ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Superior Roux finds home base in Billings Park

Owned by the Sutherland family, the building is now known as Venue in the Park.

Chefs from Superior Roux, Paul Lukens, left, and Jeremy Wilson, hold some treats outside the old Billings Park Cafe
Chefs from Superior Roux, Paul Lukens, left, and Jeremy Wilson, hold some treats Friday, March 4, 2022, outside the old Billings Park Cafe, which is now known as Venue in the Park. Superior Roux will sell breads, pastries and more in the Superior shop weekly.
Jed Carlson / Superior Telegram
We are part of The Trust Project.

SUPERIOR — Superior Roux stirs together two chefs, scratch cooking, New Orleans flavors and fine dining.

The newest ingredient for the catering/bakery/pop-up restaurant business is a home base in the retooled Billings Park Cafe building, now called Venue in the Park.

Chefs Paul Lukens, left, and Jeremy Wilson hold a sample of some of the treats offered by Superior Roux
Chefs Paul Lukens, left, and Jeremy Wilson hold a sample of some of the treats offered by Superior Roux on Friday, March 4, 2022. The pop-up bakery and catering business will run out of the former Billings Park Cafe building.
Jed Carlson / Superior Telegram

Executive chefs Paul Lukens and Jeremy Wilson said they’ve been planning Superior Roux for nearly two years. They launched it about a month ago, starting with weekly sales of fresh bread and homemade jam.

“The first week I think we made five loaves of bread and then this past week, we’re like upwards of 20 plus,” Lukens said, in addition to orders of tarts and jam. "It’s been getting steadier for sure, picking up speed.”

The next step for the co-owners of Superior Roux will be a pop-up meal service offering Cajun specialties — gumbo, jambalaya and beignets — for carryout from 2-7 p.m. Wednesday, March 16, out of the building at 1802 Iowa Ave. A limited supply of their fresh bread will also be available. The chefs encouraged customers to pre-order via the Superior Roux Facebook page or website .

ADVERTISEMENT

Why Cajun?

“We figured the easy way/an awesome way to start would be to just cook what you know and where you’re from,” said Wilson, who grew up in New Orleans.

It also brings a new flavor to the Twin Ports.

“I think this area is just wanting more options and more variety,” said Lukens, who grew up in Superior.

The pair expect to offer the pop-up service every other week, adding more dates as demand increases. The two chefs bring a combined 30 years of experience to the business.

“We’ve both been cooking half our lives,” Wilson said.

Lukens, a 2011 graduate of Superior High School, brings additional schooling to the table.

“I’m also an alumni of the Auguste Escoffier Culinary School. I have my associates in culinary arts and operations. And now I’m working on my second degree for plant based arts and operations as well,” he said.

ADVERTISEMENT

They aim to bring their fine dining techniques to a family dining experience.

“We really want people to feel like family when you’re eating our food,” Lukens said. “We really care about every single thing that we make.”

Chefs Jeremy Wilson, left, and Paul Lukens will open Superior Roux, a pop-up bakery and catering business
Chefs Jeremy Wilson, left, and Paul Lukens, pictured on Friday, March 4, 2022, at the Venue in the Park in Superior.
Jed Carlson / Superior Telegram

The name comes from a traditional technique that combines equal parts of butter and flour.

“The roux is the base and it creates a bunch of wonderful things. It’s just the start of a good recipe and we always believe that quality starts at the beginning,” Lukens said.

Venue in the Park is another new venture in Superior. The building is owned by the Sutherland family — Jim and Alison Sutherland and their sons, Jason, Craig and Chad. The cafe, which closed two years ago, has been retooled to offer commercial kitchen rental and event space. Craig Sutherland said the first event held in the neighborhood landmark was a Super Bowl party.

The restaurant snagged the first place prize in Superior soup competition.

“I was born and raised in Billings Park and came to this establishment for like a decade at least. And it looks amazing in here, looks brand new … We couldn’t ask for a better setup,” Lukens said.

Visit the Superior Roux Facebook page or website , call 218-269-0728 or email info@superiorroux.com for more information.

For booking and availability at Venue in the Park, email sutherlandbusinessadventures@gmail.com or visit the website, www.venueinthepark.com .

ADVERTISEMENT

Chef Paul Lukens holds onto bread tied up in butcher paper
Chef Paul Lukens holds onto bread tied up in butcher paper at Superior Roux on Friday, March 4, 2022.
Jed Carlson / Superior Telegram

Maria Lockwood covers news in Douglas County, Wisconsin, for the Superior Telegram.
What to read next
Gary Tharaldson, North Dakota’s successful hotel developer and owner of Tharaldson Ethanol in Casselton, North Dakota, describes how his company will move forward after the death of chief operating officer Ryan Thorpe. Tharaldson urges people to check in on others but said there was no warning at work that would have predicted the tragedy of Thorpe's death by suicide.
Lida Farm grows for Community Support Agriculture customers, farmers markets and food stands, with a little going to a local food co-op. Since 2004, the west central Minnesota farm has changed how it operates to keep up with the times and what they can handle.
Availability of labor is becoming tighter and more competitive. Officials of the Farmers Cooperative Elevator at Rosholt, South Dakota, describe how in the spring of 2022 they offered $30 an hour for truck “tender” drivers, moving fertilizer and inputs to farms, but got no applicants. They were grateful for local trucking firms stepping up during the vital period, but understandably at a higher cost for the farmer-owned company.