Growing up in Battle Creek, also known as “Cereal City”, I learned quickly how to identify myself with the breakfast aisle of any grocery store. Wild salmon, not so much. In fact, I refused to eat salmon growing up, which may have been the most confusing part about packing my bags and moving to Alaska just days after graduating from Michigan State University. Fast forward four years later and here I am, shipping top quality wild salmon from the icy waters of Alaska back home to Michigan. One of my favorite parts? My dad is the one who picks it up from the airport and delivers it directly to stores in Michigan, and with help from my mom, sells our frozen salmon portions at farmers markets around Ann Arbor and Detroit.
Whether you’re planning a wedding, a family reunion, or a professional conference, don’t settle for a bland catered spread! Cater your occasion with an abundance of Michigan’s local food to make it extra special.
Detroit is full of chefs with hustle who can turn locally-grown ingredients into celebratory cuisine year-round. Here are 7 of our favorite caterers, each with their own style and specialities:
Do you want to support your local food system? Fight food insecurity in your community? Have a lot of fun? How about all of those at once? You’re in luck! You’re invited to the 30th anniversary of Grillin’ for Food Gatherers, a community picnic that features Washtenaw County’s finest food, while gathering funds to fight hunger where we live.
Nick is an adopted Michigander. After growing up in Colorado, Nick discovered a passion for food and farming at Deep Springs College. That passion eventually led him to Detroit, with its urban farms and an energetic food culture.
Before joining Taste the Local Difference, Nick operated the vegetable farm at Food Field for two seasons. His winters were spent flipping eggs on the breakfast grill at Rose’s Fine Food. He remains inspired by the espirit-de-corps of his local food community, and he’s glad to be able to serve farmers and small businesses in his current position.
If not at work, Nick is probably trying to start his 80-year-old Ford tractor. He hopes to keep it running long enough to establish his own farm, just outside of Detroit.
Nick Jones is Taste the Local Difference’s Newest Employee. He is the Local Food Coordinator for Detroit. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org
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Long-time Milan, Michigan farmers, Vicki and Tom Zilke, know how to grow good food. Turns out, they also know how to cook. Since June 2018 when Zilke Farm Kitchen opened for business, Vicki has been creating simple home-cooked meal kits and prepared food in Milan’s new retail space.
Myth: It’s impossible to find local food in the middle of January in Michigan. Reality: it’s easy! In fact, many restaurants participating in the Ann Arbor Restaurant Week, January 13 – 18, are putting local food at the center of the table. See the list of who is going local during restaurant week here, designated by the Taste the Difference® logo.
The countdown is dwindling til Christmas! These are last minute stocking stuffers that support local producers in your area. Find these treats at your local farmers market, co-op, or retail store.
Macon Creek Malt House is looking for a partner business to share their facility in Saline (20 min southwest of Ann Arbor). If you’re ready for a lower risk, affordable opportunity to scale up your food business (and work alongside some great people!), consider this option.
It’s a Wednesday morning at the Ypsilanti Farmers MarketPlace and the room is fragrant with fresh, cut flowers overflowing in buckets. There’s dahlias from Luella Acres, zinnias from Fresh Cut Detroit, and eucalyptus from Seeley Farms. Now in its second year, the Michigan Flower Growers’ Cooperative is creating a new model for local flower growers to sell to florists and other wholesale buyers.
Teff, or eragrostis tef, is native to Ethiopia and is the world’s tiniest grain. It is about the size of a poppy seed but packs a huge nutritional punch. It is full of calcium, protein, iron and is also a great source of fiber so you stay full and are able to regularly “take care of business.” Teff is also naturally gluten free and is a resistant starch. Resistant starches are not digested in the small intestine but, instead, processed by bacteria in your colon. These bacteria turn it into molecules that help maintain good gut health and balance blood sugar.