Thursday – December 12, 2019

Marcus Thie Crowned 2013 Hottest Kitchen Entrepreneur

July 31, 2013 

MILWAUKEE - Marcue Thie of Shorewood won the 2013 Hottest Kitchen Entrepreneur Challenge at an event held at Milwaukee Area Technical College's Cuisine Restaurant July 31, 2013. Thie's entry was Sauceformations, a line of gluten-free and Paleo-diet friendly organic sauces for home chefs including Tomato Choka, a recipe from Trinidad packed with flavor and nutrients. He wants to launch StreetBeet, a food truck where he can promote locally grown food and showcase organic recipes featuring his sauce line.

Thie received $2,500 in seed money from Reliable Water Services; a comprehensive entrepreneurial consultation package from MATC; $500 of professional cookware from Boelter Superstore and a two-hour private meeting with food industry executives serving on FaB Milwaukee’s Advisory Council.

Finalists of this year’s Hottest Kitchen Entrepreneur Challenge had something in common – they all incorporated Wisconsin-made ingredients. Aspiring chefs and home cooks entered by submitting a short application and photo of their concept. Finalists were selected based on the originality and viability of their concept and appearance based on an initial photo. The other finalists included: 

Andrew Bechaud– Milwaukee – Bechaud Elixing Co., a line of handcrafted small batch beverages made with Wisconsin agricultural ingredients. Tempting flavors include Chocolate Chai Veloute and Spring Blossom Cherry Soda. His dream is to start a small production facility and sell to local upscale grocers such as Sendik’s or Whole Foods. 

Pete Cooney –Milwaukee – Pete’s Pops - Handcrafted Ice Pops, a frozen treat made with fresh fruits and natural sugars in flavors like Strawberry Basil and Pineapple Jalapeno. Cooney wants to produce through a commercial kitchen, start selling via a push cart at local events and ultimately distribute through area grocers. 

Judges for the contest were: 
Jan Kelly, owner and chef, Meritage restaurant, Milwaukee 
Angela West, co-founder/publisher, Alcoholmanac Magazine, Milwaukee 
Betsy Gilmore, general manager, Bel Air Cantina/Wauwatosa 
Jack Kaestner, chef instructor for Milwaukee Area Technical College 
Lynn Sbonik, co-owner of Beans & Barley Deli, Market & Full Service Café 
Eric Olesen, owner and president, O&H Danish Bakery of Racine 
Peter Gottsacker, president of Wixon, a manufacturer of seasonings, flavors, and technologies for the food, beverage, and meat industry. 

“We were impressed with the level of creativity and passion of the many entries we received,” said Olesen, council co-chair for FaB Milwaukee. “Our three finalists stood out as having concepts that would not only be delicious but also marketable in our community.” 

The challenge was sponsored by MATC, Reliable Water Services a local provider of commercial water heaters, boilers and water softeners and FaB Milwaukee, an industry network for the food and beverage cluster of southeastern Wisconsin.

July 16, 2013 Milwaukee Journal Sentinel coverage of announcement of finalists

Milwaukee Area Technical College 
Wisconsin’s largest technical college and the most diverse two-year institution in the Midwest, Milwaukee Area Technical College is a key driver of southeastern Wisconsin’s economy and has provided innovative education in the region since 1912. Approximately 50,000 students per year attend the college’s four campuses and community-based sites or learn online. MATC offers affordable and accessible education and training opportunities that empower and transform lives in the community. 

About Reliable Water Services
Reliable Water Services provides water heaters, boilers and water softeners to Indiana apartment building owners, restaurants and commercial enterprises where a steady supply of hot water is essential to business operations. The company currently has 3,500 customers in the Midwest and offices in Milwaukee and Indianapolis. More information is available at

FaB Milwaukee 
FaB Milwaukee's mission is to make the Milwaukee Region an easy place to innovate, start, expand or locate your food and beverage business and enjoy a rewarding industry career, from producers to processors to our plate.