Reduce by Half Episode 19: Cajun & Creole Cooking with Chef Joe Muench

We’re in the midst of Mardi Gras season, and we turned to an expert to get the lowdown on the cuisines of Louisiana! For this episode, we’re delighted to welcome Chef Joe Muench, the renowned Chef / Owner at Maxie’s and Black Shoe Hospitality Group. Maxie’s serves authentic Southern cuisine of all kinds, made with local ingredients, and cooked to perfection. For this episode, we focused on Cajun and Creole cuisine, one of Maxie’s specialties. Take a listen as Chef Joe shares his story, helps us understand Cajun and Creole cuisine, and shares tips on how you can start to delve into these cuisines at home! Click here to listen on iTunes, or use the player below!


Chef Joe Muench & Maxie’s Restaurant

Chef Joe Muench

Joe Muench has been a leading Chef in southeast Wisconsin for the past 28 years. Joe began his culinary career making pizzas and short order cooking. A graduate of MATC Culinary Arts program, his first real challenge was line cooking at the iconic Grenadier’s Restaurant where he achieved the Sous Chef title. Following, he was the opening Executive Chef at Eddie Martini’s and later became the Executive Chef at the Big Foot Country Club
in Lake Geneva. Before jumping into southern cooking, Joe was the Corporate Chef for the DeRosa Corporation and Executive Chef at Sticks and Stones in Brookfield. In 2007, he opened Maxie’s, followed by Blue’s Egg as Executive Chef and co-owner with Dan Sidner in 2010. Their new
west side restaurant, Story Hill BKC, opened in 2014 and was recently added to the Milwaukee’s Top 30 list in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Maxie’s opened its doors on May 5th, 2007, serving Southern-inspired “from-scratch” cooking. Maxie’s is located in the old Vespalec family grocery store and Gerry O’Brien’s Meat Market at the corner of 68th Street and Fairview Avenue, immediately north of Interstate 94 and the 68th Street off-ramp. Maxie’s offers full-service bars and dining on two levels. Maxie’s Southern inspiration includes the “Low Country” cooking of the Carolinas, Creole and Cajun cooking of Louisiana, traditional slow-smoked Southern barbeque, and Southern comfort cooking of all kinds. We feature a raw bar serving fresh oysters and shrimp flown in 5 days a week from some of the best fish purveyors on the east coast. Our bar offers a hand picked selection of quality wines, micro-brewed and imported beers, and top-shelf liquors.

You can find out more about Maxie’s by visiting their website here or find out more about all of Black Shoe Hospitality’s restaurants by clicking here.


Creole Shrimp Recipe

Shrimp Creole

Chef Joe suggested learning how to make a Creole sauce as a path into experiencing the cuisine of Louisiana at home. Here’s a straightforward recipe we’ve put together for you to make a Creole sauce with Shrimp to enjoy at home. Take a look at our recipe card below or click here to see the full recipe.


Thanks for listening to this episode – we hope you enjoyed our interview with Chef Joe. We really appreciate his time and learned a lot from talking to him! If you liked this episode, and would like to keep getting more episodes, please subscribe on iTunes, so the podcast is delivered right to your iPhone, just follow this link. We’re also on Google Play podcast, Stitcher, and Spotify for your listening pleasure, so please subscribe on those platforms as well. Cheers!

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