Part magician, part chef, part storyteller, Jeremy “Torch” Klaubauf, Fish Boil Master at the Old Post Office Restaurant, puts on a 30-minute show three times a night for guests looking to taste the flavors of this traditional Scandinavian meal. Watch as Torch drops potatoes, onions and freshly caught Lake Michigan whitefish into a large kettle over a roaring outdoor wood fire. At just the right time, he douses the flames with kerosene, causing a huge fireball that makes the kettle boil over and signals dinner is ready. (The restaurant goes through 35,000 pounds of fish each season!)
For the past seven years, Torch has been at the helm: preparing the fire, cutting the fish, controlling and stoking the flames, cooking and feeding 300 to 400 people a night while entertaining them with tales of settlers who set up logging camps here in the 1800s. Take a trip and taste for yourself. The restaurant is open seasonally, from May–October.
We asked Torch about his experiences in Door County. He shares the places he likes to go and the things he likes to do to inspire you on your vacation to the peninsula and islands.
Q. What do you like to cook at home?
A. In the summer, I like to grill things like rib eye and local sweet corn. In the fall, I turn on the slow cooker for pot roast or soup.
Q. What is your favorite fall activity?
A. I meet up with buddies to golf at the Alpine Resort. Peninsula State Park also has a very beautiful golf course.
Q. Where do you like to go for breakfast or lunch?
A. I like to walk to Julie’s Park Café & Motel with my dog, Simon. Julie’s has a dog-friendly patio, plus delicious breakfast burritos and Nashville chicken.
Q. Where do you go to meet up with friends?
A. Bayside Tavern is your typical Wisconsin bar: cozy and friendly, with a fish fry every Friday night. Husbys is my go-to place for local craft brew.
Q. What’s your favorite Door County event?
A. I’m involved with the Fyr Bal Festival, which happens the Saturday before the summer solstice in Ephraim. We have fish boils and fireworks and light a big bonfire on the shore to “burn out the winter witch and welcome the summer,” or so tradition says!
Q. What is your favorite place to enjoy nature?
A. I hike Eagle Trail at Peninsula State Park with my little dog two or three times a week. It’s a beautiful rugged area along the bay. Sometimes I have to help Simon over the rocky parts.
Q. Where is the best place to catch a sunset?
A. The porch at the Old Post Office Restaurant is perfect when the sun sets between Horseshoe Island and Eagle Bluff. Of course, you can’t forget Sunset Beach, either.
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