By Lori Fredrich Senior Writer & Dining Editor Published Feb 25, 2013 at 9:01 AM

Even if you're paying close attention, it's sometimes difficult to keep up with the latest in food news here in Milwaukee. So here's a taste of what's new and notable.

Pampuch Departs Iron Horse
Change is once again on the horizon for the Iron Horse Hotel.  Scott Pampuch, former executive chef and food and beverage manager has transitioned out of his position and moved on.

New spring menus at Smyth and Branded will debut will debut creations by Chef de Cuisine David Wolfe.

"Our food and beverage experience at The Iron Horse Hotel reflects our commitment to presenting our take on Wisconsin cuisine to guests from all over the world," said general manager Michael Falkenstein.

Pampuch, a 2008 James Beard semifinalist and local food advocate, joined the Iron Horse Hotel last summer after establishing his reputation in Minneapolis. Pampuch was hired to direct all aspects of the food and beverage operation for the hotel.

Of his departure, Pampuch says: "I am returning to Minneapolis to pursue new projects. I'll be in touch with specific details in the next couple of weeks. My thanks and best wishes to the hotel staff."

Milwaukee Joins Rye Trend
According to a reliable local source, Great Lakes Distillery will soon release its own version of a nostalgic spirit that has been steadily gaining in popularity over the last 10 years, rye whiskey.  Interestingly rye was what most distilleries produced before Prohibition.

However, after repeal in 1933, bourbon, made from corn, became more popular. Corn was easier to grow, and the taste was sweeter. As recently as a decade ago, you could only find six brands of rye whiskey in the U.S. But, today Great Lakes Rye will join over 50 brands of the increasingly popular spirit. If label design and government approval are completed on schedule, the distillery is planning on an official release in late March.

Edible Milwaukee
According to the publication’s editor in chief, Jen Ede, a new magazine will launch in Milwaukee beginning this May. Edible Milwaukee, a free quarterly magazine, will tell the stories behind local, sustainable food and celebrates the edible landscape in Southeastern Wisconsin season by season. 

Owned, operated, and powered by local creative, Edible Milwaukee is also part of a family of over 75 Edible magazines in cities throughout North America.  Edible Communities, Inc., has been lauded for its vital community of locally owned culinary magazines, and was the recipient of the James Beard Publication of the Year Award in 2011. 

Edible Milwaukee is expected to include editorials providing an in-depth look into Milwaukee’s burgeoning food scene, as well as feature stories, do-it-yourself articles and inside information on what's new in the world of the food and beverage industry in Milwaukee and Southeastern Wisconsin.  

Follow Edible Milwaukee on Facebook and Twitter for more details.

Taste and Learn
The Wisconsin Artisan Food Producers Association (WAFPA) will hold their inaugural Taste & Learn Artisan Food Event at Kasana Gallery, 241 N. Broadway, on Saturday, March 9, from noon until 4 p.m. 

Local and artisan food and beverage aficionados are invited to sample food and beverages from Wisconsin-based purveyors of artisan food and beverages, including Bolzano Artisan Meats, Clock Shadow Creamery, Great Lakes Distillery, Indulgence Chocolatiers, Lakefront Brewery, Pretzilla, Purple Door Ice Cream, Stone Creek Coffee Roasters, Treat Bake Shop, Wild Flour Bakery and more.  

In addition to samplings, Russ Klisch from Lakefront Brewery, Scott Buer from Bolzano, Julie Waterman from Indulgence, and Clock Shadow Creamery will conduct educational sessions covering topics ranging from artisan product production to pairing suggestions and techniques for getting the most out of a tasting.

In the words of Bolzano’s Buer, "It's an event where foodies can really ‘geek out’ on all the art and science behind the artisan products we produce."

Tickets are $35 per person and can be ordered online.

Milwaukee will experience its first Dishcrawl on Wednesday, March 6 at 7 p.m. in Downtown Milwaukee.  But, what’s a Dishcrawl?

 "It’s like a pubcrawl, but with food," says Alyssa Huhndorf, Milwaukee DishCrawl ambassador.

Dishcrawl creates dining experiences that aim to showcase the best dishes from a wide array of local restaurants.  Ticket-holders will visit four area restaurants in one night, sampling specialties and meeting the chefs or owners.

DishCrawl keeps the names of the restaurants being visited during a given event a secret, leaving clues via Twitter. Ticket-holders are notified of their initial meeting location via email 48 hours prior to the event.

Tickets for the DishCrawl (which starts out at Water Street Brewery) on March 6 are $45. Purchase tickets or view the event online at


Lori Fredrich Senior Writer & Dining Editor

Lori is an avid cook whose accrual of condiments and spices is rivaled only by her cookbook collection. Her passion for the culinary industry was birthed while balancing A&W root beer mugs as a teenage carhop, fed by insatiable curiosity and fueled by the people whose stories entwine with each and every dish. She’s had the privilege of chronicling these tales via numerous media, including OnMilwaukee and in her book “Milwaukee Food.” Her work has garnered journalism awards from entities including the Milwaukee Press Club. 

When she’s not eating, photographing food, writing or recording the FoodCrush podcast, you’ll find Lori seeking out adventures with her husband Paul, traveling, cooking, reading, learning, snuggling with her cats and looking for ways to make a difference.