan 179 and Delafield Brewhaus. He leads the Delafield Hotel's banquet department, working behind the scenes to make your weddings, business meetings, and catered events a success.
The pastry chef at I.d. and the Delafield Hotel, Rebekah is the creative force behind everything from mignardises to wedding cakes, as well as a constantly changing dessert menu. She was inspired to pursue baking at a young age when Alice Medrich’s book ‘Cocolat’ opened her eyes to the world of French pastry. After winning a nationwide cake recipe contest at the age of 18, Rebekah graduated from the baking and pastry program at Waukesha County Technical College. Since then, she has worked at several Milwaukee-area fine dining restaurants, including Andrews and Bartalotta’s Bacchus.