For 20 years, Julie Kruger has been one of the people at the helm of Bowman’s local food scene. For the last 11 years of that, she’s owned and operated Kruger’s Kitchen, a catering service used widely throughout the community.
Kruger, a resident of Rhame, broke into Bowman’s culinary circle when she began working at Gateway Restaurant, where JaBBR’s currently sits.
Kruger’s defined palette for traditional American food favorites and genuine comfort food escalated her throughout Bowman’s most popular eateries. She worked at JaBBR’s, Big J’s, where the Hibachi House is now, and Hunter’s Table and Tavern in Rhame, which burnt down several years ago.
In August 2009, Kruger, with the help of her husband Doyle, decided it was time to venture out on her own and started Kruger’s Kitchen.
It wasn’t long before the first bite of food was savored by a customer that word-of-mouth spread like wildfire throughout the community.
“It goes by Julie’s taste,” Kruger said. “If I wouldn’t eat it, I wouldn’t want them to eat it.”
What some might be surprised to discover is that Kruger is completely self-taught, with no formal culinary training. She simply experiments with ingredients and said she never follows a recipe.
Her training instead as a home cook served her well and it was first her home cooking that got her noticed.
Kruger was soon after booked for a long list of events. You can find her dishing out food and concessions at many major Bowman County events such as the North Dakota Junior High School Rodeo Finals, the Triple Turn Classic, the Rhame Gala Day Rodeo and the annual Rural Women in America Conference, which boasts the largest crowds Kruger serves each year. For the roughly 500 women at the conference, Kruger said she got hot food out to them all within 20 minutes. That’s not an easy feat by any means.
It’s certainly quality and quantity for Kruger’s Kitchen.
But she can’t do it all herself. Her business utilizes help from two to three people when it’s a large catering job. Students with Scranton and Buffalo’s FFA also help Kruger serve.
Kruger also has a penchant for creating baked decadence and elaborate cakes. She said no job is too big or too small.
Her beef products are 100 percent certified Angus and she said she uses all the best ingredients. She mainly obtains her products from US Foods, but also purchases miscellaneous items locally. She’s also community minded as she enjoys contributing to certain events when she’s able to do so.
After traveling to delight taste buds around Bowman for several years now, Kruger said she might just be ready to settle down. But settling down for Kruger means opening her own permanent location. That could just be popping up in the near future at her building south of the Cenex in Rhame.
Only there could people enjoy what Kruger calls her “best tacos in a bag in the country.”
To have Kruger’s Kitchen cater your next event, contact Julie Kruger at (701) 279-6602.