show episodes
 
Get hungry.On the FoodCrush podcast, OnMilwaukee Food & Dining Writer Lori Fredrich and Culture Editor Matt Mueller tackle the ins and outs of dining, food facts, interesting ingredients and myriad topics related to food and beverage.Expect smart talk, lively debate and plenty of fascinating conversations with some of the scene’s most interesting people.
 
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show series
 
Cheese makes the world go ‘round here in the Dairy State. But it was also the foundation on which MacKenzie Smith, author at Grilled Cheese Social and chef for the Black Dolphin Inn in New Smyrna Beach, Florida, built her storied career in food. On this week’s podcast, we sat down with Smith to learn more about her journey from food blogger to Food…
 
Restaurants across the nation have been implementing unprecedented levels of creativity to remain open during the COVID-19 pandemic. But what about all of the caterers whose livelihoods are based on folks getting together and celebrating special occasions? This week we talked with Dan Nowack, founder and owner of Tall Guy & A Grill, a catering oper…
 
Close your eyes for a moment and imagine a truly delicious doughnut.Its dough is buoyant and buttery with a subtle, satisfying chew. Its icing is smooth and sweet, but not cloying. It's indulgent; but at the same time balanced and restrained. That's just the sort of doughnut that Chef Jackie Woods sought to create when he opened Donut Monster, a pl…
 
Opening a restaurant is never a small feat. But opening a first restaurant during a pandemic is even moreso. Such was the case for Arielle and Brandon Hawthorne, who first launched their plant-based food truck Twisted Plants in May of 2019 and – just one year later – have successfully made the transition from mobile food operation to restaurant. Th…
 
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues in the U.S., bar and restaurant owners are faced with numerous challenges. For most, questions like “How do I keep both my employees and customers safe?” and “How do I do so while remaining afloat?” are at the fore of every decision made about everyday operations. On this week’s podcast, we chat with Nat Davauer, …
 
As restaurants struggle to make it during the COVID-19 pandemic, many chefs and workers are speaking out and fighting for legislation that aims to preserve the livelihoods of 15.1 million restaurant industry employees. But one Madison chef is taking the fight one step further. She’s running for Wisconsin State Assembly. On this week’s podcast, we t…
 
The Bartolotta Restaurants have built their reputation on their dedication to offering guests memorable dining experiences. In fact, many have looked to them as exemplars, viewing Bartolotta-trained staff as some of the most valued in the industry. But these restaurants, like so many others, have not been immune to the uncertainty and financial str…
 
"If you really want to make a friend, go to someone's house and eat with him...the people who give you their food give you their heart." – Cesar Chavez If you need a bit of joy in your life (we all do), join us on this week’s podcast during which we talk with Victoria Sithy, co-owner of Sweet Basil, a bold new Lao restaurant which opened in the mid…
 
It’s a well known fact that the COVID-19 pandemic has been brutal for bars and restaurants. In fact, that ugly reality is becoming more and more clear as restaurants across the nation struggle to remain open. It’s a quandary that leaves food lovers asking, time and time again: What can be done? Today we’re talking with L. Maxwell McKissick, founder…
 
Seafood is delicious. But much of what makes it to the Midwest isn't as fresh as we think it is. Combine that with the fact that the industrial fishing industry has a history of leaving destruction in its wake. Environmental considerations sit side-by-side with the need for fair, safe working conditions for fishermen and traceability for the seafoo…
 
Opening a restaurant presents myriad challenges under ordinary circumstances. Owners need to spend time and energy attracting diners to their venue, educating them about the food being served and building a core audience that will sustain their business financially for years to come. Even experienced operators know that it takes time to fall into a…
 
Passion is the heart of nearly every conversation we entertain on the FoodCrush podcast. But few guests come to the proverbial table with a more passionate stance than Chef Luke Zahm, co-owner of Driftless Cafe in Viroqua, Wisconsin and host of “Wisconsin Foodie.” From his upbringing in a small town in Vernon County, Wisconsin to the series of even…
 
Everyone seems to love a little bubbly. And that’s likely one of the reasons why the hard seltzer market has taken off in recent years, with industry experts estimating that the beverage segment will will continue to gain momentum, increasing from $500 million in annual sales to $2.5 billion by 2021. Among the brands making headway in the marketpla…
 
Natural wine is definitely having a moment. But what is it? How is it different from “regular” wine? And why is it swiftly becoming one of the most sought-after categories in the beverage market? On this week’s podcast, we’re going deep with Allison and Bradley Kruse, owners of Nonfiction Natural Wines, about exactly that. We delve into the world o…
 
Great bars are spots where you can sit back, relax and unwind after a long day. They’re innately social: a place to gather with friends, celebrate milestones and raise a glass to the future. The best of the best are also pushing boundaries with tasty, innovative cocktails. On this week’s podcast, we’re chatting with Daniel Beres and Tripper Duval o…
 
Smokey. Tender. Mouthwatering. Great barbeque is all of those things. And Chef Jason Alston is serving up the goods at Heaven’s Table BBQ in the Crossroads Collective. But what are the secrets behind the smoked meats that bring customers back time and time again? We chat with Alston about his journey to making some of the best barbeque in the city.…
 
Everybody loves pizza. But Milwaukee has never seen the likes of what will be coming out of the kitchen at Flourchild, the newest endeavor from the folks at Merriment Social and Third Coast Provisions. On this week’s podcast, Chef Andrew Miller shares the details on his passion-fueled journey to create the original recipe for the pizza at Flourchil…
 
Every chef has a unique story to tell. On this week’s podcast we chat with Mia Le Tendre, chef and co-owner of Strange Town, the globally inspired plant-based small plates restaurant on Milwaukee’s reinvigorated East Side. During our conversation, we trace her food journey back to her childhood growing up in Central Wisconsin, her experience workin…
 
In 2016, Milwaukee Public Schools implemented ProStart, a nationally recognized culinary arts track for high school students that aimed to change the trajectory for students, offer them valuable life skills and prepare them for future jobs in the service industry. On this week’s podcast, we chat with two key players who keep the program running at …
 
Best known for his work for the “New York Times,” Wisconsin native and cocktail writer Robert Simonson has established himself among the nation’s best beverage writers. In addition to his work for numerous prominent publications, he is also the author of four books: “The Martini Cocktail” (2019), the 2018 James Beard Foundation nominee “3-Ingredien…
 
Wisconsin is home to a variety of delicious foods, from crispy fried cheese curds and sausages to indulgent butter burgers. But among the foods with the most storied histories is a Danish treat with a special Wisconsin twist: kringle. On this week’s podcast, we go directly to the source for information on this pastry, which was brought to the State…
 
When you head to a steakhouse, you know more or less what you’re going to get: quality steaks, probably seafood, and numerous comforting side dishes. All are generally served in a dimly lit environment with a traditional service model. But not at Saint Kate, Milwaukee’s first Arts Hotel, where everything is a bit unexpected. On this week’s podcast,…
 
For 63 years, the James Beard Award winning Three Brothers restaurant has been serving up not only delicious, comforting Serbian fare, but a level of hospitality that few other restaurants can rival. This family-owned restaurant was birthed of necessity; but its legacy has become one of love, family and tradition that has been carried through three…
 
Some restaurants aspire to creating something new and innovative. Still others aspire to creating comfort and familiarity by preserving beloved food traditions. Such is the case for Kurt Fogle and Ryan Oschmann, two long-time friends who joined forces to open Bass Bay Brewhouse, a modern restaurant that preserves the comfort and community inherent …
 
Making bagels is an art. It's also a science. And when the two come together, the result is a near work of art. The ideal bagel possesses a glossy caramelized exterior, a distinctive crispness and a soft, chewy interior that has a mellow, yet complex flavor. Among the passionate bakers who've embarked on the quest to create perfectly chewy finely f…
 
In August of 2010, Nick Chipman created an over-the-top midnight snack, which he dubbed The Veatloaf Sandwich. It featured a variety of leftovers from his fridge: a slice of veal, a chunk of homemade meatloaf, a fried egg, cheddar cheese and mayonnaise sandwiched between two slices of toasted wheat bread. Little did he know that this inaugural (and…
 
Opening a new restaurant is tough work. But it’s even more difficult when you’re also introducing your dining audience to a cuisine with which they're unfamiliar. On this week’s podcast, we chat with a restaurateur who’s successfully done both. In this fascinating podcast, we talk with Barkha Limbu Daily, co-owner of the cheel, about her journey to…
 
Larb. Green papaya salad. Sticky rice. Historically, the food of Laos has flown under the radar in the U.S., often taking a back seat to more popular dishes from Thailand; but all of that is changing as young chefs take the reins, introducing the cuisine to an increasingly inquisitive American palate. Among those young upstarts is Alex Hanesakda, o…
 
Some chefs work in restaurants. Others share their talents in less traditional venues. In this week’s podcast, we chat with The Pabst Theatre Group’s executive chef Kevin Sloan, a culinary professional who spends his days and nights shopping and cooking for artists and musicians who visit the Cream City. During our chat, Sloan offers a peek into hi…
 
If you’ve been to Kegel’s Inn, you know that it’s one of Milwaukee’s few remaining German staples. Founded in 1924, the restaurant and beer hall is a piece of living history and a well-preserved landmark that offers a snapshot into Cream City History. But it takes a great deal of work to keep an iconic restaurant running. In this week's podcast (pa…
 
The choice to take on a family business is tough. And when that business has persisted for nearly 100 years, it's even more challenging. In this week's podcast (part one of a two-part episode), we chat with Julian Kegel, the 4th generation owner of Kegel’s Inn in West Allis about the years leading up to his decision to take over the family business…
 
Milwaukee might be a land flowing with frozen custard; but there are an increasing number of local ice cream shops that are giving the classic frozen treat a run for its money. Among them is Purple Door Ice Cream. Founded by two former educators, Lauren and Steven Schultz, Purple Door has been serving up delicious ultra-premium ice cream since 2011…
 
In this week’s podcast, we take a dive into the world of genetic research with Sherry Zhang, founder and CEO of Geopalate, an innovative company which uses the power of genetic analysis to assist consumers in identifying the foods that are most beneficial to their body and health. During our conversation, Zhang offers insights into the rapidly grow…
 
Food is often credited for its power as a unifier, as a tool to build community and for its ability to bring people from various backgrounds and walks of life together in community. On this week’s podcast we talk to Jesus Gonzalez, a young entrepreneur and chef who has built bridges with his Mazorca taco truck and championed Latino/a culture and co…
 
Chefs Paul Zerkel and Lisa Kirkpatrick have made a name for themselves over the last decade through their work at Roots, Wolf Peach, Odd Duck and most recently their own restaurant, Goodkind. Both express their personal stories through the food they serve; but we were curious to learn more. So we sat down with the Bay View chefs to chat about work,…
 
Little more than two years ago, it was easy to be blissfully unaware of CBD. But not anymore. Cannabidiol (CBD)-based products have seen exponential growth in the U.S. as consumers grow more and more interested in its potential to alleviate any number of ailments from inflammation and pain to acne, anxiety, insomnia, depression, post-traumatic stre…
 
The drive-in restaurant is a dying breed. Born in the mid-twenties following the automobile boom, the drive-up restaurants saw their hey-day in the 1950s and 60s before gradually losing steam to the new-fangled drive-thru restaurants. This week on the podcast, we chat with Chris Roepke, third generation owner of Nite Owl Drive-in, an old-school joi…
 
Meredith Leigh is a mother. A farmer. A butcher. A chef. She’s worked as a teacher and a non-profit director. She’s also the author of “The Ethical Meat Handbook,” and “Pure Charcuterie: The Craft and Poetry of Curing Meats at Home.” Her mission? Discover and share pragmatic solutions related to sustainable, ethical, real food. On this week’s podca…
 
How did a tried and true Napa Cabernet drinker become the owner of a bottled sangria company? It’s a story we’ll explore on this week’s podcast with Jennifer Clearwater, owner of Lovino Sangria. From her fortuitous meeting with original Lovino Sangria owners Jamie and Erica Zdroik, to her journey in recreating the flavors of the latent sangria bran…
 
Mainstream demand for plant-based cuisine has resulted in 2019 being declared Year of the Vegan. Growth in flexitarian diets means plant-based alternatives have gained mass-market appeal, and even long-time meat-heavy markets like Milwaukee have seen exponential growth in access to vegetable-based fare. In this week’s podcast we chat with Melanie M…
 
Every chef has a unique story to tell. On this week’s podcast, we talk with Dane Baldwin, chef and owner of The Diplomat about his passion for food and his journey to becoming a chef. From his first food-related job to opening his own restaurant, Baldwin shares stories about his early years working at Sendik’s to his first cooking gig in the kitche…
 
Heading out to the bar for a drink is supposed to be fun. Unfortunately, the potential for drink tampering, sexual harassment or assault has become frighteningly common, especially for women. Even if it hasn’t happened to you, it’s likely happened to a friend of yours. It’s estimated that one out of every four women will experience sexual violence …
 
Entrepreneurism is a two way street. On the one hand, it’s about following your passion; on the other, it’s about building knowledge and sharing what you’ve learned with others. There are learning curves, growing pains and myriad experiences that pave the road to success. This week on FoodCrush, we chat with Maggie Joos, entrepreneur and owner of R…
 
The Door County Peninsula is among the top cherry producing regions in the U.S.; it’s also an increasingly popular tourist destination, sporting a burgeoning modern food and beverage scene, picturesque lake views and a growing collection of boutique wineries. Door Co. also happens to be home to the largest Belgian-American settlement in the country…
 
It was February 2016 and Chef Daniel Jacobs' future was looking particularly bright. But when progressive muscle weakness necessitated a visit to his doctor's office, he found himself facing a medical blow: the diagnosis of Kennedy's Disease. In this week’s podcast, Jacobs talks candidly about his diagnosis, the challenges of living with a disease …
 
The world of alcoholic beverages is changing rapidly. Products like canned cocktails and hard seltzer -- along with the low-carb trend -- are changing the way consumers drink. And despite the growth of craft beer over the last decade, it’s a whole new world for breweries, wineries and distilleries. But what does all of this really mean for the beer…
 
Chef Miles Borghgraef might be known for his open hearth live fire cooking at Birch + Butcher; but his talents and passions for cooking take a backseat to one thing only: the Grateful Dead. His is a love affair that began from an early age and has persisted and evolved over the years. During this week's podcast, we chat with him about the origins o…
 
Imagine a job with no vacation days or benefits. Envision standing on your feet for 14 hours a day with few breaks. Add to that the myriad responsibilities of small business ownership: finances, social media, marketing, customer service, supply and demand… these daily demands are just the tip of the iceberg for chefs, a group of individuals fueled …
 
The bacon trend might be dying down, but great tasting pork is always in high demand. But how do farmers deliver that full flavor while paying heed to animal welfare and sustainable farming practices? Among the options: raising heritage breed hogs on pasture. On this week’s podcast we talk with Nikki Barr, a Kettle Range Meats employee and young fa…
 
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