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'A Taste of Spring' fundraiser set
Minhas Kitchen executive chef Olivia Oltrogge is preparing to serve a five-course dinner at Monroe Arts Centers annual A Taste of Spring fundraiser May 7 at the Peppercorn banquet room in the Ludlow Mansion, 1417 Mansion Drive, Monroe. (Photo supplied)
ROE - Monroe Arts Center's annual "A Taste of Spring" dinner fundraiser will be held from 5 to 9 p.m. May 7 at the Peppercorn banquet room, 1417 Mansion Drive.

This year's event features the culinary artistry of executive chef Olivia Oltrogge and sous chef David Geske of Minhas Kitchen. Together, the chefs developed a special five-course dinner, each course incorporating artisan spirits from Minhas Distillery and locally sourced ingredients.

Oltrogge, a self-taught chef, worked her way to the top of her profession, starting in food service as a high school student working in delicatessen prep, according to a news release. She discovered a passion for food and never left the kitchen.

More than 14 years later, Oltrogge now works as an executive chef and is credited with award-winning recipes. She previously worked as the lead fine-dining chef for The Abbey Resort and Avani Spa in Lake Geneva, serving executives, famous NFL players and other sports figures. When Minhas Kitchen opened, Oltrogge was hired to help get Monroe's newest restaurant started.

When Oltrogge transferred to Minhas Kitchen, she knew she wanted David Geske as a sous chef, as their culinary careers have intertwined for years, according to the release. Geske worked alongside Oltrogge at The Abbey Resort, Coachman's Golf Resort in Edgerton and now Minhas Kitchen. Another accidental chef, Geske studied motorcycle maintenance and took a second job at the Abbey as a dishwasher. Years later, having moved up the ladder, he found himself immersed in cooking and catering.

Oltrogge specializes in pastas and soups while Geske is known for grilled meats and side dishes. They have developed every unique recipe on the Minhas Kitchen menu.

Oltrogge and Geske's menu will be paired with wines selected by wine expert Steve Borowski, who features wines that are both affordable and locally available. He has served as the wine sommelier at previous A Taste of Spring events and has been a judge for international wine competitions. Borowski is director of facility services and operations effectiveness at Monroe Clinic and hopes one day to open a wine store, according to the news release.

Tickets may be purchased individually or for tables of eight. For reservations, call 325-5700 by April 27. Visit for additional information.