This Bites: Pabst Theater’s Pastry Chef, With a Side of Pi(e)

The culinary podcast featuring 88Nine’s Tarik Moody and MilMag’s Ann Christenson talking about all things dining-related.

On this, the latest This Bites podcast (on 88Nine Radio Milwaukee), my co-host Tarik Moody and I begin by talking about a really cool local pastry chef ‒ Julie Thorsen ‒ who makes the desserts for musicians/performers  who appear at the venues operated by Pabst Theater Group (including the Riverside and Pabst theaters). I wrote a piece about her in the March issue of Milwaukee Magazine.

Thorsen started baking as a second career after leaving her job as a mechanical engineer. She told me she wanted to do something that made her happy. She also found something that allows her to meet celebrities. This is one of those voyeuristic looks into a one-of-a-kind job. 

We switch gears to the East Side’s food hall, Crossroads Collective, and the announcement this week of the space’s eighth vendor, Raw Bar. It’s co-owned by chef Jon Manyo, who runs Morel restaurant in Walker’s Point. Oysters are the first thing you’d think about at a raw bar, but we’ll tell you more about what it will serve. 

Thursday, March 14, is Pi Day. Pi refers to both the number and the food (pie), which either refers to sweet pastries or pizza. Hatched, the bakery known for its sweet hand pies, is doing a special Pi event at Pilcrow Coffee, and Tre Rivali at the Kimpton Journeyman Hotel has a pie sale with all proceeds benefiting No Child Goes Hungry

Finally, if you like to pucker up, we have just the meal for you ‒ the Fermentation Dinner at Braise on March 21.


Listen to “March 8th – Pastry Chef Julie Thorsen, PI-Day, Chilango Express moves, Raw Bar in Crossroads Collective, Char’d, and a Fermentation Dinner” on Spreaker.



Ann Christenson has covered dining for Milwaukee Magazine since 1997. She was raised on a diet of casseroles that started with a pound of ground beef and a can of Campbell's soup. Feel free to share any casserole recipes with her.