By Lori Fredrich Senior Writer & Dining Editor Published Aug 05, 2013 at 11:03 AM Photography: shutterstock.com

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 – including Bacon Lovers Day at the Wisconsin State Fair, the grand opening for the new Indulgence headquarters, the return of My Wine School, and some tantalizing details about this year’s Kohler Food & Wine Experience.

Are you a bacon lover? Celebrate it at the State Fair.
Head to the Wisconsin State Fair, and you’ll be able to bask in all things bacon thanks to Patrick Cudahy. The Cudahy-based business has long been a part of the Wisconsin State Fair, annually hosting their very own Patrick Cudahy Day. This year, though, the brand is going beyond just one day. Fair goers will see Patrick Cudahy every day at the Fair – a total of 125 hours!

For 14 hours a day, Patrick Cudahy will be offering tasty bacon samples, recipes, product coupons and other fun items. Fair goers can also capture their memories in the "Say Hey to Patrick Cudahy" photo booth.  Additionally, each day at 1:25 p.m., a random drawing at the Patrick Cudahy booth will give one lucky bacon lover the chance to win free bacon for a year.

If you want even MORE bacon action, show up at the Fair on August 9th, when you can experience Bacon Lover’s Day.  For starters, from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., you can get a $5 off coupon good towards the purchase of a $30 SpinCity ticket sheet when you present an original grocery store receipt for your purchase of any one package of Patrick Cudahy meat or any one pound or more of Patrick Cudahy deli meat.  

The Patrick Cudahy Sweet Applewood Quartet will be performing, and at 10:00 a.m. Chef Brian Moran will be teaching Fair-goers about how bacon can enhance both special occasions and everyday meals. Select audience members will get a chance to taste his delicious recipes.  Starting at 2 p.m., until prizes run out, you can also spin the Patrick Cudahy Prize Wheel for your chance to win any number of great bacon-based prizes.

Indulgence retail shop and pairing bar opens in Walker’s Point
Chocolate lovers can officially rejoice. In just four more days, owner Julie Waterman will reveal her latest and greatest project yet, a brand new production headquarters, retail shop and pairing bar for Indulgence Chocolate at 211 S. 2nd St. in Walker’s Point.

The kitchen, visible through a large glass window, will allow customers to view the art of chocolate confection-making while browsing the shop or enjoying the pairing bar.

The pairing bar, an oasis for chocolate lovers, will feature a large, ever-changing selection of chocolates, along with cheeses, wines and beers. You’ll be able to drop on by, grab a glass of wine or beer, and settle in to enjoy countless pairings.  Try a Napa Valley Cabernet with the Indulgence Espresso Bean Bar. Prefer beer? Try Tyranena Brewing Three Beaches Honey Blonde with an orange dreamsicle caramel. Chocolate and cheese pairings will also be available, including Saxon Creamery's Big Ed Gouda with salty milk chocolate toffee. 

 Take the advise of expert Indulgence personnel, or branch out on your own. Either way, it will be a sweet time.  The menu for the pairing bar will change seasonally.

Indulgence will celebrate with a public grand opening on Friday, August 9, 2013 from 10 a.m. until 6 p.mIn addition to free chocolate samples for all customers, the first 25 customers to make a purchase of $25 or more during the August 9th grand opening event will receive a free limited edition "Dark Chocolate Sea Salt" t-shirt (choice of sizes while supplies last).  

On top of that, all customers making a purchase of $50 or more at the grand opening event will be entered to win a private party for 1o people at the Indulgence chocolate pairing bar.

Indulgence in Walker’s Point will be open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

My Wine School is back.
Since 2007, Milwaukeean Jessica Bell has has been tapping into her extensive wine education experience to provide educational experiences for wine lovers both locally and abroad.

Fans may have wondered what happened to Bell, who took a hiatus from her growing wine education business in 2012 to take a wine-related consulting gig in The Republic of Georgia, and then took 2013 off to give birth to her second child.

But, word on the street is that Bell is back. She’s handling the wine buying for her sister Karen Bell’s business, Bavette La Boucherie, and she is back in action offering classes and making plans for 2014.

Keep up with My Wine School on the web at mywineschool.com or through Facebook and Twitter for more information regarding classes, international wine trips and free educational resources.

Tickets on sale for Kohler Food & Wine Experience
Tickets are now on sale for the 13th annual Kohler Food & Wine Experience, which takes place on Oct. 17-20.

This annual event features a weekend of exciting wine seminars, educational demonstrations and delicious tastings from both nationally renowned and local Wisconsin chefs including Jacques and Claudine Pepin, Cat Cora, Tony Mantuano and The Beekman Boys.

Milwaukee chefs, including Michael Feker of Il Mito and Paul Funk of Hinterland will grace the Midwest Chefs’ Stage, along with Chicagoans John Coletta of Quartino and Jason Gorman of Terzo Piano, Madison’s John Bauer of The Wise at Hotel Red, Dan Bonanno of A Pig in a Fur Coat, Tory Miller of L’Etoile, and Sheboygan County’s Lynn Chisholm of The Paddock Club and Gerald Feger of The Blind Horse.

At the 2013 event, guests can take part in the new Knife Skills with America’s Test Kitchen where the guests get their own practice area for a hands-on approach and learn a variety of knife skill lessons from holding, sharpening, cutting and slicing different items in the kitchen. For those more interested in libations, the Hendricks Mixing Demo is an exclusive opportunity with Hendricks Gin experts for guests to mix their own drinks and learn about the newest drink trends.

Experiences new to this year’s line-up include The American Test Kitchen Brunch, Surf and Turf: Innovative Seafood and Wine Pairings Seminar, Shake & Stir with Fabio Viviani and a design session entitled Outfitting Your Dream Kitchen with America’s Test Kitchen.

Throughout the weekend guests can enjoy complimentary demonstrations and tastings at various locations throughout the resort. Gratis experiences are hosted at The Shops at Woodlake, Kohler Design Center, Woodlake Market, Gourmet Marketplace at The American Club and Stella Artois Best of Belgium Café pouring complimentary glasses from Stella Artois’ Collection featuring the new Cidre.

Event prices start at $15. Many events and tastings are complimentary. Tickets are available online or by calling (800) 344-2838.

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.