By Lori Fredrich Senior Food Writer, Dining Editor, Podcast Host Published Apr 17, 2024 at 12:01 PM

It’s almost time for “Top Chef” Season 21, which – as you know – is set right here in Wisconsin. The fifth episode of the show will air on Wednesday, April 17 from 8-9:15 p.m. with episodes to follow every Wednesday evening through June 19.

We’re super stoked to cheer for local Chef Daniel Jacobs of Dandan and EsterEv as he competes for the win against the 13 remaining chef contestants from around the nation. 

And we’d love it if you’d join us in person to cheer him on.

Every Wednesday evening, all season long, we’ll be hosting OnMilwaukee watch parties at Zocalo Food Park, 636 S. 6th St. Feel free to stop in and grab dinner from one of the food trucks.

Then, beginning at 8 p.m., you can join me (Lori Fredrich) and Matt Mueller in the newly renovated Zocalo Tavern to watch the show and then stick around for our Facebook recaps, which we’ll be broadcasting live from the Tavern’s loft after every show.

Zocalo BarX

But why join us, rather than sitting at home?

Special drink deals

There are few better places to watch the show than a food truck park that’s filled to the brim with tasty food options. (After all, watching Top Chefs preparing food is sure to make you peckish.) 

But, even better, every Wednesday at NOON, we’ll be giving our readers a very special password (or phrase) that entitles them to happy hour deals at the Zocalo bar during the show and recap.

Just share the password with the bartender on duty, and you'll be eligible for specials like $4 tap beers, $5 Topo Chico, $5 Nosotros shots, and $7 Margaritas and Palomas.

Guests also have access to a special "Top Chef" cocktail (available on Wednesday nights only): The Hendrick's Basil Gimlet featuring Hendrick's Grand Cabaret Gin, lime juice, simple syrup and basil.

The catch? You’ll have to read our article each Wednesday to get the password!

The password for Wednesday, April 17 is: SUPPER CLUB.

Exciting "Top Chef" episodes 

We’ll be watching as the contestants compete through various Quickfire and Elimination challenges and eagerly awaiting episodes featuring: 

  • A challenge at American Family Field during which contestants will cook dishes that “elevate” the flavors behind the five different Milwaukee Brewers’ Racing Sausages
  • An episode featuring a Door County fish boil followed by a challenge for chef competitors to create their own
  • An episode in Madison where chefs pull together a high-end, cleverly take on a supper club menu and head to the Dane County Farmers Market for a special Quickfire Challenge
  • A challenge featuring Chef Matty Matheson from “The Bear” as guest judge for a challenge showcasing chaos cuisine
  • The always exciting “Restaurant Wars” episode

We’ll also be watching for the appearances of Wisconsin-based judges including: 

  • Chef Dane Baldwin of The Diplomat
  • Chef Paul Bartolotta of The Bartolotta Restaurants
  • Chef Kyle Knall of Birch
  • Chef Adam Siegel of Lupi & Iris
  • Chef Tory Miller of L’Etoile and Graze in Madison
  • Chefs Itaru Nagano and Andrew Kroeger of Fairchild in Madison

And yes, we’ll also be keeping an eye out for folks like Charlie Berens and Ryan Braun, who are also expected to make appearances as guest judges.

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.