Entertaining With Local Flavor

Entertaining With Local Flavor

Cooler temperatures are here, which means it’s time to move your dinner parties from the patio to the dining room. However, it doesn't mean you can’t still put local flavors on your table.

We turned to Jess Farley, food writer for the Peninsula Pulse and Door County Living Magazine, to get some ideas for entertaining with the seasonal flavors of Door County.

The Home Bar

Door County’s beverage scene has taken giant strides in the last few years. You can’t go wrong with a mix of beers from Door County Brewing Co., or try the Peninsula Porter from Shipwrecked. Need a non-alcoholic option? Stock a few bottles of local kombucha that you can find at area grocery stores. 

There’s even a local option for those who need a gluten-free beverage with hard cider from Island Orchard Cider.

If you go the cocktail route, stock your bar with spirits from Door County Distillery. Or better yet, warm up with a local spiced apple cider with or without a nip of spirits.  

But no matter your base spirit, the Old Fashioned should be part of your cocktail program. For more ideas, check out the Wicked Cocktails video series featuring Mike Holmes of the Wickman House in Ellison Bay.

Appetizer:  Smoked Whitefish

Whitefish has been an integral part of the local diet as long as people have been eating on the Door Peninsula, and no authentic Door County meal would be complete without it.

If you’re not using it as a main dish, do what the locals do and grab some smoked whitefish from a local fishery like Charlie’s Smokehouse. Serve with crackers and cream cheese dip with fresh chives, or go classic with some port wine cheese from Door Peninsula Winery.

Want to go another direction? Try succulent locally made goat cheese, apple and/or pear slices (take your pick of local orchards and markets to find them), and local honey drizzled over the top.


Butternut or Acorn Squash Bisque with Fried Sage Leaves.

Nothing says fall like squash, and the growers of Door County bring it in bunches come October. The farm market season is over, but you can still find locally grown products at grocery stores and orchard markets, and may be able to source them direct from growers through the Local Producers Guide. Sweeten up your bisque by exchanging a bit of local apple cider for the required liquid.  


Do you prefer salad over soup? Then try this local favorite.

Fresh Spinach, blue cheese, dried cherries and candied pecans. Finish with a homemade balsamic vinaigrette or better yet order a jar of the English Inn’s Hot Bacon or Cherry Bacon dressing to finish this delicious salad off right.


A simple way to feed the masses while entertaining is tenderloin.  This time of year I prefer pork over beef.  I feel the autumn flavors meld perfectly with this meat. For a locally sourced meat option visit Waseda Farms (open year round).

Try this combination: Stuffed Pork Tenderloin with dried Door County cherry stuffing, served with garlic mashed potatoes and seared brussels sprouts. 


Apple or Pumpkin Pie w/ cinnamon vanilla whipped cream

Both of these pie options pair great with the Silurian Stout from Door County Brewing Company or the more traditional option is a piping hot cup of coffee. Door County Coffee and Tea has many seasonal flavored options to choose from.  

View the full November 2016 Newsletter here.