Things change. And in the kitchen at Odd Duck, 2352 S. Kinnickinnic Ave., change happens relatively frequently. And that's not a bad thing.
The restaurant, which has become both a harbor and launchpad for chefs – including Lisa Kirkpatrick and Paul Zerkel of Goodkind and Shay Linkus of The Vanguard – has bid adieu to another creative mind whose dishes have influenced the Odd Duck menu.
Chef Daniel Jacobs, who joined the Odd Duck team after leaving Wolf Peach in 2014, cooked his last meal Sunday evening, posting a photo he hashtagged #lastdish to commemorate the occasion.
In light of Jacobs’ departure, Matt Bauer, who took on the role of sous chef over the summer, has been promoted to chef de cuisine. Meanwhile, Sam Ek has moved into the sous chef position.
Jacobs says he’s grateful to Ross and Melissa Buchholz, co-owners of Odd Duck, for the opportunity they provided for him.
"In my time at Odd Duck, I really learned a lot about myself," Jacobs says. "I learned a lot about management, and I learned a lot about the kind of food that I’m really into. It was a really great experience."
Although he’s not divulging his next move, Jacobs has indicated that he has plans in the works and has offered assurance that a move out of town isn’t imminent.
"What I can say is that I’m not leaving Milwaukee," Jacobs notes. "In fact, Kate [Riley] and I are really settling in, making a home here."
Riley, who works as a ceramic artist, has established a business among area chefs, creating custom dishes. She and Jacobs have worked together to host collaborative dinners featuring her pottery through a project called The Plate Collective.
The next dinner will be held at Hinterland Erie Street Gastropub, 222 E. Erie St., on Sunday, Jan. 31 beginning at 6 p.m. Featured chefs include Dan Van Rite of Hinterland, Ross Bachhuber of Odd Duck, Gregory Leon of Amilinda and Ryan McCaskey of the renowned Acadia in Chicago. For tickets, visit platecollective.net.
And watch OnMilwaukee for additional details about Jacobs' whereabouts as they develop.
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.