By Lori Fredrich Senior Food Writer, Dining Editor, Podcast Host Published Dec 23, 2013 at 11:02 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 – including news about the Marcus cookie contest, a Milwaukee restaurant to be featured on the Travel Channel, and a new season of cooking classes at Boelter Superstore.

Marcus Restaurants to Donate 500 Cookies to Hope House
Jill Drury has been declared the winner of the 2013 Milwaukee’s Favorite Cookie Contest, held by Marcus Restaurants. This past Thursday, Marcus Restaurants dropped off 500 of Drury’s Door County Cherry Blossoms to Milwaukee’s Hope House, an emergency and transitional living facility serving those in need of food and shelter.

For winning the contest, Drury along with five of her closest friends, will receive a private baking lesson with The Pfister Pastry Chef Jennifer Carlson, dinner for two, and hotel stay at one of Marcus Hotels Milwaukee properties – The Pfister Hotel, InterContinental Milwaukee or Hilton Milwaukee City Center, plus a $150 Roundy’s gift card.

Several Marcus Restaurant chefs reviewed the numerous cookie recipe entries and ultimately chose the Door Country Cherry Blossoms as their favorite. Chef Carlson says her favorite part of the contest is the chance to help others.

"Hope House is a true community supporter and we’re honored to play a small role in helping to make the season a little brighter for its guests," she said. "It’s gratifying to be able to give back to such a great organization." 

This is the third year Hope House has received the cookie donation.Marcus Restaurants thank Roundy’s Supermarkets for co-sponsoring the cookie donation.

Ardent to be featured on Travel Channel
This past week, Adam Richman was in town filming for his new show in Travel Channel. He stopped off at Chef Justin Carlisle’s new restaurant, Ardent, to film the transformation of the high-end dining establishment into an after-hours ramen shop.

For the past few weeks, Carlisle has been opening at 11:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday evenings to offer bowls of authentic Japanese ramen to the late night crowd. Tonkotsu ramen bowls are $7 each, or $10 for a bowl of ramen and a Pabst Blue Ribbon. Embellishments, including soy-marinated soft-boiled eggs, pickled wasabi greens, bamboo shoots, nori and extra protein are available for 50 cents each.

Stay tuned to for additional details about the Travel Channel showing as they become available.

Boelter announces new season of cooking classes
Boelter SuperStore, 4200 N. Port Washington Rd., will launch its second season of cooking classes on Tuesday, Jan. 7, 2014.

In 2014 the Boelter SuperStore is partnering with some of Milwaukee’s most passionate and creative chefs – Justin Carlisle, chef/owner of Ardent, Ashley Weber, owner of Miss Cupcake, Thomas Hauck, chef/owner of c.1880, Martha Davis Kipcak, owner of Mighty Fine Food & Martha’s Pimento Cheese and Dan Jacobs, chef of Wolf Peach.

Cooking classes will combine the secrets behind cooking beef, the art of cupcake decorating, entertaining made easy, where to purchase and how to prepare fresh seafood, and rediscovering the tomato. Each class will offer unique tastes and techniques.

Attendees will learn how to handle any ingredient, and how to avoid everyday kitchen pitfalls. The Boelter Cooking School mission is to offer compelling information that will make food preparation interesting, delicious and fun. 

Class registration fee is $30 per person. More information can be found on the Boelter website, or by telephone at (414) 967-4333.

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.