California has always been a benchmark (at least for me) when it comes to trends within our food and wine industry. The San Francisco Bay area, along with the surrounding wine country often sets many standards that the rest of us adopt, though sometimes a bit later than sooner. On a recent visit to the region with amical Executive Chef Benjamin Hoxie, it wasn’t a real surprise to see that our Grand Traverse region reflects somewhat of a parallel universe, albeit on a minuscule scale.
The Ann Arbor Farmers Market recently launched a new initiative to make shopping with market vendors easier for you, our chefs and the culinary community! The effort chefs put into into transforming raw farm-fresh ingredients into culinary works of art is immense. Therefore, the market wanted to help culinary professionals by streamlining the local food shopping experience.
Are you ready to experience a culinary adventure like no other and enjoy fresh produce created in the backyard of northern Michigan? TC Community Garden is hosting a series of local dinners this Summer that will give you the opportunity to enjoy a communal dinner with friends in a community garden, enjoy produce that is grown by community members, and take a garden tour!
After winding down from a jam-packed summer of Certified Local Food Events, we are preparing for an exciting new fall event that highlights the Grand Traverse Region, and its enthusiasm for locally grown food!
Oxford brewery, HomeGrown, has joined an increasing number of businesses turning to their own backyard for ingredients. The locally-sourced movement has taken off – in the US and around the world – and “locavores” aim to develop more self-reliant and resilient food networks and improve local economies by buying from nearby producers. In both the brewing and dining components of the business, HomeGrown predominantly sources local supplies.
There’s a new Certified Local Food Event coming your way in Alcona County this month. On September 30, Farm to Fork Alcona 2017 is hosting a natural fermentation workshop and dinner at Logger’s Trace-Springport Golf Course in Harrisville, beginning at 2pm. Farm to Fork Alcona 2017 is an initiative that is part of Inspiration Alcona, a nonprofit arts and culture organization promoting the friendly rural beauty of Alcona. This initiative is working to help Alcona County become home to the farm-to- fork movement.
Like many first generation farmers, Joannée DeBruhl came to agriculture in a roundabout way. After being laid off, Joannée and a few friends started a community garden to benefit Gleaner’s Community Food Bank. The success of this project ignited Joannée’s deep passion for agriculture and her desire to become a full-time farmer. Recognizing her need for a more formal agricultural education, Joannée enrolled in the MSU Student Organic Farms’ Organic Farmer Training Program (OFTP) in 2010. In the OFTP, she spent 9 months immersing herself in the nuances of growing healthy, organic plants and running a farm business.
Red Haven Restaurant is owned and operated by Chef Anthony Maiale and his wife Nina Santucci. After 10 years of living and working at top restaurants in great food cities across the country, the couple settled in Nina’s home state of Michigan ready to open their own restaurant. In 2011 they opened the Purple Carrot Food Truck and after a successful first season were able to make the move into a brick and mortar restaurant with the opening of Red Haven.
The food truck and restaurant operate under one simple premise, local first. Nina explains their inspiration, “Living in Michigan we are surrounded by an abundance of fresh food, talented artisans and hundreds of farms, however we were shocked to learn how much of our local harvests end up leaving the state. We wanted to make sure our brands focused on being as local as possible to help keep these great products in our state. This means we not only have access to some of the countries best raw ingredients but we can also help support and grow the local food movement in Michigan.”
Red Haven prides itself on sourcing as close to 100% of its ingredients from local farmers and artisans as possible year round. This includes, but is not limited to their produce, meats, fish, dairy, vinegars, flours, grains, spirits, beers, soda, etc. in a constantly evolving menu. The menus change with the seasons to showcase the best of Michigan in innovative, creative and delicious dishes designed to deliver fresh and bright flavors in a comfortable atmosphere.
To allow the customer to enjoy as many great dishes as possible, the plates are shared amongst the table and served in a paced out fashion to bring a fun and interactive dining experience to all of the guests.
All year the flavors of the season shine bright across each menu. In the winter the dishes are hearty and include the best of winter squash, potatoes, greens and decadent sauces. As spring emerges, you will find dishes featuring the best of the Michigan woods with ingredients such as morel mushrooms, wild leeks, and fiddlehead ferns complimented with farmed asparagus and spring peas. Summer is packed with color from a large array of edible flowers, squash blossoms, stone fruit and lake fish. Fall closes the year with flavorful ingredients such as corn, peppers, end of season tomatoes and autumn squash. They invite you to experience the cuisine of Michigan year round at Red Haven.
Ever wonder why a restaurant and market in northern Michigan would undertake the overwhelming task of transitioning to nearly 100% farm-to-table? After all, “locally grown” takes on a whole new level of difficulty in our arctic locale.
Boyne City has been making waves in their commitment to local food in recent years, with a booming year-round farmers market and the opening of The Grain Train’s second location. Now, with this spring’s opening of Northern Table, they can boast a serious farm-to-table restaurant as well! In true farm-to-table spirit, Northern Table offers a full seasonally-rotating menu as well as daily features based on local ingredient availability.