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Wisconsin Center District's New Executive Chef and General Manager Take Food & Beverage Experience to the Next Level

9 Nov, 2020


Meeting planners know five-star hospitality when they see it. And that’s exactly what a select few experienced on the evening of Tuesday, Oct. 27 during a private, socially-distant tasting event at Milwaukee’s convention center, the Wisconsin Center. An intimate group of Milwaukee-based meeting planners gathered to experience the completely reimagined food and beverage program available at the Wisconsin Center District’s (WCD) venues. Thanks to new leadership by Levy RestaurantsExecutive Chef Christopher Pulling and General Manager Julio Henriquez, meeting and events planners can now elevate their clients’ next experience with high-end, customizable menu options when they book an event at the Wisconsin Center.

As the Oktoberfest-themed tasting began, guests were welcomed with craft beverages and appetizers, including a mini beer stein with pub cheese, and fish and chips. Once seated at their tables, Chef Pulling engaged attendees with cooking demos of select dishes while masked servers ensured they had everything they needed to feel safe, full, and entertained. Throughout the evening, guests enjoyed WCD craft chipolata bratwurst, whispering wings quail schnitzel, MobCraft “Scutterbotch” braised beef short rib, German potato “mille fuille,” braised red cabbage custard, and to end the meal, a warm apple custard “skillet.” This specialty menu was created by Chef Pulling to showcase dishes that pay homage to Milwaukee’s cultural-melting-pot past with a nod to the city’s elevated, James Beard Award-winning present. 

“Reimagining a food and beverage program in the midst of COVID-19 is no small feat,” said corporate event and meeting planner Mike Underwood, who attended the tasting. “Levy Restaurants and the Wisconsin Center District proved that focus on the client experience, while incorporating locally-sourced ingredients and products is possible with the right amount of care and thought. Strict food safety preparation and service protocols were adhered to, while inventive small-plate options were served to a discerning audience. Light-hearted and informative presentations by Levy Restaurants’ new head chef and general manager were paired with delicious food and beverage offerings.”

This intimate event was a debut of the new direction the WCD’s F&B program is headed with Pulling and Henriquez at the helm. Both bring prestigious hospitality experience and education to their roles and are dedicated to ensuring world-class dining experiences. Not only will Pulling and Henriquez cater to smaller, socially distant events, the same care and detail will be given to larger events when they begin to make a comeback.

“Our goal is to make sure that the Wisconsin Center District is always providing the highest quality, safest experience for our guests and clients,” said Marty Brooks, president and CEO of the WCD. “Although COVID-19 has pressed pause on the events industry, we’re looking to the future and are excited about the experiences we’ll be able to provide. The Wisconsin Center expansion is moving forward, we just achieved Global Biorisk Advisory Council STAR accreditation for all three of our venues, and we have brought in food and beverage experts in Chef Chris and Julio. Their gold-standard expectations for creativity and service will  expand our offerings and provide second-to-none, customizable options for clients large and small.”

If you are interested in learning more or booking an event, please visit wcd.org/book-your-event.

Read more about Chris Pulling and Julio Henriquez here

About Wisconsin Center District

Experience-obsessed and committed to creating unforgettable experiences, the Wisconsin Center District (WCD) is a quasi-governmental body that operates the Wisconsin CenterUW-Milwaukee Panther Arena and Miller High Life Theatre in downtown Milwaukee. WCD venues are within walking distance of leading hotels, retail establishments, attractions, dining, nightclubs and transportation. Created under Wisconsin State Statute in 1994, WCD offers captivating- and buzzworthy-experiences making Milwaukee a not-to-be-missed destination.

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