With the currently airing season of Bravo’s Top Chef filmed in Wisconsin, our state’s culinary scene is attracting worldwide attention on a whole new level. Featuring renowned restaurants to iconic Wisconsin products like cheese, cherries, and beer – this season is all about celebrating Wisconsin’s unique flavor.

Join us as we highlight some of Janesville’s own culinary stars and how their one-of-a-kind experiences, unique style, and love for cooking are being infused into each and every dish.

Meet Beer Fitzgerald at Sandee’s Thai Fusion:

Opened in 2018, Beer Fitzgerald is a chef and the owner of Sandee’s Thai Fusion. Beer started out her culinary career as restaurant server, but her and her mom’s shared passion for cooking quickly led to looking for a space to house their dream. They found their current space in Downtown Janesville and fell in love with the community. The menu is based on recipes from her mom’s experience cooking in restaurants she ran in Thailand. The restaurant is also name after Beer’s daughter, Sandee, perfectly demonstrating how deeply Beer’s family impacts every decision made in her restaurant.

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1. Tell us more about how you came to open a restaurant in Downtown Janesville.

Beer’s answer: Originally, we lived in Beloit and were looking for a space but couldn’t find one. Janesville gave me the opportunity to open a Thai restaurant here. We’re really grateful to have this building, this community, and our customers.

2. How does your culture influence your approach to cooking, and what traditional Thai flavors do you incorporate into the dishes at Sandee’s Thai Fusion?

Beer’s answer: We try to keep our hometown taste authentic as much as we can. We have a fusion because we mix and match all kinds of ingredients. There are dishes we cook and we like, and then we want to explore it as an option for our customers to eat.

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3. What role do family recipes play in the menu at Sandee’s Thai Fusion?

Beer’s answer: My mom loves to cook everything but the most popular thing she cooks here is curry. She created the sauce, so pretty much everything is from her!

4. What would you want someone to know who hasn’t had the chance to visit your restaurant yet?

Beer’s answer: Don’t be afraid to try Thai food! Sometimes, if people hear Thai food, they think it might be too spicy for them but not every dish here is spicy and we always have dishes ranked 0-5 in spiciness levels. You can choose any level of spice you want. Some people really love spice – they even go for levels 7-10. We really have a variety of spice levels and not everything is spicy.

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5. What’s your favorite part about owning a restaurant in Janesville?

Beer’s answer: I love everything in Janesville. I love the community and people. My favorite part is cooking, and I’m just so grateful to cook my food and let people in this town try me and my mom’s food.

6. What is your favorite menu item to make or enjoy?

Beer’s answer: I like to make everything on the menu! But if I have to choose, I like to cook seafood and duck.

Go behind-the-scenes into one of the restaurant’s most popular dishes, Crispy Duck with Panang Curry!

Address: 12 S Main Street, Janesville, Wisconsin

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Date Posted | May 14, 2024