By Lori Fredrich Senior Writer & Dining Editor Published May 20, 2020 at 7:01 PM Photography: Lori Fredrich

The COVID-19 pandemic has rocked restaurants to their very core. But owners are actively strategizing and considering their options for re-opening and operating in the weeks, months and years to come.

As a result, we’re pivoting our FoodCrush podcast temporarily into a live Facebook video format and hosting conversations with a variety of chefs, restaurateurs and business owners about the current state of the dining world and the potential solutions that will help them to make their way forward.

On Wednesday, May 20 at 1 p.m. we hosted our first candid conversation with Chef Daniel Jacobs of Dandan, EsterEv and Fauntleroy.

If you missed the original broadcast, you can watch it now: 

Please note: Our original plan was to include Chef Aaron Patin of Iron Grate BBQ Co. Unfortunately, due to technical difficulties, we were unable to include both owners. However, we plan to host a forthcoming conversation with Chef Patin. So stay tuned for details.

In this live conversation, we discussed the difficult decisions at hand for local restaurants, the vital changes that need to occur and the implications for diners.

Along the way, we also sorted through numerous tough topics, including the fragility of the restaurant industry and the inevitability of restaurant pricing increases. We also discussed the realities of re-opening during an unresolved pandemic, why the PPP funding isn’t all it’s cracked up to be and the supports that need to be put in place for restaurants to survive and (hopefully) thrive.

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.