By Lori Fredrich Senior Writer & Dining Editor Published Jun 17, 2013 at 11:04 AM Photography:

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 the low-down on Braise Garlic Fest, the Fondy SOULbration, a new summer menu at Tess and a garden event with author Jane Hamilton.

Second annual Braise Garlic Fest
If you missed the stinkiest festival on the block in 2012, you’re going to want to head out to South 2nd Street on Sunday, June 23 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. to get a big fat whiff.

The festival features including green garlic Bloody Marys and plenty of garlicky eats from Braise, Chez Jacques, Indulgence Chocolatiers, Transfer Pizzeria, Clock Shadow Creamery, Café India, Purple Door Ice Cream, c. 1880 and Old Maid’s Popcorn.

Artists and vendors at the event will include Wanderlust, Orchard Street Press, TheBrownPig, Laurie Jean Designs, Benchworks, Anne Harvey- Caricature Artist, L'Eft Bank and Escuela Verde.

Word on the street is that Milwaukee Brewing Co. is brewing a fermented black garlic beer for the event. And 88.9’s Dori Zori will be spinning her deepest sets in the afternoon. 

Above all, you won’t want to miss the garlic eating competition, hosted by WMSE’s Tom Crawford, which challenges local contenders, to eat as much raw garlic as possible in two minutes.

The event is free, with food and drink tickets for purchase on site.

Fondy Soulbration

One of the oldest farmer’s markets in the city, as well as the largest, the Fondy Market covers 38,000 square feet at 2200 W. Fond du Lac Ave. and is open four days per week during the market season. The market serves as the springboard for the Fondy Food Center’s nutrition programs, which are designed to help local residents make the most of healthy food options.  

Join the Fondy Market on Thursday, June 20, for SOULbration, celebration of its 2013 season. The party and fund-raiser will take place at The Hamilton, 823 E. Hamilton St., from 6 to 10 p.m.

Tickets are $25 per person at the door, and include live music from Darele Bisquerra, Jahmes Finlayson, and Yaya Kambaye, along with appetizers, a signature Fondy cocktail, as well as a Fondy Farmer’s Market reusable shopping bag filled with swag from local businesses.

All proceeds benefit Fondy Food Center and its programs, including the farmer’s market and the Fondy Farm in Port Washington. For more information, visit

New summer menu at Tess
Now that the weather is warming, you owe it to yourself to head out to Tess, 2499 N. Bartlett Ave., to enjoy their quaint patio and mouthwatering fare.

Their new summer menu includes appetizers like citrus coconut ceviche ($9) and a blue cheese pancetta tart ($8), salads like the pistachio and goat cheese ($8) with field greens, candied pistachios, Granny Smith apples, goat cheese and balsamic vinaigrette.

Entrees include grilled salmon with a jumbo lump crab and potato hash cake ($21), duck leg confit with tomatillo salsa verde ($24), red sorghum pesto with Napa cabbage, roasted peppers and spinach pesto ($17), and Gorgonzola walnut chicken ($19).

Enjoy a homemade fish fry on Fridays, including your choice of panko breaded lake perch or tempura battered tilapia for $14.95, served with crunchy Asian style coleslaw, buttered rye bread, sweet potato fries, and house-made ketchup and tartar sauce.

Reading in the garden with Jane Hamilton
On Sunday, June 23, from 3 to 5 p.m. in East Troy, Michael Fields Agricultural Institute will hold "Summer Reading in the Garden" with special guest Jane Hamilton, award-winning author of numerous short stories and six novels, including "The Book of Ruth" and "A Map of the World."

The event will take place at the Institute’s headquarters, W2493 County Road ES. $25 per person includes tours of the Institutes Stella Gardens as well as local, farm fresh, organic food and wine. All proceeds support Michael Fields research, education and policy work to advance sustainable agriculture.

To register, contact Anna Aragon at (262) 642-3303, ext. 124 or  For more information about the Michael Field Agricultural Institute, visit

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.