Old Fashioned: The Story of the Wisconsin Supper Club | Chicago Reader

Old Fashioned: The Story of the Wisconsin Supper Club

51 minutes 2015

Wisconsin native Holly L. De Ruyter traces the history of supper clubs, one of her state's most beloved cultural institutions, and pays homage to the "supper club values" they instill. "We have that strong sense of community and fellowship around food," one patron avows, and her sentiment is echoed throughout the documentary, especially in the customers' credo of eschewing chains for local businesses. With a title referencing both the unofficial state cocktail and the time-honored ideals of most supper clubs, this is a love letter to midwestern life as much as the clubs themselves, and there's the rub. Midwestern traditionalists and socially conscious foodies may appreciate the patrons' reclamation of dining as a sacred, unhurried, and communal experience, but the specificity of the subject and the homogeneity of the interviewees may prove off-putting to outsiders.

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