AHSWAUBENON, Wisc. (WBAY) Just ahead of the Packers season opener, the recently opened Lodge Kohler announces its new head chef.
Leading the luxury hotel's featured restaurant is Chef Joey Kolenc.
When Kolenc landed the top job at Taverne in the Sky, he wasted little time getting here from Arizona.
"I did a 30-hour drive in 40 hours to just make it. Pulled in Saturday, started on Monday, so been rolling ever since," says Kolenc.
It's also a homecoming for Kolenc, who grew up in Sheboygan well aware of the Kohler name.
"Driving down Highway 23 as a kid, seeing the three water towers representing that brand, see that Kohler across there early on, bowling lanes, Galaxy Lanes, stuff like that, Mr. Kohler was always a part of that, so seeing that, being involved in that as a youth was important to me and also inspirational," recalls Kolenc.
Kolenc credits his grandmother for his passion for cooking, and over the past 15 years his culinary experience carried him to some of the finest restaurants in Arizona.
"I would consider myself kind of Mediterranean-American fusion, if you would, with a little Southwestern flair," says Kolenc.
As for his personal favorites on the menu, the BBQ baby back ribs, rotisserie chicken and poached sturgeon are just the beginning.
"I love our salads, our soups. Everything is made in-house. We're pushing for a fully scratch kitchen, and that's my goal is to be there. I would just recommend trying it all," says Kolenc with a smile.
And Chef Kolenc says he can't think of a better time to kick off his tenure in Titletown.
"I'm really excited to see what's to come, because this weekend will be our first weekend game and I know it's going to be a big one," says Kolenc.