By Lori Fredrich Senior Writer & Dining Editor Published Mar 10, 2014 at 11:11 AM

Local ingredients will be the star of a new program led by the culinary team at Marcus Restaurants.

The program, called "Straight to Your Plate," will highlight the stories behind unique local ingredients being used in the restaurants.

Each month, a chef will partner with a local purveyor and choose an ingredient to be used in select dishes at area restaurants. Stories will be documented on videos, which will be featured at

For instance, for the month of March Mason Street Grill’s Executive Chef Mark Weber visited The Spice House, a local purveyor of exquisite spices, herbs and seasonings in Milwaukee, and selected cassia cinnamon as the featured ingredient for March.

The Spice House cassia cinnamon will be featured in Weber’s upside down cinnamon apple pie with salted caramel at Mason Street Grill, Chef Bill Doyle’s cinnamon-smoked duck breast with red currant Frangelico sauce at Milwaukee ChopHouse, and Chef Robert Druschitz’s cinnamon and espresso brined pork chop at Kil@wat.

"Straight to Your Plate is a celebration of local flavor—a way for us to highlight some of the amazing suppliers right here in our own backyard," said Edward Carrella, corporate director of restaurants for Marcus Hotels & Resorts.

"We have so many great Wisconsin-based partners, and we’re proud to present their unique ingredients to our guests."

April’s featured ingredient will be Spanish chorizo from Underground Food Collective in Madison. Additional vendors will include Carr Valley CheesePurple Door Ice Cream, and Seaquist Orchards and more. Visit for more information.

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.