By Lori Fredrich Senior Food Writer, Dining Editor, Podcast Host Published Jan 16, 2020 at 2:01 PM

The first episode in the 12th season of "Wisconsin Foodie" will air on Thursday, Jan. 16. The episode will mark the debut of new host, Chef Luke Zahm of Driftess Cafe in Viroqua.

In episode one, "Wisconsin Foodie" shares the story of Miesfeld’s, a family-owned and operated meat market in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. Zahm tries his hand at making their world championship brats and meets third-generation owner Chuck Miesfeld and general manager Richard Sachse to get the history on how the meat market has made their mark on the country’s sausage capital.

"In our twelfth season we continue to celebrate the food-forward stories of our state that are shaped by this land told by a collection of Wisconsin’s finest farmers, food producers and chefs," says Arthur Ircink, founder and director of Wisconsin Foodie. "As a chef, Zahm brings a new dynamic to the show with a true understanding of and appreciation for rural Wisconsin. His creative energy helps shape a new identity for the show with a season of experimentation, exploration and fun."

During each episode of the new season, Chef Zahm and Ircink collaborate to share stories from Wisconsin’s food landscape.

"The show is a celebration of the spectrum of food culture in our state and the cultural warriors that have maintained traditions many of which have spanned generations," says Zahm. "I’ve had the opportunity to immerse myself in the state’s strong, vibrant culture to help create broader awareness for our viewers of the stories of these places and the people. I want to shout from the rooftop to the rest of the world just how truly amazing Wisconsin is."

Upcoming episodes

Additional episodes of season 12 include:

  • Jan. 23: The Dim Sum + Give Some Gala, Fauntleroy and Conscious Carnivore (Milwaukee)
  • Jan. 30: Uptowne Cafe & Bakery and Cameron Park Farmers Market (La Crosse)
  • Feb. 6: Serbian Days Festival and Three Brothers (Milwaukee)
  • Feb. 13: City Bakery and West Side Bakery (Sheboygan)
  • Feb. 20: Lombardino's and Dinner at Frank Lloyd Wright's Taliesin (Madison)
  • Feb.: Deer Creek Cheese, Henning's Cheese and 3 Sheeps Brewing Co. (Sheboygan)
  • March 19: SapSap Pop-up Dinner (Racine)

Where to watch

New episodes of Wisconsin Foodie will be released weekly on Thursdays at 7:30 p.m. on PBS Wisconsin and at 9:30 p.m. on Milwaukee PBS. The show also airs regionally on Chicago PBS and Twin Cities PBS. Viewers are encouraged to check local listings on the Wisconsin Foodie website for additional air dates and times. You can also watch episodes and catch behind the scenes footage anytime on the "Wisconsin Foodie" YouTube channel

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.