Goodkind Co-Owners on Love and Food in Milwaukee

Feb 14, 2018

Credit Mike Miller Images

The relationship between food and love is the basis of many platitudes. And for the couples featured in this month’s Milwaukee Magazine the cliches hold true: food and love are an inseparable pair.

In honor of Valentine’s Day, the February edition of the magazine showcased a number of couples who own and operate restaurants in Milwaukee. Chefs Lisa Kirkpatrick and Paul Zerkel makeup one of the couples featured in the magazine. 

Kirkpatrick and Zerkel are among the co-owners of Goodkind in Bay View, where they work side-by-side in the kitchen. Their culinary (and musical) careers first brought them together two decades ago, when Kirkpatrick was working in the same kitchen as one of Zerkel's bandmates. 

They locked eyes across the room and before long, the two were planning a cross-country move to Portland. 

"It was kind of a whirlwind," says Zerkel, "I had a Cadillac Coupe de Ville and [Kirkpatrick] had a dream to go to the West Coast." 

"Find a way to also have time for your relationship that's outside of business, making sure that you have some time together away from it all."

They moved to Portland, Oregon, where they were married and began working together as chefs in the city's then-burgeoning culinary scene. After a decade in Portland, they returned home. They credit the creation of Goodkind to good timing and luck. A bartender they had worked with was approached about opening a restaurant and the couple was brought on board to lead the kitchen. 

They admit that tension at work - and at home - can be difficult to navigate, and they believe it's important to find things in common outside of the proverbial office. 

Kirkpatrick advises, "Find a way to also have time for your relationship that's outside of business, making sure that you have some time together away from it all and that you're not talking about it, either."