By Lori Fredrich Senior Writer Published Oct 14, 2013 at 1:04 PM

For the seventh straight year, October is Dining Month on, presented by the restaurants of Potawatomi. All month, we're stuffed with restaurant reviews, delectable features, chef profiles and unique articles on everything food, as well as the winners of our "Best of Dining 2013."

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 upcoming Serve Taste Give event, upcoming dinners with Sandy D’Amato, a preview of the fall menu at Hom, and a sustainable seafood dinner at Braise.

Serve Taste Give encourages chefs and consumers to give back

Imagine six of Milwaukee’s top chefs competing under pressure to create, cook, plate and serve an entire meal made from the six most preferred food items at area food banks, plus one surprise protein ingredient.

That’s what you’ll get when you attend "Serve Taste Give" at 6 p.m. on Nov. 2 at Milwaukee Rail Hall, 131 Seeboth St.

The meals will be judged by a three-person panel of judges, including the event’s host and emcee, Kyle Cherek of Wisconsin Foodie. VIP ticket purchasers will also have a chance to vote for the winning chef in the "crowd favorite category." Other participating restaurants which will be sampling their signature menu items from their restaurants for attendees to taste include Skyline Catering, Blue Jacket, Industri Café and Afro Fusion Cuisine.

Competing chefs include Daniel Jacobs of Wolf Peach, Matt Kerley from The Rumpus Room, Peter Sandroni of La Merenda, Paul Zerkel from Odd Duck, Daniel Pope from All Purpose Bar & Kitchen and Kevin Sloan representing The Pabst/Riverside Theaters and Turner Hall.

"It's important to never take for granted what a gift it is to have enough to eat each day," says said Joe Bartolotta, owner of The Bartolotta Restaurants, "And we're proud to be a part of events like these that help move us in the right direction so that more people can share in that gift." 

In addition to an evening filled with fun and friendly competition, the event will serve to demonstrate how any family or individual can create a delicious tasting meal with basic ingredients found at any food bank across America. The attendees will receive, via email, a special SERVE 60 cookbook with all the competing chefs’ recipes included.

The event is part of a larger effort to raise awareness and a call to action for hunger relief leading up to and through Daylight Saving Time weekend. One in six Americans suffer from hunger and do not have access to enough food to sustain a healthy life. Wisconsin is no different when it comes to those national statistics and Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin, is dedicated to improving those numbers.

Individual tickets are available for $60, with VIP tickets for $100 at or by calling (414) 389-9906. All proceeds will support the missions and programming of both non-profits, SERVE 60 and Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin.

SERVE 60 is a national initiative designed to increase service and volunteerism in America for at least 60 minutes at a time anytime throughout the year but especially during Daylight Saving Time weekends when all Americans are asked to donate the 60 minutes lost or gained to a nonprofit or the community. The SERVE 60 website connects those who want to serve with those in need of volunteers. For more information, visit or follow SERVE 60 on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter.

Fill up on Fall at Apple Sauced!

Co-sponsored by Edible Magazine, MKEfoodies and Slow Food WiSE, Apple Sauced! is a spirited celebration of the apple featuring sweets, treats and cocktails from a wide range of restaurants and venues in the Milwaukee area.

You'll get your fill of apple and fall-themed desserts and treats, harvest-themed activities, and Fall-flavored spirits at Best Place in the Historic Pabst Brewery on Oct. 23 from 7 to 10 p.m.

Tarik Moody from 88.9 Radio Milwaukee will be spinning tunes, and the Wisconsin Auctioneers Association will lend their voices – and maybe even their gavels! - to do a live auction of pies, sweets, and other delights from local partners throughout the evening.

Participating venues include The Bartolotta Restaurants, Braise, Chef Gregory Leon, Great Lakes Distillery,Honeypie, Indulgence Chocolatiers, Irv & Shelly's Fresh Picks, Island Orchard Cider, Larry's Market, Maxie's/Blue's Egg, The National Cafe, Treat Bakehouse, and Trocadero.

Tickets are $30 and can be purchased online at

Proceeds from Apple Sauced! will support Edible Milwaukee and MKEfoodies, and Slow Food WiSE's Milwaukee Apple Project, which aims to encourage a return to greater biodiversity and save place-based varietals.

Dinner with D’Amato

"Good Stock: Life on a Slow Simmer," the memoir from Sanford Restaurant founder and James Beard Award Winning Chef, Sanford "Sandy" D’Amato, won’t be released until early December. 

But, you can have the opportunity to meet the man behind the story, and get a pre-publication signed copy of his book this week at a four-course dinner at Sanford.

The evening will begin with a reception at 5:30 p.m. with dinner following. Current Sanford Chef and Owner Justin Aprahamian will prepare four courses from D’Amato’s book. Tickets are $130, including the book, dinner and wine. Call (414) 276-9608 for reservations.

The Woman’s Club of Wisconsin Foundation will also host two pre-release book launch events -- a four-course dinner on Oct. 19, beginning at 5 p.m., and a three-course luncheon featuring a cooking demo by Sandy and Angie D’Amato, on Oct. 24 at 11:30 a.m. Tickets, which are $150 for the dinner and $85 for the luncheon, include a signed copy of "Good Stock." Click here to buy tickets

Make yourself at Hōm

You may have read about the name change here at OnMilwaukee, but have you been over to sample the delicious offerings at Hōm Wood Fired Grill (formerly 8-Twelve) at 17800 W. Bluemound Rd.?

The restaurant, which aims to celebrate simple farm-to-table cuisine and the growers and producers in our community who share the same passion for pairing locally farmed ingredients with dramatic flavors. And their fall menu show-cases some of what they’re getting at, focusing on comfort food favorites with an upscale twist.

Their new fall menu features home cooked starters like mac & cheese risotto with shredded ham, wood grilled green onions, and Sartoria Bellavitano cheese ($7) and Spotted Cow French onion soup ($8).  Vegetable sides include braised winter greens, caramelized winter squash and cauliflower gratin for $8.

Fall entrées include a wood-grilled pastrami spiced pork chop with mustard spaetzle, Gruyere and braised red cabbage ($24), a stuffed red pepper featuring Growing Power oyster mushrooms, Carr Valley smoked Gouda, tomato farro and avocado crème fraiche ($15), smoked crispy duck breast with roasted bok choi, arugula, lobster mushrooms, hazelnuts and a spiced pecan vinaigrette ($25), and pan-roasted monkfish is served with "fried" rice, caramelized delicate squash and meyer lemon butter ($21).

Wood grilled venison is served with a maple rye whiskey and sour cherry reduction alongside sauerkraut potato pancakes and apple and celery slaw ($25), while the 8 ounce filet mignon is embellished with a porcini mushroom rub and served with goat cheese mashed potatoes and roasted beet and grilled onion marmalade ($32).

A three course seasonal chef’s prix fixe menu, created by Chef Andrew Miller, is also available Monday through Friday for just $25.

Sustainable seafood dinner at Braise

You’re familiar with the concept of sustainable agriculture. But, what about sustainable aquaculture? You can know your local farmer; but how about getting to know your fishermen?  It’s possible.

Learn more on Sunday, Oct. 27 as Braise welcomes Marsh Skeele, captain of the fishing vessel Loon, for a five-course dinner featuring Wild Alaskan Coho, Sockeye, Black Cod and Spot Prawns.

Skeele sells his catch through Sitka Salmon Shares, a company that works with independent, small boat fishermen who put quality in front of quantity.

Tickets for the dinner are $100 per person, which includes wine pairings, tax and gratuity. Tickets can be ordered online or by calling (414) 212-8843.

Walker's Point Harvest Festival

Speaking of Braise, Chef Dave Swanson will be presenting a cooking demonstration at the upcoming Walker's Point Harvest Festival on Saturday, Oct. 19 from 2 to 6 p.m. at the community garden at 5th and Mineral Streets.

The festival will include a farmer's market, pumpkin carving and kids' veggie races, as well as live music from Milwaukee's Nineteen Thirteen. The event, sponsored by the UW-Extension, the Walker's Square Farmer's Market, Arts at Large, and Braise is free and open to the public. Donations for the Milwaukee Arts Garden project are appreciated. For more information, contact Ryan Schone at (414) 256-4653.

Lori Fredrich Senior Writer

Lori Fredrich (Lo) is an eater, writer, wonderer, bon vivante, traveler, cook, gardener and girlwonder. Born and raised in the Milwaukee area, she has tried to leave many times, but seems to be drawn to this quirky city that smells of beer and alewives.

Some might say that she is a little obsessed with food. Lo would say she is A LOT obsessed with food. After all, she has been cooking, eating and enjoying food for decades and has no plans to retire anytime soon. 

Lo's recipes and writing have been featured in a variety of publications including GO: Airtran Inflight Magazine, Cheese Connoisseur, Cooking Light, Edible Milwaukee, Milwaukee Magazine and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, as well as on the blog Go Bold with Butter, the web site Wisconsin Cheese Talk, and in the quarterly online magazine Grate. Pair. Share.