We caught up with Jacob in Maxie’s kitchen last week to discuss a bit about his background as an industry professional.  Here are some excerpts from that conversation:

TC:  Where did you grow up?

JS:  I’m a local guy.  I was raised in Greenfield, WI and have spent most of my life near Milwaukee.   We now live in Greendale, WI.  Note:  Jacob has a lovely bride, Molly, and they have a one year old son named Henry.

TC:  When people become excited about food, it seems to stay with them for a lifetime. How did you catch the “bug” for cooking?

JS:  I remember watching Martin Yan’s cooking show, Yan Can Cook on television growing up in the 1980s.   And his catch phrase was, “If Yan can cook, so can you!”  I guess I took that pretty seriously.   I’m probably one of the lucky ones in that I pretty much knew what I wanted to do since I was a kid.  I wanted to be a chef and an NFL football player since I was like 5 years old.  And the cooking, in time, won out over the concussions.

TC:  Are there any individuals, more locally, that have influenced the arc of your culinary career?

JS:  Yes, for sure.  I’ve worked with the chef/owner here, Joe Muench, for almost twelve years.  He’s a really smart guy and has taken me under his wing.

TC: Outside of your group of restaurants, if we created an Admiration Society of your favorite local chefs, who would be in that group?

JS:  Well,  T from Buckley’s (on Cass Street downtown), Justin Aberhamian from Sanford’s, these guys just always seem to be at the top of their game.

TC:  Are you formally trained in the culinary arts?

JS:  Yes.  I have an Associate’s degree from MATC in Culinary Arts.  I have some slightly less formal but very rigorous training from a stint I did in Switzerland in 2007. I’ve learned so much from other chefs and while traveling that there is no way I could name them all.

TC: How would you finish the sentence, “I love this menu because…”

JS:  Southern food touches a wonderfully broad spectrum and has ties to other cousins, French, German, Italian, African, Carribean and more.  You never stop discovering new things about food here.

TC:  Last but not least, would you share with us your favorite or “go to” starter, entrée and dessert on the menu?

JS:  Of course,  I’m an oyster guy and I generally eat them raw with a little lemon and maybe some hot sauce.  But I recommend the way we prepare our oysters Rockefeller style.  Delicious.

For an entrée, I love the pork cheeks.  I am a big fan of pot roast and really tender slow-cooked meats.  Our pork cheeks are beer-braised and served atop pimento grits and greens making for perfect comfort.  I continually come back to them as a staple.

For dessert, our key lime pie is, well, sublime.

TC:  Thanks so much for your time, chef.  It was a pleasure.

JS:  Thank you.

Walking into Maxie’s has been described as like walking into a party that’s in full swing. Maxie’s opened in 2007, drawing inspiration from throughout the South, and proudly serves oysters, barbecue, fresh fish, and Southern comfort cooking of all kinds to the Tosa area.

Crawfish Étouffée

Red Bell Pepper, 1/2 Cup

Green Bell Pepper, 1/2 Cup

Yellow Onion, 1/2 Cup

Celery, 1/2 Cup

Garlic, 1 T

Butter, 2 T

Cajun Seasoning, 1 T

Flour, 1/3 Cup

Shellfish stock, 2 Cups

White wine, 1/2 Cup

Crushed Tomato,1 Cup

Worcestershire, 1 T

Tabasco hot sauce, 1 T

Salt – pinch

Black pepper – pinch

Crawfish tail meat, 1 pound

Oil, 1 T

1. Dice veggies. Melt butter in sauce pot, and add veggies and garlic. Season with cajun seasoning. Sweat until veggies become soft and translucent. Add flour. Stir and cook with flour for a couple of minutes.

2. Whisk in the stock slowly and stir aggressively to incorporate the flour. Once smooth, add white wine and crushed tomatoes.

3. Add seasoning and reduce for 10 minutes, until sauce becomes slightly thick. Season with salt and pepper.

4. Sauté Crawfish in oil in hot pan for 1 minute. Add sauce and let simmer for 2 minutes.

5. Serve over rice, pasta, or toasted bread. A fresh side salad is a great accompaniment with this dish.

Oysters Rockefeller

Oysters, shucked and left on the half shell, 1-2 dozen

Butter 1/4 pound

Bacon, chopped fine, 12 slices

Shallots, minced, 10-12 pieces

Garlic, minced, 1 T

Celery, minced 1/2 bunch

Celery tops, chopped, 1/4 Cup

Parsley, chopped, 1/4 Cup

Kosher salt, to taste

Black pepper, to taste

Herbsaint anise-flavored liquor, 1 Cup

Hot sauce, 1 T

Worcestershire, 2 T

Heavy cream, 1 Qt

Parmesan, 2-3 Cups

Spinach, 1 bag

Kosher salt, to taste

Black pepper, to taste

Herbsaint anise-flavored liquor, splash

1. Shuck oysters and arrange on a sheet pan.

2. In a heavy pan, melt butter and add bacon. Render bacon and brown slightly. Add shallots, garlic, celery, celery tops, and parsley. Season with salt and pepper. Sweat until soft.

3. Deglaze with Herbsaint and reduce. Add hot sauce, Worcestershire and cream. Reduce mixture by half.

4. Whisk in cheese until melted. Add spinach and cook until wilted.

5. Season with salt and pepper. Add splash more Herbsaint and remove from heat. Scoop dollop on each oyster. (Can be done ahead, 1-5 hours)

6. Top oysters with additional Parmesan or bread crumbs, if desired. Bake or broil at 450, 10-15 minutes or until tops are slightly browned.


Light rum, 1.5 oz

Mint, 6 leaves

Sugar, 1-2 T

Lime, 4 quarters

Club soda

Muddle rum, mint, sugar, and lime in a pint glass. Add ice and shake. Top with soda.

Mint Julep

Bourbon, 2 oz

Mint, 6 leaves

Sugar, 1/2 T

Muddle mint, bourbon and sugar in a highball glass or julep cup. Fill glass with shaved ice, mounding the top like a snow cone. Garnish with a mint leaf.

Black Shoe Hospitality

Maxie’s / Blue’s Egg / Story Hill BKC