'Wisconsin Foodie' has new host with chef

Freeman Staff

June 11, 2019

 Chef Luke Zahm
Submitted photo

MILWAUKEE — Fans of the TV show “Wisconsin Foodie” will see a new face when watching the 2020 season — that of Chef Luke Zahm, owner and head chef of Driftless Cafe in Viroqua.

Zahm, a James Beard-nominated chef, replaces Kyle Cherek as host of “Wisconsin Foodie,” an Emmy Award-winning production aired locally on Wisconsin Public Television.

“As a kid growing up in a small, rural town in Wisconsin, I found my identity in food,” Zahm said. “I’ve enjoyed my guest role with ‘Foodie’ immensely; I can’t wait to continue to explore and create broader awareness of the culinary scene with viewers as permanent host of ‘Wisconsin Foodie.’” Zahm has been previously featured on Wisconsin Foodie, such as season 11, episode 13, “Love Letter to Summer,” and is most known for his ever-changing menu of local foods at the Driftless Cafe, highlighting local farms by spending 85% of its food budget on ingredients that are sourced within a 100mile radius of the restaurant.

Cherek, a native of Waukesha, said, “As host of ‘Wisconsin Foodie’ for the past 11 years, it has been a deep and abiding honor to represent my state’s food ways through the stories of its farmers, artisans, makers, and chefs. I look forward to the next chapter in my role as a food storyteller and focusing on my extraordinary new role as father to my newborn daughter,” Cherek said.