Caitlin Suemnicht, Chief Operating Officer · Food Fight
Caitlin Suemnicht began her career with Food Fight in 2001 as a server at the newly opened Johnny Delmonico's. A junior at the University of Wisconsin, Caitlin's "only previous restaurant experience was at the Nitty Gritty serving burgers and beers. I could rattle off 25 beers on tap, but I didn't have a clue about expensive steaks and $200 bottles of cabernet. I loved the Nitty Gritty (and still do-my husband owns it now!), but Delmonico's struck a chord with me: I loved the buzz of working at the fancy new restaurant in town, the service techniques, and the clientele." After graduating with a degree in Sociology in 2006, Caitlin moved into a leadership position at Food Fight, overseeing a range of properties before becoming a managing partner in 2012. Her role within the organization continues to expand. She became a certified sommelier in 2012 and was integral in concepting three new restaurants within two years: DLUX, Bassett Street Brunch Club, and Cento. When developing "successful restaurants that will have longevity in our community" she considers "what's missing from the Madison food scene" as well larger cultural trends, like sustainability and farm-to-table dining: "Now people care much more about where their food is sourced and how it's prepared. Things are more 'artisanal' now, and that's a good thing-we should support local and regional producers." In addition to the challenge of creating the next generation of Food Fight restaurants, learning about food and wine, and meeting "lots of interesting customers," Caitlin enjoys the company she keeps. "I get to collaborate with creative, passionate people who are usually in the restaurant business because they're smart, charming, funny and creative-it's hard not to enjoy working with people with like that."