Who We Are

Chef Kurt Michael Friese & Kim McWane Friese

Chef Kurt Michael Friese & Kim McWane Friese Publishers
Edible Iowa River Valley

Born and raised in the Heartland, Chef Kurt Michael Friese got his BA in photography at Coe College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa before graduating from the New England Culinary Institute , where he later was a Chef-Instructor. With nearly 30 years of professional foodservice experience, he has been chef and owner, with his wife Kim McWane Friese, of the Iowa City restaurant Devotay for 12 years. Devotay is a community leader in sustainable cuisine and supporting local farmers and food artisans. Recently Kim promoted him to “Chef Emeritus,” and he now devotes most of his time to writing about and advocating for sustainable cuisine.

Friese is also the founding leader of Slow Food Iowa City, which helped to build the 12,000 square-foot garden and orchard at Elizabeth Tate High School. He serves on the Slow Food USA National Board of Directors and his columns and photos on food, wine and travel have appeared regularly in local, regional and national newspapers and magazines. His latest book, A Cook’s Journey: Slow Food in the Heartland was published in the fall of 2008 by Ice Cube Press.

Kim McWane Friese is an Iowa City native whose ancestors were the first Europeans to settle the region that became northeast Iowa.  She too has spent her life in food service, starting at age 9 “dipping dillies” in her parents’ Dairy Queen (the old fashioned one on Riverside Drive), then working through high school and college in restaurants before opening Devotay with Kurt in 1996.

An accomplished potter, Kim makes many of the plates and mugs for Devotay, (including the one in the photo above!).  She remains General Manager of Devotay while working with Kurt to bring Edible Iowa River Valley to you every season!