By Lori Fredrich Senior Writer & Dining Editor Published Mar 25, 2013 at 9:04 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 – with news from the Food Network, Indulgence Chocolatiers, Braise Culinary School and a local pickle purveyor.

Food Network Seeks Wisconsin Inspiration
Have you always dreamed of opening your own successful restaurant business based on a Wisconsin inspired concept?  Then the Food Network would like to hear from you.  The network is on the hunt for Wisconsinites to participate in a brand new show, "Food Court Wars," hosted by Tyler Florence and produced by Gordon Ramsay.

For the show, two teams will battle head to head to win restaurant space rent free for an entire year within one of Wisconsin’s malls, a prize worth up to $100,000. The network is searching for ambitious local teams with pre-existing relationships (i.e. friends, family, couples, co-workers) who believe they have the winning formula to successfully run their own locally inspired and original eatery!

Candidates and eatery concepts must be based upon inspiration found in the Wausau area.

Prospective applicants should email with the following information:

  1. Name and names of teammates
  2. A recent photograph of the team
  3. A short team biography
  4. Resumes for all team members
  5. A description of the type of eatery you’d like to open and how it is "locally inspired" and original
  6. Contact information and current location.

For more information visit

Indulge in Easter Chocolates
Easter is as good a time as any to indulge your sweet tooth, and Indulgence Chocolatiers in Shorewood is making it even easier.  From now through Easter, the gourmet chocolate shop will carry an assortment of seasonal chocolate items including handmade vanilla marshmallow and caramel filled chocolate eggs; caramel filled chocolate butterflies and bunnies; solid chocolate chicks, frogs and bunnies; and Easter egg print raspberry truffles.

Jumpstart Spring with Rosé
On Tuesday, April 9, join Braise Culinary School in welcoming Bill Gardner from L'Eft Bank Wine Company to explore the magnificence of dry rosé. Once a laughing stock of the American wine drinking public, rosé is now popular option for savvy wine lovers.  Sample new world and classic versions from Tavel in France's Rhone Valley as well as Bandol in Provence during this informative class. Reception begins at 6 p.m., with the class following from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Tickets are $30 per person and can be purchased online or by calling (414) 212-8843.

Bag Yourself a Pickle
Ever buy a pickle in a bag from a PDQ, Kwik Trip or Woodman’s store around town?  If so, you may have purchased Big Papa’s Pickle-In-A-Pouch, a Wisconsin-made pickle concept available in a variety of appealing flavors like hearty dill, zesty garlic, hot and spicy, sour tart and tangy, sweet and chipotle.

Van Holten’s is taking its most popular pickle concept and "bulking it up" by making the pickles available by the barrel.

Each service friendly barrel will contain 30 pickles, with 300 wax paper bags attached for easy serving. Cinemark Theatres will be the first to carry the new product, which will be released to retail outlets nationwide beginning in April.  Interestingly enough, the Waterloo-based pickle manufacturer is the world’s number one producer of individually packaged pickles (now say that one five times fast).

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.