Nationally-Recognized Chef Jorge Guzman Takes Talents to Western Wisconsin To Bring New Concepts to La Crosse’s Growing Restaurant Scene

Jorge Guzman named executive chef and partner at new La Crosse Distilling Co.; other restaurant concepts to be developed

La Crosse Distilling Co. today announced that nationally renowned chef Jorge Guzman has joined its team as executive chef and partner. Guzman, who was named a James Beard Best Chef Midwest finalist in 2017 and has been featured on The Food Network and in Travel & Leisure, Time Magazine and Food & Wine, is moving from Minneapolis to La Crosse with plans to play a big role in the Western-Wisconsin city’s growing restaurant scene.

His first endeavor will be with La Crosse Distilling Co., the city’s first distillery, which is slated to open in the coming weeks. Guzman will lead the distillery’s lunch and dinner tasting room with a rustic street food menu featuring regionally-sourced and made-from-scratch fare with an emphasis on authentic Mexican flavors and Wisconsin favorites.

“We’re thrilled to welcome Jorge to the La Crosse Distilling Co. team,” said LCDC Co-owner Nick Weber. “His passion for locally-sourced, sustainable and organic food aligns perfectly with our distillery’s farmer-forward approach. We can’t wait for our guests to experience the pairings of our handcrafted spirits with delicious food.”

Following the initial restaurant partnership, Weber and Guzman plan to open additional restaurant concepts in the city, which has seen a major revitalization in the past decade.

“I’m excited and humbled to be a part of such a special project,” says Guzman. “La Crosse is a city that is full of potential, and I’m looking forward to helping make a mark that will positively impact the community and its visitors.”

Guzman, a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America in New York, has worked in award-winning restaurants across the country and most recently served as executive chef at Surly Brewing Company, overseeing the menu and dining program for the Beer Hall, Scheid Hall and Brewer’s Table since 2014. He was nominated as a semifinalist for James Beard Best Chef Midwest in 2016 and as a finalist in 2017. Guzman won the Minneapolis regional competition for Cochon555 in 2015 and was also named chef of the year by the Star Tribune and 2015 Top Chef by Food Service News.

About La Crosse Distilling Co.

Opening in summer 2018, La Crosse Distilling Co. is La Crosse’s first distillery. The 10,000 sq. ft. distillery will offer handcrafted, organic spirits, free tours and a tasting room serving specialty cocktails, lunch and dinner. Learn more at or on Facebook or Instagram.


La Crosse Distilling Company

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