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Mary Bergin

Journalist, author, freelance writer, University of Wisconsin Oshkosh alumna Mary Bergin ’79, of Madison, has done it all from posting her weekly Roads Traveled column since 2002 to writing five books, including her most recent Wisconsin Supper Club Cookbook.

Before she started her column, Bergin worked for the Capital Times for 20 years. She held several different positions, including features editor, copy editor, part-time writer and co-editor of Rhythm, a weekly entertainment section.

Four years of working at the Advance-Titan while at UWO reassured Bergin that newspaper work was a good fit for her. She said it was a good way to ease into the profession and gain practical experience.

While she was features editor at the Capital Times, Bergin said she was frustrated with the lack of travel articles on places average people could afford to visit, so she shared her frustration with other daily papers in Wisconsin. She then began to write her weekly column and has not missed a week since she started.

“The column continues because tourism is not a stagnant industry, and culinary tourism is a sub-specialty with a fun and creative energy of its own,” Bergin said.

Along with writing her column, Bergin also is an author.

Bergin said Itchy Cat Press came to her a decade ago about compiling her columns into book form. This turned into the book Sidetracked in Wisconsin: A Guide for Thoughtful Travels and was released in 2006.

Hungry for WisconsinSidetracked in the Midwest: A Green Guide for TravelersEat Smart in Germany andWisconsin Supper Club Cookbook are the four other books Bergin has written.

In September 2015, Wisconsin Supper Club Cookbook was released. Bergin said an editor at Globe Pequot Press in Connecticut reached out to her about writing the book.

“It was an excellent challenge because of the tight turnaround of four months from contract signature to manuscript completion, fiercely independent nature of supper clubs and recipe testing and refinement,” she explained.

Mark Dougherty, UWO alumnus and owner of Marks East Side, has a creamy potato bacon soup featured in Bergin’s cookbook.

On April 19, Bergin and Dougherty will both be on hand at an alumni reception at the restaurant to sample the soup and talk about supper club culture and history.