Lewis Station Winery builds giant caprese salad with Crave Brothers fresh mozzarella cheese and local produce

Wisconsin State Farmer
Lewis Station Winery in Lake Mills.

WATERLOO - Bring your appetite for Wisconsin flavors to Lewis Station Winery in Lake Mills, on Thursday, Aug. 9. That’s when Chef Jason Dunn will be building the  World’s Largest Caprese Salad at Lewis Station Winery, with doors opening at 5 p.m.

Chef Dunn estimates that the 32-foot-long caprese salad will take four people approximately one hour to assemble. The salad will incorporate fresh flavors from Wisconsin, including the award-winning cheese, Crave Brothers Farmstead Classics Fresh Mozzarella.

Lewis Station Winery’s giant caprese salad will celebrate the season by featuring 34 quarts of locally sourced tomatoes, 96 pounds of assorted varieties of Crave Brothers Fresh Mozzarella, 3 pounds of locally grown basil (four different types), 2 quarts of olive oil, and 1 quart of balsamic vinegar. For $10, attendees will be able to order a serving of  “The Mother of All Caprese Salads,” paired with a glass of rosé wine. A portion of the evening’s proceeds will be donated to Club 55 at Lake Mills Senior Center.

“The caprese salad will be a Wisconsin record — and most likely a world record — at 32 feet long,” Chef Dunn says.

The current caprese salad record-holder is a 24-foot-long version, made in San Diego.

Chef Dunn explains that the idea for the World’s Largest Caprese Salad arose out of a conversation he had with cheesemaker George Crave last year. “I really love to work with Crave Brothers Farmstead Cheese. George and I threw the idea around because we have such beautiful tomatoes here in August, and we enjoy serving Crave Brothers Fresh Mozzarella weekly on our menu.”

Chef Jason Dunn is a third-generation restaurateur, and has worked in the business for 39 years. His family operated Bev’s Restaurant, and Dunn also held previous positions at White Horse Inn, Crandall’s, Sandhill Inn in Merrimac, and other restaurants.
Lewis Station Winery is a premium urban winery that offers a selection of Wisconsin craft beers as well as Chef Dunn’s contemporary bistro-style menu featuring fresh produce and local ingredients.

Cheese maker George Crave (second from left) of Crave Brothers Farmstead Cheese was inducted into the New World Chapter of The Guilde Internationale des Fromagers. Joining him (from left) Cathy Strange, Global Executive Coordinator, Specialty and Product Innovation and Development, Whole Foods Market, Inc.; Roland Barthelemy, Ambassadeur, New World Chapter of the Guilde Internationale des Fromagers; and Jodie Wische, Emmi USA.

Licensed cheesemaker George Crave oversees the making of all the Crave Brothers handcrafted artisan cheeses. “Caprese salad is such a good way to use our fresh mozzarella that we thought it would be fun to do it in a big way,” he says.

Crave Brothers Farmstead Cheese is sustainably produced in the family’s own farmstead cheese-making facility that practices water conservation, recycling, and uses 100 percent green power. The anaerobic biodigester produces enough electricity to power the Crave Brothers Farm, the farmstead cheese-making plant, and over 300 homes in their community.

The Crave Brothers Fresh Mozzarella that will be incorporated into the caprese salad comes in a variety of forms, including medallions, 8-ounce and 1-pound balls, 1-pound logs, containers of small mozzarella balls in four sizes — including pearl, cherry, golf ball and egg sizes — and marinated fresh mozzarella. 

At the recent 2018 Wisconsin State Fair Dairy Products Contest, Crave Brothers Farmstead Classics Marinated Mozzarella won a first place award, and also took first place honors in the 2018 World Cheese Championships. Like other Crave Brothers Farmstead Cheese, Fresh Mozzarella is made with milk from the family’s own dairy herd in a farmstead cheese-making facility.  

For more information about Lewis Station Winery, visit the website at To learn about Chef Jason Dunn, LLC, visit