By Lori Fredrich Senior Food Writer, Dining Editor, Podcast Host Published Dec 30, 2020 at 6:01 PM

When we started the FoodCrush podcast in October of 2018, our goal was to give listeners a behind-the-scenes look at the folks who make the world of food and beverage go around. We wanted to give our audience a peek into the lives of chefs, bartenders and industry folks, allowing them to share their stories in their own words.

Since then, we've logged over 90 new episodes and gained a loyal following of listeners who've shown their support by downloading episode after episode. 

Thank you to all of you who've listened, enjoyed and shared these stories. We are grateful and can't wait to do more podcasting in 2021. 

In the meantime, here are your top 10 favorite episodes, based on number of downloads.

10. Smoked meat with Jason Alston of Heaven’s Table BBQ

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. Along the way, he shares his thoughts on what makes great barbeque, the family history that inspired his love for smoked meats and a few of his secrets for creating succulent ribs, brisket, sausages and sides.


9. A crazy culinary chat with Nick Chipman of Dude Foods

On this week’s podcast, we talk with Chipman about the creation of Dude Foods, a food blog which assisted in blazing the trail for hundreds of outrageous food blogs across the nation. During our wild no-holds-barred chat, we discuss the evolution of Dude Foods and the Dude Foods podcast, Chipman’s journey to full-time food blogging and the wild adventures he’s had along the way.


8. Chef Daniel Jacobs: Life with Kennedy's Disease

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 about which so little is known, and the deeply personal impact it’s had on his life and work. 


7. Eat right for your genes: Genopalate

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 technology behind nutritional genomics, explains the relationship between DNA and food and offers insights into how knowledge of an individual’s genetic make-up puts them into a powerful position to make better dietary decisions. 


6. Chef Paul Funk & Saint Kate's secret steakhouse

On this week’s podcast, we chat with Saint Kate Executive Chef Paul Funk about his culinary journey and how these experiences gave him a unique preparation for his role at Saint Kate, and his direction of the hotel’s “secret” steakhouse, The Dark Room (TDR). We discuss what makes the TDR experience unique, from its hidden entrance to its menu of uniquely delicious steakhouse-inspired items.


5. Jesus Gonzalez on tacos, food trucks and 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 community through his work as co-founder of the new Zocalo Food Park. During our chat, Gonzalez shares his journey from Milwaukee’s South Side to culinary school and back home again. He offers wit and wisdom about building his dream from scratch, and he offers insights into the vision for -- and the goals of -- Milwaukee’s first food truck park. 


4. A chat with Julian Kegel of Kegel's Inn, Parts 1 and 2

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 part one of this 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.

In episode two, Kegel talks about the history of the restaurant, sharing memories and stories passed through the generations. We also discuss the challenges of keeping the restaurant relevant in 2019 while staying true to its roots.


3. John McMahon of Door Co. Brewing's Hacienda Beer Co.

In this week’s podcast, we talk with Door Co. Brewing founder John McMahon about his journey from Texas to Wisconsin and his evolution from a career in technology to heading up one of Wisconsin’s most creative beer brands. He shares the unexpected challenges of operating a beer-based business on a peninsula as well as insights into the brand’s rapid expansion to include its new experimental brewing arm, Hacienda Beer Co.


2. Preserving history at the Nite Owl Drive-in

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 joint that’s been serving up burgers, ice cream, malts and shakes since 1948. 


1. Everything you need to know about natural wine.

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.

Lori Fredrich Senior Food Writer, Dining Editor, Podcast Host

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.