MARQUETTE — If you are looking to celebrate Oktoberfest with authentic German cuisine, head to Riverview Estates, located at 202 S. Washington in Marquette. An all-you-can eat buffet of German food will be served from noon to 1 p.m. on Oct. 22 in the multipurpose room.
Riverview Estates Director of Food and Nutrition Services Lisa Quested wanted to offer the special meal as a fundraiser to purchase a fryer for the kitchen.
"We been doing almost monthly fund raising," Quested said. "Being October, I thought we'd do Oktoberfest."
Quested noted the dishes for the Oktoberfest meal is made up of true German cuisine, while some items that are typically considered German, such as verenike and bierocks, were actually introduced to the country by Eastern European immigrants.
“There’s kind of a misconception about German food around here,” Quested said.
Quested’s deep understanding of foods from around the globe is partly due to her training.
“I was an English girl in a Swedish town known for cooking German food,” Quested said. “I actually studied in Germany.”
Originally from Plymouth, England, Quested attended a culinary school there and participated in an exchange program for cooking in Germany. After moving to the United States, she worked in dining services at McPherson College and Lindsborg Hospital. She also spent a total of 6 years at the Valley Cafe in Marquette, where she prepared German dishes.
Quested encourages people to try menu items with unfamiliar names.
“Worldwide, we eat the same foods, we just call them different things,” Quested said.
The kitchen at Riverview Estates has never had a fryer, so Quested hopes to raise enough funds for the purchase.
"Back when the place was first designed, everything was cooked in the ovens and everyone ate the same things from the steam table," Quested said.
All of the resident's meals are now cooked to order and the addition of a ventless fryer would give them more dining choices. While Quested recognizes fried foods are not as healthy, she thinks residents should be able to enjoy their meals.
Cooking items such as onion rings and tater tots in an oven and transferring them to a steam table does not give them the crispiness of using a fryer.
"They get soggy. They're not good quality at all," Quested said. "They should have the option to have French fries if they so choose, and to have quality French fries."
For the Oktoberfest meal, Quested will serve sauer braten, pretzels with bier cheese and pork jaeger schnitzel in mushroom gravy. Potato dumplings, cucumber salad, red cabbage and kohlrabi are the vegetables that will be offered.
"Typically, Germans eat a lot of macerated vegetable salads," Quested explained.
Desserts will include apple strudel and Black Forest cake.
Beer will not be served at the Oktoberfest meal, but diners are encouraged to make reservations in advance to enjoy the food, music and decorations.
"We will take walk-ins if we have the space and the food," Quested said.
For more information about Riverview Estates or to RSVP for the Oktoberfest meal, visit http://www.riverviewestatesks.com or call 785-546-2211.
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