By Lori Fredrich Senior Food Writer, Dining Editor, Podcast Host Published Oct 07, 2013 at 11:03 AM

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 a brand new beer cookbook, the skinny on brunch at Blue Jacket, autumn menu changes at Wolf Peach, a breakfast competition at The National, and a pork-tastic party at Milwaukee Brewing Company.

The American Craft Beer Cookbook tour comes to Milwaukee
In a city like Milwaukee, great beer is the norm. But, the fever is spreading. Today, more than 2,500 breweries in the United States produce over 100 style variations of craft beer. But, the popularity of these craft brewers has done more than simply revolutionizing beer culture, it’s also upped the ante on the foods being served with beer.

These days brewpubs have moved beyond burgers and wings, and chefs have mastered the art of pairing delicious dishes with the hoppy, malty, incredible flavors of craft brewed beer.

Beer journalist John Holl is both a witness to the transformation of American beer culture and a proponent of it. He has traveled the country and collected more than 150 recipes from breweries, brewpubs, chefs, and beer-centric restaurants that illustrate the delicious intersection on the culinary road where food and beer meet.

On Thursday, Oct. 17 from 1 to 4 p.m. at Lakefront Brewery, you’ll have the opportunity to witness Holl’s work first-hand as he presents his new book, "The American Craft Beer Cookbook." Don’t miss the opportunity to hear what he has to say about pairing craft beer with great food, as well as get a signed copy of his book.

From Southern Tier Brewery’s Free Range Super Pancakes to Uncommon Brewer’s Lemongrass Chicken, Trinity Brewing’s Watermelon Salad, and Harpoon Brewery’s Winter Warmer Pumpkin Pie, the recipes highlighted cover breakfast through dessert, and the breweries profiled showcase local favorites from Hawaii to Maine. "The American Craft Beer Cookbook" will inspire home chefs to create the perfect, melt-in-your mouth celebration of food and beer.

Several Wisconsin brewers have contributed recipes to the book, including Hinterland Brewery and Restaurant (seared diver scallops with roasted Maitake mushrooms, cauliflower and sweet potatoes with coconut-green curry sauce), Lakefront Brewery (gluten-free fruit and nut crisps), and Sprecher Brewing Co. (slow-cooked doppelbock BBQ meatballs). 

In some cases beer is used as an ingredient, and every recipe discusses how to find that perfect pint to bring the meal to a crescendo where the complexity, depth, and breadth of a craft beer beautifully complements, contrasts with, or enhances the flavors on the plate.

New Brunch in Walker’s Point
In case you haven’t noticed, Blue Jacket, 135 E. National Ave., is now serving brunch on Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. Try the two-egg breakfast with bacon or fried green tomato, potatoes or fruit, and choice of toast for $9. Or try the smoked sausage hash with potatoes, apple, fennel and onion ($10) or the eggs benedict with speck prosciutto or green tomato for $12.

If you tend toward the sweeter side, there’s always French toast with seasonal fruit compote and mascarpone cheese ($9) or buttermilk pancakes with spiced butter and seasonal fruit ($9).

But, don’t forget the amazing brunch cocktails, which really shine at Blue Jacket, including the Hail Caesar with vodka, house-made bloody Mary mix, Clamato and smoked oyster ($9), the classic mimosa featuring Bittercube orange bitters ($8), or the maple egg cream with a duo of apple brandies paired with dairy, maple-brown syrup and bitters ($10).

Autumn menu changes at Wolf Peach
According to Executive Chef Dan Jacobs, Wolf Peach’s menu is about to transition from summer to fall. He says that some of his favorite items include the new wood-fired pizza with winter squash, roasted kale, smoked mozzarella, pecorino and capers ($14); comforting cassoulet with pork shoulder, duck confit, pork belly, Toulouse sausage and white beans ($22); and a sautéed scallop dish served with braised shortribs, parsnip puree, fried parsnips and wild mushroom vinaigrette ($16).   There’s also grilled ribeye, veal and duck breasts, and roasted sweetbreads with browned butter.

Favorites like the popular kale salad($9) , Brussels sprouts with grapes, shallots and verjus ($8), and pierogi with charred cabbage and caraway vinaigrette ($14) are also back. And the dessert menu includes delicious creations by Pastry Chef Chase Anderson like layered carrot and parsnip cake with drunken golden raisins and walnuts.  Check out the entire menu at

Iron Chef Milwaukee: Breakfast edition
This Thursday, Oct. 10, beginning at 6:30 p.m. The National Café will take the art of cooking breakfast to the next level by hosting the next Iron Chef Milwaukee competition. Come watch Joe Sutter and Kevin Leach from Buckley's Restaurant go head to head against The National's own Angie Wierzbinski and Arielle Yanasak, in a battle of breakfast best!

For $10, you can witness the spectacle and eat the delicious results. Seats are limited to 20, so make sure to RSVP to confirm your spot.

Times Square Pizza throws a pork-tastic party
Don’t miss Dia De Los Puercos, a celebration of delicious pork dishes and great beer on Sunday, Oct. 13 from noon to 4 p.m. at Milwaukee Brewing Co.  Sean Henninger from Times Square Pizza will cook up plates of delicious pork. And Milwaukee Brewing will pour the beer.

Tickets are $15 and can be purchased at Times Square Pizza.

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.