Chef Kady Gibowski smiles
in the kitchen Wednesday night at Bibinger’s in the town
John Ehlke/Daily News
CEDAR CREEK — As a high school student, Kady Gibowski
worked at No-No’s Restaurant in Newburg. She did
everything — washed dishes, cooked, served and hosted.
knew I always wanted to be a chef,” Gibowski said.
night at No-No’s, when she was 16, she assembled a dish
she called Chicken Lombari.
was like a real simple Italian dish,” Gibowski said.
was a featured special one night and sold out.
was about nine years after writing her first recipe — a
dip made out of butter, lettuce and salsa — on a piece
of paper with a crayon.
was completely disgusting,” Gibowski said. “My aunt was
so sweet. She was like, ‘Oh. It’s delicious. I need the
recipe.’ So I wrote it down for her.”
Today, Gibowski’s mom still has that keepsake. And since
then, Gibowski has figured out the whole cooking thing.
for only 13 months, Bibinger’s, 3747 Cedar Creek Road,
has quickly grown a following with the help of Gibowski
as executive chef. It was one of the 10 recommended
restaurants in Washington County as voted by Daily News
readers in an informal poll.
of that growth was courtesy of the building’s history,
housing popular establishments, including Schwai’s
Country Store Tavern & Hall and Emily’s Restaurant.
“It’s kind of like a hidden gem,” said Travis Dowden,
co-owner of Bibinger’s.
Another factor was the authenticity of the food.
example, the beef is from a farm a mile down the road —
Pleasant Valley Meats — on Lily Road.
Because the restaurant wasn’t completed when Dowden and
co-owner Ben Anderson interviewed her, hiring her was a
risk. They couldn’t test her skill set. Still, they knew
her by reputation, having seen features in magazines or
first dish they tried made by Gibowski was meatballs.
And they were good. Very good.
“She’s just blown our minds since,” Dowden said.
they’re not alone.
professionally run operation with a family feel,” said
Cody Lettau of Waukesha County. “Elegant, well-prepared
entrees and amazing handcrafted drinks.”
Customers line the bar at Bibinger’s.
John Ehlke/Daily News
Bend’s Jessica Swenson added, “I love the historic
significance of the building and the menu is simple,
delicious and the specials are always spot on.”
Dowden and Anderson, who met through mutual friends
while at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, had an
itch for several years to one day own a restaurant. They
didn’t actively pursue it until about two years ago.
“When Ben and I looked at this place, nothing was
finished, all the way down to the studs at that point
with the remodel,” Dowden said. “My wife works in
Hartford and she’s a dentist and we asked her, ‘Your
patients. I want you to ask them if they had heard of
Schwai’s or Emily’s. Do you know that building?’ Pretty
much everyone said, ‘Yeah. I drive by there all the
time. What’s going on with that?’” Having heard that,
they pursued the idea more.
appears to be in the middle of nowhere with no
high-traffic road going by the restaurant, but Dowden
and Anderson thought they had the perfect spot.
rural location can be tough, but it can also have its
benefits,” Dowden said.
Dowden and Anderson found the perfect person to run the
kitchen with Gibowski — a West Bend native and East High
School graduate — the, as Anderson put it, stars were
“Kady is extremely talented, very creative,” Dowden
said. “She has a really big focus on the quality of
ingredients that go into our foods.”
Gibowski has been dabbling with cooking since she was
about 7 years old.
love food; I love to eat food,” she said. “I like making
people happy, feeding them. Nothing makes me more
excited than giving somebody something I made, that I
created and put passion into and see their expression
when they eat it.”
After high school, she went to culinary school in
Minneapolis — Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts.
internship was at the American Club in Kohler. She also
worked at Ozaukee Country Club for six years where she
was the first chef below the executive chef.
first executive chef position was at Cafe at the Plaza,
1007 N. Cass St., Milwaukee, 2013-16.
was pretty exciting,” Gibowski said. “I felt pretty
proud to make that jump. It was a challenge for sure,
with so many great restaurants in the area.
stand out and we did, we had a great following for
brunch. It was pretty awesome.”
momentum carried her to Washington County, her home,
which was one reason why she left a vibrant big-city
love the fact that we’re so close to all these local
farms,” Gibowski said. “Dairy and vegetables, it’s a
great area for a restaurant to be because there is so
much potential to utilize local ingredients.”
Among the go-to menu items is the pork schnitzel and the
don’t like really overcomplicated things,” Gibowski
said. “I like things done the right way.”
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