By Lori Fredrich Senior Writer & Dining Editor Published Mar 17, 2014 at 8:12 AM

Potawatomi Bingo Casino has been recognized for its menu development initiative by the The National Restaurant Association through a nomination as a finalist for the 2014 Operator Innovations Awards.

The awards celebrate the achievements of progressive restaurant and foodservice operators who drive advancement in the food service industry.

According to the NRA, Potawatomi "uses calculated risks to push the limits of menu development and execution – going beyond sustainable, organic and underutilized local food, SOUL, to incorporate invasive species, offal and indigenous ingredients on menus throughout the property."

Examples of activities in this area include Potawatomi's efforts include annual competitions during which Potawatomi's culinary staff are challenged to prepare offal in creative and delicious ways, and a wide variety of culinary initiatives including the annual Native American Heritage Month dinner, which this past year featured Chef Lois Frank, Native culture and indigenous foods expert.

NRA award winners will be announced Saturday, May 17 at the Destination: Celebration gala during the annual National Restaurant Association Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show in Chicago. Tickets for the gala can be purchased online.

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.