Tomahawk restaurant owner stops by his former classroom at Nicolet College Culinary ArtsSubmitted: 04/20/2017
Phylicia Ashley
Phylicia Ashley

Tomahawk restaurant owner stops by his former classroom at Nicolet College Culinary Arts
RHINELANDER - When someone goes to their favorite restaurant, they may not think about the training that went into preparing their favorite dish. 

One professional chef returned to the school where he got his training. 

"It was a little nerve-wracking on the way up here," said Café on Main restaurant owner Ryan Petrouske.

Petrouske is a former Nicolet College Culinary Arts student. 

He closed down his Tomahawk restaurant on Thursday to talk to students who are in the same position he was in not too long ago.

"It's good to get students to the next level," said Petrouske. 

Petrouske graduated from Nicolet College in the spring of 2014. 

He opened his own restaurant, Café on Main, in Tomahawk in August 2016.

Coming back to his old stomping grounds brought back some pretty fond memories. 

"Someone that I knew or could look up to [went] to the same school and did the same stuff I did," said Nicolet College Culinary Arts student Addison Zey.

Zey is a part-time culinary student and also works under Petrouske at Café on Main.

Working with Petrouske gives Zey a glimpse into what his own future could look like. 

"It's good to give back now that I've gone even further with my experience," said Petrouske.

Petrouske remembers cooking in Zey's shoes and dealing with the pressure of new menus and the occasional docked points from instructors. 

"You gotta keep on," said Petrouske. "Every day is going to be a new challenge."
Now that he's running his own kitchen, he's showing students how they can make their way to success.

Petrouske's restaurant recently won the 2016 Wisconsin Main Street Award for best new business.

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