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Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Garlic Fest Celebrates All Things Garlic

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Garlic may not have the glamorous cachet of strawberries or chocolate, both of which have inspired their own southeastern Wisconsin festivals, but it has its share of fanatics, which makes the food a worthy if eccentric theme for Braise's first street festival. This Sunday's Garlic Fest, at 1101 S. Second St., will feature a bevy of garlic-themed activities, including garlic golf and bobbing for garlic, as well as green-garlic Bloody Marys and garlic ice cream from Purple Door. Braise, Chez Jacques and Ball'n Biscuit will be serving garlic-intense dishes, and in keeping with Braise's mission of connecting consumers to food suppliers, a garlic farmer will be on hand to explain the process of growing in-state garlic.

“We want to spread the message that Braise is more than just a restaurant,” says Kristine Petersen, Braise's events coordinator. “We also offer restaurant-supported agriculture, connecting area restaurants to area farmers; a home delivery program where we supply customers with food; and a culinary school. So we want to promote events that forge a connection between dinners and their food sources. We try to involve farmers beyond just having people coming into our restaurant to dine and then telling them which farms the food came from. We really want to educate them.”

This event, though, will be more block party than workshop. A beer tent will serve Milwaukee Brewing Co. beers, and WMSE DJs Dewey Gill and Dori Zori will provide the music. There will also be garlic-themed arts and crafts, including a garlic mural, and, in what's sure to be the event's biggest spectacle, a garlic-eating contest. The festival runs 10 a.m.-3 p.m. June 24.