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Panel explores what it means to 'eat well'

To celebrate its 25th anniversary, the Center for Integrated Agricultural Systems hosted a panel discussion in UW-Madison’s Music Hall on Feb. 12 to reflect on the true meaning of eating well. Five panelists, including Odessa Piper, founder of L'Etoile, offered their thoughts. 

The other four panelists were Jim Munsch of Deer Run Farm in Coon Valley, Wis., UW Professor and Director of the Global Health Institute Jonathan Patz, Tony Schultz of Stoney Acres Farm in Athens, Wis., and Assistant Professor of Community and Environmental Sociology Monica White.  

Here's what each had to say:

Odessa Piper

Thirty-eight years after she founded L'Etoile in Madison, Piper lives in Boston where she cooks and writes about food. In 2013 Piper published a cookbook titled "The Market Kitchen," which is a guide to cooking with farmers market produce.  

Jewish organizations provide free Shabbat meals to students

It can be easy to get wrapped-up in the fast pace of this day and age, especially as a college student where the future is a constant concern. The weekly Jewish holiday Shabbat, the day of rest at the end of the week, is supposed to remind people to focus on what is truly important. 

Organizations at the University of Wisconsin-Madison like the Jewish Experience of Madison help spread this message by providing free Shabbat dinners for students every week.

JEM is a non-profit organization dedicated to Jewish education. It opened seven years ago, according to Shira Avitan, one of the JEM team members. Avitan and her husband, Rabbi Elie Avitan, moved to Madison from Israel where he was studying to become a Rabbi. This is their second year at JEM. 

Dobra's closure points to changes in Madison's tea, State St. business culture

Dobra's closure points to changes in Madison's tea, State St. business culture

On Dobra Tea’s last day in business, owner Adam Ernst invited the community to come visit the State Street shop to drink tea and shatter teapots from around the world.

The gesture offered him an opportunity to share some of the philosophies surrounding tea culture and to gain a sense of closure as the tea shop closed its doors Feb. 9 after five years in downtown Madison.

“Tea in general encourages us to embrace the imperfection in life, the impermanence in life, and thus smashing teaware is a kind of symbol to communicate to people,” Ernst said. “We need that sort of catalytic breaking, smashing and severing of all contacts in order to see and reunite them. Simply as a symbol of impermanence it seemed very effective.”

As a teenager, Ernst, a Madison native, discovered a passion for tea far from Wisconsin during a visit to the East Coast.

52-year-old UW bar gets 4-month makeover

52-year-old UW bar gets 4-month makeover

After four months of restoration, a bar inside the Memorial Union will reopen Monday. 

Der Stiftskeller, originally opened in 1962, has had its murals restored, pool tables moved in and the serving bar reborn out of a Terrace tree, those managing the the University of Wisconsin-Madison project said Wednesday at a sneak preview of the restaurant. 

In addition to its interior upgrades, the Stiftskeller will add a second window serving the Terrace. 

Murals first painted in 1978 were restored, recreated, or in the case of the "Battle of Beer and Wine" painting, relocated from the west wall to the south wall, the UW-Madison said. 

The renovations are part of phase one of the university's Memorial Union Reinvestment project, which kicked off in the summer of 2012.

Der Stiftskeller shares the bar with neighbor pub Der Rathskeller.

'Frankenfood' event participants could win spot on TV show

'Frankenfood' event participants could win spot on TV show

Madison-area folks are invited to take part in a funky food event next Friday with the chance to be part of a cooking reality TV show. 

Madison Area Technical College's Truax campus on Wright Street will host the "Frankenfood" event from noon to 4 p.m. in the gourmet dining room. Frankenfood is a new buzzword for a dish made up of many contrasting parts that would not normally be paired together but stitched together as one, makes sense and tastes good (or at least tastes good to you).

Winter season ripe for snowshoeing at area parks

Winter season ripe for snowshoeing at area parks

If Madison area residents are looking for a cabin fever cure, area parks offer various trails for a fun snow activity.

Madison Parks spokeswoman Laura Whitmore said snowshoeing is a great way to get outdoors in Wisconsin's winter months and experience the Madison area parks. 

In addition to Edna Taylor Conservation Park, snowshoe trails are offered at Cherokee Marsh Mendota and North units, Elvehjem Park, Garner Park, Heritage Prairie, Heritage Sanctuary, Hoyt Park, Knollwood Conservation Park, Mineral Point Park, Prairie Ridge Conservation Park, Sandburg Woods, Walnut Grove Park and Warner Park. 

More information is available online at cityofmadison.com/parks/snowshoeing.

Watch News 3's Mary Jo Ola tackle the winter activity at Edna Taylor Conservation Park: