Door County Chefs Welcomes New ‘Ask a Chef’ Contributor: Rachel Lohman, The Cookie Lady of Drink Coffee
On one of the coldest days in January, I caught up with Rachel Lohman, owner and chief bottle washer of Drink Coffee, located in Sister Bay. This time of year Drink Coffee is closed, but that doesn’t mean Rachel isn’t in the Drink frame of mind. She’s busy reading cookbooks, researching sandwiches and bakery goodies for the 2014 busy season. To welcome her as both a chef and a baker to Door County Chefs ‘Ask a Chef’ features, I wanted to ask her a few questions about Drink Coffee and the Cookie Lady herself…
Where is she from and how did she get here? Rachel Lohman grew up in Iowa, attended UWGB, worked at Drink Coffee, and then in 2006—bought the coffee shop. In 2013 she and her husband bought the building next door and relocated to their current shop. Says Lohman, “We’re not moving again!”
Door County is full of creative types, including chefs and bakers, and of course, all creative people are inspired by something. Lohman is no different.
RL: “Travel is my main inspiration. I eat while I travel and many of my new ideas come from the many places I’ve been—such as China, France and Italy. I make sure to tone down some of the wild dishes I’ve tested for Drink.”
Like most of Door County’s chefs, she has her favorites, but knows her customer’s favorites as well: Number one at Drink are her home-made croissants, especially the Almond Croissants. For breakfast it’s her awesome Paninis, and an Oatmeal with Cherries that must be eaten to believed (balsamic vinegar is involved).
So many people have asked for gluten-free dishes and bakery and Sarah has that covered too. The most popular are her Monster Cookies, made with a peanut butter base, with oatmeal, chocolate chips, and M&Ms.
To satisfy my own sweet-toothed curiosity, I also wanted to know what her favorite desert was. With a delighted laugh, she confessed that it was a flour-less chocolate cake called: The Black Beast. (Don’t worry, we’ll share the recipe too!)
RL: “You can add a sauce like a salted caramel or a fruit sauce. There’s a ganache over it. It’s the only desert I want for my birthday, or any special occasion.”
Door County’s seasons also play a big part of what and when you will find certain foods at Drink Coffee. Spring and summer diners will enjoy the fresh veggies grown in Rachel’s garden at home: think rhubarb in the spring and tomatoes in the height of summer. The fall, of course, embraces the flavors and aromas of cinnamon and pumpkin and apples, and you can find her famous Pumpkin Pie in a Cup during Sister Bay’s Fall Festival each October.
For herself, Lohman tries to eat mostly fresh and homemade at home, and that principal is carried into her work. Fresh is best, it just tastes better. Using fresh cherries and apples from Door County food producers is a given at Drink Coffee.
Door County offers fabulous locations for events, including weddings, and as a baker, Lohman responds to what customers want. Right now, she specializes in Cookie Bouquets and desert tables for small weddings and other, perhaps more informal, special events.
Drink Coffee plans to open for the season on May 1st, 2014, contingent on the road construction being completed in Sister Bay.
~ By Diane McNeil
FIND WHAT YOU’RE HUNGRY FOR!
Coffee has long been the quintessential beverage of our morning routines, but in many kitchens coffee has outgrown the mug and has made its mark on a variety of dishes, from desserts and baked goods to flavorful sauces and main dishes. Have you ever added coffee to a recipe? Maybe a batch of cookies, a frozen drink, or a marinade? If so, share your Coffee Recipe Creations with Door County Coffee & Tea (deadline is April 30th) for a chance to win a year’s worth of coffee! Click HERE for more details and to enter this Recipe Contest!
What Can I Win? Check out these PRIZES!
1 - One 1st Place Winner will receive one year’s worth of coffee (Approx. $400 value)
2 – Two 2nd Place Winners will receive six month’s worth of coffee (Approx. $200 value each)
3 – Three 3rd Place Winners will receive three month’s worth of coffee (Approx. $100 value each)
4 – One winner will be randomly chosen from all entries to receive one month’s worth of coffee ($50 value)
STURGEON BAY, WI (Feb. 2014)—During the month of February, KICK Coffee, located on 3rd Ave. in downtown Sturgeon Bay, is partnering with United Way of Door County. For every muffin sold during the month of February, 50 cents will be donated to United Way of Door County. The funds donated will go towards United Way’s Annual Campaign for 2014. United Way of Door County’s mission is to empower people to build better lives. They focus their efforts in the areas in the Basic Needs, Community Wellness, Health, and Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse (AODA).
If you would like to learn more about United Way of Door County, check out their website at www.unitedwaydc.com. The United Way can be reached at (920) 746-9645(920) 746-9645 or firstname.lastname@example.org.