By Lori Fredrich Senior Writer & Dining Editor Published Apr 19, 2022 at 1:01 PM Photography: Lori Fredrich

For 25 years, SHARP Literacy has been engaging urban youth in experiential programming that enhances their understanding of science, technology, engineering, art and math. 

To assist them in celebrating that milestone – and supporting the organization’s important work moving forward – a cadre of Cream City’s top chefs will be showing off their creativity during the seventh Unwrapped MKE fundraiser.

Unwrapped MKE 2022 will take place on Thursday, May 19 from 5 to 8 p.m. at 3rd Street Market Hall, 275 W. Wisconsin Ave. and will feature unique chef-driven bites created with ingredients donated by McDonald’s suppliers.

The evening will also include a silent auction, and opportunities for Unwrapped guests to explore the new 3rd Street Market Hall, the Photoverse Selfie Museum and Topgolf Swing Suites at no additional charge. 

Meanwhile, all proceeds from the annual foodie fundraiser will go to support SHARP Literacy's ongoing STEAM-based programming (Science, Technology, Engineering, the Arts and Mathematics) for over 8,000 urban elementary students in 49 schools across Milwaukee, Racine and Waukesha. 

Iconic Milwaukee Dishes

Among the growing list of participating chefs for this year's event are Angela Rondinelli of Downtown Kitchen; Jason Alston of Heaven’s Table BBQ; Jordan Wollin of On the Bus and Make Waves; Andrew Koser and Lauren D’Amico of A to Z Catering;  Sarah Mironczuk of Bakehouse 23; and Brian Taborski and Alex Thorson of Saz’s.

Each chef will be challenged to deconstruct the McDonald’s menu and use core components to reimagine an iconic Milwaukee food. In addition to McDonald’s ingredients, chefs may use oils, spices and other elements to lend a unique spin to their dish.

Rondinelli, a second-time participant in Unwrapped MKE will be presenting guests with Wisconsin Beer Cheeseburger Soup, a dish composed from McDonald’s ground beef, pickles, tomatoes, onions, lettuce and American cheese as well as her own blend of beer and seasonings. 

“We are known around the globe for high-quality beer and cheese and there is simply nothing more local about these two ingredients,” she notes.  “I couldn’t resist combining a classic Beer Cheese Soup with, of course, the iconic McDonald burger for a great ode to the city that I’m proud to call home.” 

A sampling of other dishes that will be featured at the event include:

  • Chef Andrew Koser & Chef Lauren D’Amico's MKE BBQ Grape Jelly Meatballs with Potato Puree
  • Chef Brian Taborski and Alex Thorson's Savory Chicken Bread Pudding with Caramelized Apples and Onions Compote
  • Chef Sarah Mironczuk's Americana Apple Cobbler

Award honorees

During the event,  SHARP Literacy will also present two “Bartolotta Partners of the Year” awards. The first will go to Hannah Kitzerow, SHARP Young Professionals Board president and Saz’s Hospitality Group director of festivals and community engagement. Kitzerow has co-chaired Unwrapped for the past two years and will be honored for her ongoing support of the event, and for always going above and beyond for SHARP. 

The second award  will go to  John Osmolak, OSI Industries customer services manager. As a McDonald’s supplier, Osmolak and OSI Industries will be recognized as long-time community partners of Unwrapped, providing the event with in-kind food donations for the past seven years. 

“We’re so happy to recognize Hannah and John at this year’s Unwrapped MKE,” says SHARP President and CEO Lynda Kohler. “Both are examples of true volunteers who unselfishly give of themselves to support our mission. We are beholden to our many partners who make this event and so many others come to life for the ultimate benefit of our students.”

Ticketing information

Individual tickets for the event are $100 and include unlimited sampling at chef stations, plus admission to the Photoverse Selfie Museum and Topgolf Swing Suites. They can be purchased online at unwrapped22.givesmart.com

Various levels of corporate and individual sponsorship are also available. Current sponsors include presenting sponsor BMO Harris Bank, Plankinton Circle sponsors ACME Enterprises and 2100 Lathrop/McDonalds, Clybourn Circle sponsors Drosner Phillips Ristau Group/Baird Advisors and Good Karma Brands/My PT, and in-kind media sponsors 88Nine Radio Milwaukee, CW18 & My24, 101.7 The Truth, OnMilwaukee, and Urban Milwaukee.

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.