We recently had the opportunity to host a creative collaboration for Midwest Living Magazine. The focus of the story, in the current print issue (Mar/April 2017) was simple entertaining with a small group of friends, based on Megan Gilger’s tips for creating “Lovely-But-Laid-Back Dinner Parties“.
The collaboration included The Fresh Exchange husband and wife duo Megan & Mike Gilger, Sarah Peschel of At Home in Suttons Bay and Epicure Catering co-owners Andy Schudlich & Cammie Buehler. Andy worked to develop a menu that was approachable for a home cook, yet beautiful in its presentation. Cammie teamed up with Sarah & Megan to style the details of the tabletop aesthetic.
As the overarching goal of the shoot was to illustrate how to host a laid-back gathering of friends (delegate!), care was taken to create a scene that spoke authentically to an elevated simplicity of the everyday. Cherry Basket Farm provided a rustic backdrop while greenery, white china and soft pastels brought in the crisp vitality of Spring. Photographer David Tsay captured perfectly the charm and warmth of the space and meal, and overall the shoot was a glowing success.
We are thankful and grateful as always for the chance to work with such incredible people. Thank you all.
Creative Collaboration for Midwest Living Magazine Photo Recap (iPhone photos!)
A tour of Epicure Catering’s indoor and outdoor kitchen with chef and co-owner Andy Schudlich.
The culmination of the tour is a farm to table meal served alfresco (weather permitting).
This food tour begins Friday, June 9th and concludes June 11th, with the Cherry Basket stop on Sunday, June 11th. To learn more about the Grand Traverse Bay tour including other stops, lodging, and ticket availability please visit zingermansfoodtours.com
The following photos are from the 2016 Zingerman’s Food Tour at Cherry Basket Farm.
Guest post courtesy of Janene Centurione, Great American Food Tours host.
Hungry for your next Food Adventure? Explore with Zingerman’s Great American Food Tours!
Zingerman’s Great American Food Tours are designed to highlight iconic American food communities by immersing guests in the local food, culture, and history. What better way to experience a new place, than through taste and the stories of folks who live and love their local food? We’re bringing our love and passion for the Grand Traverse Bay area to Zingerman’s’ guests from all across the country.
For over 30 years, Zingerman’s has brought the best and most flavorful foods of the world to your table. Our food tours take you to the source. They go beyond just tasting great food where it was grown and made. We call it “Farm-to-Table 2.0”: learning the passionate backstory from the folks who are making a living in this complex world of agriculture and food in addition to tasting and seeing where that food is produced.
This Fall, we’ll be showcasing the Grand Traverse Bay region. The unique growing seasons and Great Lake breezes support the best farms, orchards, wineries and fishing in the Midwest. We want to tell tell the stories of this vibrant community of chefs, artisanal food producers, farmers and distillers. The Grand Traverse Bay region is one of the most interesting and robust food hubs in the country, and we’re proud to highlight it.
We’re going behind the scenes with our local hosts, tasting their wares and experiencing their passion for their craft. Our guests will tramp across fields, dine in barns, taste from kegs, pick from the vine, and sail across the bay at sunset, sipping local wines. We’ll use food to discover and understand this special world, so deeply connected with the winds and weather of Lake Michigan.
Zingerman’s Food Tours has used food as a way to connect to the history of a region, the spirit of its people and the regional rhythm of daily life. Zingerman’s Food Tours is your concierge to the best local guides, food, and cultural experiences. Our tours give you the chance to relax while enjoying and experiencing the best our destinations have to offer. We’ve scoured the globe to make connections in the food and travel world. After experiencing one of our tours, you’ll take home some pretty unique souvenirs: a deeper understanding of a unique region, a sense of their place in our increasingly connected lives, fantastic images, tasty memories, recipes to share, and a sense of discovery fulfilled.
Zingerman’s Great American Food tours are short, one to three day, energetic jaunts behind the scenes with local chefs, farmers, distillers, and vintners. We want our guests to come along to understand their world and listen to their story, while we eat and drink at their table. Authentic, tasty and fun, we strive to get beyond the postcard and to taste the world, the Zingerman’s way. We’ll be in the Traverse City area in September, and are also leading day trips into the vibrant Detroit food scene as well.
To get more information on upcoming Great American Food Tours or learn more about our discoveries, sign up for our email newsletter here.
Dan and Janene Centurione, Great American Tour hosts
Grand Traverse Bay Tour Highlights:
-Lunch and learn from the founder of the Little Fleet Traverse City’s Food Truck hub.
-Brewers and distillers taking you behind the scenes in their businesses, while we taste their wares.
-“Farm-to-Table 2.0” – getting out in the fields, helping to harvest our meals, and working with our chefs and hosts to prepare our family style farm spreads.
-Morning at the Market – tasting our way through the Farmer’s market during the height of Fall harvest.
-Sunset sail on Grand Traverse Bay – picnic dinner while pondering the land, water and history of the region from the waves.
-Our Common Table dinners are known not only for their tasty food and drink, but also for their engaging, entertaining and thought provoking discussions with our local food hosts.
Tour Dates: Friday September 23-Sunday September 25.
As you may know, Epicure is one of the founding members of Simply Blue Weddings, which is an online resource for engaged couples looking to Northern Michigan as a destination wedding location. We recently approached Rachel Moger of Sincerely Ginger about taking over the site. Read more about the transition below.
The end of one year and the beginning of a new is a time of transition, taking stock, and reflection. It is a time for fresh starts and new beginnings. Gratitude abounds.
Gratitude, indeed. When we started Simply Blue Weddings in 2010, none of us ever imagined the path our journey would take. We spent hours and hours pouring ourselves into the design, content and functionality of the site. We wanted to curate something beautiful and helpful- it was our intention to build an online space to connect engaged couples planning their weddings in Northern Michigan with all of the amazing, service oriented vendors of the region. We felt the work being produced here by local event industry leaders was on par with nationally recognized vendors in well-known destination locations. All the elements were in place- we had a consortium of the best local talent, endless natural beauty and locations, and a growing national recognition of Northern Michigan as a sought after destination for weddings. All we needed was a well-designed, cohesive space to connect engaged couples to the magic that is Northern Michigan. These vendors- and this region- needed to be showcased to a broader otras alternativas al viagra audience.
As with all small business ventures, we have had missteps and mistakes, heartbreak and home runs. It has been quite the ride but one that brought much more than digital code and pretty pictures. We have met so many great people though the years as the website and local wedding industry matured simultaneously. As the demands of Simply Blue grew, so too did the demands of our individual businesses- A Day in May Events, Weber Photography and Epicure Catering & Cherry Basket Farm. We have learned so much from this process, and from one another, but it is time to pass the torch. It became pretty apparent within the last year that Simply Blue needed (and quite frankly, deserved!) a fresh start, one that would come from someone who could give more to the beliefs and core that Simply Blue Weddings stands for than the three of us could.
But who would this person be? It was a tall order. This person needed to have a trained eye for design , be familiar with the local wedding scene, and be a skilled writer and blogger. Above all else this person had to be a self-starter and possess a strong work ethic. We were looking for someone to honor the work and the original intention of the site, but who could take it to the next level and make it even better for engaged couples by making it their own? Enter Rachel Moger of Sincerely, Ginger Weddings.
We are thrilled to introduce Rachel to you as the new owner and creative director of Simply Blue Weddings. One look at Rachel’s background will illustrate why she was a natural choice for the job: she has a degree in Business Administration and Entrepreneurship, runs her own successful planning company and blog, and her event design and styling work has been recognized by national industry leaders. But that is all on paper. Once you meet her in person, you realize that this beautiful, bubbly and always smiling woman values what is truly important – personal relationships, collaboration and drawing inspiration from her surroundings. She possesses what we as founders feel is essential to the long term success of Simply Blue- an inherent and deep love for Northern Michigan and it’s people, and a desire to help elevate the local wedding industry to recognition on a national level. We could not be more excited that Rachel and her team will usher Simply Blue into a new era with fresh eyes and fresh ideas!
Gratitude, Indeed, yes. We could not be more grateful for the journey and the opportunity for new beginnings. We are so proud of the relationships we have built and the knowledge that the collaborative spirit with which SBW was founded will continue under the direction of Rachel and Margaret at Sincerely Ginger Weddings.
I recently had a chance to sit down with The Yellow Table Cookbook by Anna Watson Carl. WOW! In addition to being a sweet friend and wonderful person to collaborate with, Anna is a private chef, NYC based food writer, and Author of The Yellow Table Blog.
There a lot of things that are remarkable about how this book was created. Once Anna made the decision to write the book, there was no stopping her! She developed and tested over 100 recipes for the book in 100 days, documenting the process in her series The Cookbook Diaries. All the action, from recipe development and testing to the shooting of the book itself, took place in Anna’s 6th floor walk up. That element certainly added another layer of logistics to an already ambitious project.
As the project progressed, so too did the level of collaboration. Of course Anna’a husband Brandon was on board from the start as the Chief Advisor, but by the end, Sommelier Jean-Luc lu Dû, Designer Dana Tanamachi-Williams, Photographer Eric Ryan Anderson, Photographer Nate Poekert, Designer Katie King Rumford, and Editor Lauren Salkeld would all have a hand in the project. Also in on the project was Danish born, NYC based food-photographer Signe Birck, who shot all the recipes for the book using natural light in Anna’s apartment. The images are honest and beautiful. Anna lovingly and humbly refers to the book as a “community -sourced endeavor”. Indeed!
All the elements were in play- tasty (and tested!), well-written recipes, thoughtful images, fab design, delicious wine pairings. Now the tough part: how to pay for the book?
Anna launched a Kickstarter campaign last June, and organized a cross-country road trip with dinner parties in 8 cities, collaborating with other bloggers to co-host each gathering and help promote her book project on their blogs. She partnered with several large brands as well: Volkswagen lent her a car and Whole Foods donated all of the groceries and wine for the parties. Not only was the trip an amazing experience, but Anna went above and beyond her goal, pre-selling nearly 2,000 books and raising $66,000 in 6 weeks, which covered the costs of the first print run.
Ambitious, right? Again, wow! All the hard work paid off – the book itself is gorgeous. The recipes are well written and well tested, using easy to source ingredients. Lovely photography and hand-drawn illustrations, as well as wine pairings, accompany the recipes. The photos and design are fantastic! Every ounce of effort that went into this book is evident, right down to the hard cover, paper choice and printing (printed in the USA- somewhat of a rarity in today’s cookbook market!).
I am so proud of Anna for this accomplishment. It was amazing to watch the project unfold, and I am completely inspired by the story of how this book came to life. It is truly wonderful to see someone take a dream and turn it into a reality though hard work, dedication, and collaboration. I highly recommend adding the book to your collection, or giving it as a gift to your favorite cook. Bravo, Anna and crew for a delicious triumph!
You can order The Yellow Table cookbook online here.
All Photos by Signe Birck except the one immediately above, by Nate Poekert.
There will be heavy stationary appetizers, pairings of grilled wild game bites and Stormcloud brews, live music (Bluegrass Association…yay!) and of https://www.acheterviagrafr24.com/sildenafil-100-mg-ligne-vidal/ course plenty of lively conversation. You don’t want to miss this one…last chance for Epicure food for 2014.
As you may know…we love to collaborate with other local businesses, and offering pop-up dinners is one of our favorite ways to join forces. The Clean Plate Club Vegan Dinner was one of those glorious collaborations. We teamed up with the fantastic folks at The Little Fleet and At Home to bring the Clean Plate Club to the table. Gary Jonas, the owner of The Little Fleet, expressed interest in offering a vegan dinner. Most of the pop up dinners in our area are more focused on appealing to the to carnivores of the region. We felt the vegans needed their own pop-up, and what better time to offer it than during harvest?
I approached the design team at At Home with a rough skeleton of an idea for decor and let them take it from there. The vintage wallpaper table runners were the design impetus for the tabletop, and the team at At Home chose to keep it clean and fresh with mixed white planters and greenery. Modern votives provided some warmth and additional decor elements. The clean, simple palette allowed the focus to remain on the food.
Epicure Catering & The Little Fleet present
The Clean Plate Club
Red popcorn with fennel pollen and nutritional yeast
Vegan terrine of celery cabbage, butternut squash, porcini mushroom, red pepper, caramelized onions and garlic aioli
Beet salad with field greens, rainbow sprouts and Pressmeister smoked peanut oil
Squash involtini with bulgar, barley, tofu, peppadew peppers and herbs with roasted heirloom tomato sauce
Brûléed peach with Pressmeister poppy meal and cashew cream
I’ve been working with the brains and beauty that is Alicia Caldecott (owner, A Day in May, Event Planning & Design) for close to a decade. And for the sake of full disclosure, I am one of her partners in a side project called Simply Blue Weddings. Dynamic, spunky, smart and fun, she is implementing event designs in Northern Michigan which are unique in the truest sense of the word, and have been recognized by top leaders in the event industry. Catering these events always challenges our tiny company in a way that simply doesn’t happen in our normal scope of work. I love her for trusting us with her vision and truly appreciate the sweet clients who value her experience in creating an unbelievable experience for the guest.
Kim and Mark are some of those sweet clients. After attending sixteen ( ! ) weddings in one year, they longed for something different for their own big day. Their courtship involved lingering over many memorable meals with fantastic conversation, fine food and wine. Dining out was one of their favorite things to do with one another, so this was the key element Alicia focused on when designing the dining experience for their wedding.
Have you ever seen a dining tent with an open, restaurant style kitchen? Me neither! When Alicia shared the concept with me about a year before the event, I was blown away. It was brilliant! We worked closely with the team at A Day in May Events to communicate our needs in terms of kitchen space and functionality. As the dining tent was surrounded by mature hardwoods on all sides, the guests were immersed in an experience with all the amenities and vibe of a fine dining restaurant, with all the natural beauty that Northern Michigan has to offer. It was the best of all worlds rolled into one. The menu was designed to maximize the time the guests were seated, encouraging conversation over fine food and drink, just as Kim and Mark intended.
We come into contact with a lot of amazingly talented and creative people in this industry. Alicia is a standout – a gift! – and one I am thankful for every day. Her designs are innovative and logistically very difficult yet executed with seemingly effortless precision. I don’t tell her enough how she blows me away with the experiences she creates for the guests, which is the ultimate test of those of us in the hospitality industry. So…thank you Alicia for all you do, and thank you for including us on the wild ride. Cheers! xo
Carlsons smoked whitefish in a cucumber roll with fresh dill and horseradish creme fraiche
Crostini trio with country pate, aged raclette with local fava bean puree, heirloom tomato and herb mash
Local rabbit braised in shiitake sherry cream wrapped in puff pastry
Grassfields Gouda, Zingerman’s Manchester, and Wisconsin buttermilk blue with
local produce, honey, candied nuts, and compotes
Poached, marinated Lake Superior Walleye served cold with pine nuts, pink peppercorns and green onion- parsley oil, served with rose pesto crostini
Local grilled apricots, Leelanau Cheese Fromage Blanc, pistachios, mint/basil vinaigrette
Local rolls and fennel honey
Leelanau Cheese Fromage Blanc ravioli with black pepper with heirloom tomato brodo and microgreens
Braised local beef shanks with morel risotto, local green beans
House made trifle with lemon sponge cake, local maple whipped cream, mixed fresh berries
Pie station with locally made strawberry-rhubarb, cherry and mixed berry pies
The long days of summer are about being outside and eating fantastic peak season food. We combined both for a summer supper at Chetonka, the home of a dear friend on Lake Michigan. Our favorite part of cooking at Chetonka is the out-of this world outdoor kitchen designed by owner and skilled cook Michael Chetcuti. The kitchen not only has an amazing view of Lake Michigan, but features an imported Italian wood fired oven, Grillworks grill and an Evo grill, in addition to burners, ample counter space and a sink. There is nothing the kitchen can’t handle! Did I mention this kitchen has an amazing lake view? It’s the little things, like being outside and cooking with your friends. Bon Appetit!
We’d like to thank our friends over at Wild Measure for the images.
Local cheese board with house made local pickled vegetables and condiments
Grilled local stone fruit with Leelanau Cheese Fromage Blanc and mint
Beef tenderloin braciole with breadcrumbs, parsley, salami toscana,and scamorza
Gigante bean, kale and plum salad with champagne plum vinaigrette
Summer vegetable ratatouille
Heirloom tomato salad with coppa, aged local goat cheese, basil and balsamic
We love collaborating with and gathering inspiration from other small business owners and food artisans. When Simon Joseph of Roaming Harvest asked if we would like to be a part of the Food Truck Dinner Series, of course we jumped at the chance. The Food Truck Dinner Series hosts all different area chefs, but the dinners are always held at The Little Fleet and hosted by Roaming Harvest. Most of these dinners are held in the winter, so it’s a nice change of pace for all involved.
Gary and Alison Jonas, owners of The Little Fleet, and Simon proved to be awesome hosts. Andy wrote the menu based on what was in season and Simon added his luscious duck confit and duck cracklings to the menu. I made a rustic chocolate dessert, Gary provided delicious libations. Good times were had!
House smoked Lake Michigan burbot with horseradish creme fraiche, capers & minced red onion
Bare Knuckle Farm beet salad with Werp Farm arugula and champagne vinaigrette, topped with Roaming Harvest duck confit and duck cracklins
Bare Knuckle parsnip-sunchoke soup with green oil and fried onions
Braised Drettmann Ranch venison shank and Carlson-Arbogast Farm white beans with Werp Farm microgreens and dinosaur kale gremolata
Big Ass skillet cookie, served with Odd Side Ales Java Chip Mint Stout
We kept the styling & decor fairly simple, taking a cue from the 18th century paintings of French rococo painter, engraver and tapestry designer Jean-Baptiste Oudry. I really wanted the focus to be on the food, and Oudry’s lush still lifes were a great source of inspiration. The tables were dressed with crinkled brown kraft paper and simple runners of black burlap. We made cedar serving boards to serve the cheese course and house smoked fish, all of which were on the tables when the guests arrived, in addition to house-made pickles, rustic grissini and hand made crackers.
For floral, I gathered simple brass and pewter vessels, then consulted with my friend and owner of Terrarium Bar, Megan Kellogg. She knocked it out of the park with bold arrangements of ranunculus tecolote, anemone coronaria, garden rose ‘hearts’, acacia baileyana, ‘after dark’ eucalyptus, and eryngium planum blue sea holly. We scattered brass and pewter candlesticks on the tables with simple white tapers to add a bit of light and warmth. I rounded out the look with antler sheds borrowed from a bow hunter friend of mine (thanks, Ryan!) and a few sheepskins on the benches.
We had such a great time working with Simon, Gary, Allison, Megan, and the whole crew at Little Fleet. A huge thank you is in order to Cory Weber, owner of Weber Photography. He shot all of these stunning film images. Thank you Cory!
Thanks also to all who bought tickets! Your laughter, smiles at the dinner table and unyielding support mean so much to us. We will be doing more dinners at The Little Fleet in the future and do hope you will join us. Cheers!
Epicure Catering is part of a collective of area vendors, including the amazing teams at Weber Photography and A Day in May Event Planning and Design, who teamed up to create Simply Blue Weddings as a resource for couples looking to get married in Northern Michigan. Part wedding blog and part vendor guide, SBW is packed with Real Weddings inspiration and the contact information of the area’s finest vendors.
We have spent a lot of time revamping the site over the winter months and just went live with the new site. Please take the time to visit Simply Blue Weddings for wedding inspiration and essential vendor information.
I did the styling, keeping it simple but with a few impact pieces. Inspired by McClure’s branding, I opted for natural and black as a simple, clean theme. I knew I would be incorporating antiques which were a nice contrast with the contemporary setting of the space. I absolutely love antiquing, and depression era ebony glass or “amethyst glass” has always been a particular favorite of mine. It was a natural fit for the table decor, and I focused on candlesticks. I collected them for about 3 weeks from various antique stores in the area. Textures on a tabletop are also great but I am a bit burned out on burlap. The jute upholstery webbing used for the table runner was a nice way to keep that natural feel of burlap but with a bit more sass. Air plants and succulents added a touch of color to the table. The place settings were very simple, just the basics plus a jar of pickles with a tag for favors/place cards.
In addition to pickles, McClures makes the best bloody mary mix around, and Joe McClure crafted some amazing bloodies for the dinner. You can read more about them, including the recipes, on Megan’s blog. There were 3 options: the Southbend (tequila/beer/lime/cilantro/bloody mary mix), the Farmstand (gin/cucumber/lime/bloody mary mix), and the Northerner (smoked whiskey/bloody mary mix, beef jerky garnish). All were insanely delicious, as you can imagine.
And the food….oh, the food! Luciano inorrporated McClures pickles and chips into each course, which was awesome and truly showed his versatility and creativity as a chef. Chef Luciano is such a mean cook, everything was so delicious.
Here’s the menu:
McClure’s potsticker surprise- this ended up being aged beef, ground and made into a potsitcker with McClures pickle relish. The sauce? Ketchup of course. Ended up being delicious.
“fish and chips”- Lemon and parsley stuffed branzino atop a spicy McClure’s potato chip-I loved the play on traditional fish and chips.
Hand made gnocchi Carbonara with fried pickles- so incredibly delicious, and the vinegar from the pickle was a nice accompaniment to the creaminess of the pasta
Rabbit stuffed with Bacco house sausage and spicy pickle relish- all these components complimented one another in a way I would not have expected. Again, another delicious course.
Spicy pickle gelato with vanilla tuille -pairing heat with desserts in nothing new, but adding pickles and still having a palatable (tasty even!) flavor is a work of art. Bravo, Luciano!
So, a huge thanks to all involved: the fine folks over at McClures Pickles, Cloverleaf Fine Wines, Wild Measure and The Fresh Exchange, Chet and Kyle and of course Luciano.
As I mentioned in my first post, we will be doing a fair amount of collaborating and tapping into the talent of our amazing friends and family. This is the face of the voice behind the Craft Cocktail Corner. Jen loves her some craft cocktails. She is my big sister and she lives far far away in the land of stupendous food and drink (Portland). This is bad because I wish she lived closer so we could have more face time and share these cocktails together more often (because I, too, love a tasty cocktail). It is also good because I basically have an outpost in a great food city on the west coast whenever I can tear myself away from catering-type duties.
In her professional life, Jen is a home decor seamstress. You can read more about her and her work here. All that sewing can make a girl thirsty so mixing up whoop-ass cocktails of the utmost deliciousness can be a creative way to wind down from the daily grind. Look for Jen’s craft cocktail posts about once a month, or whenever the mood strikes her.
PS Jen is also a completely bad-ass crafter and is always working on a cool project. From time to time, we will share these as well if they cross over to entertaining. Enjoy!
I am a lucky girl. Sometimes my job takes me to some truly inspiring places. Recently, I had the opportunity to hang out in Moab, UT and cook for an insanely talented group of folks who man the helm (drive the Jeep?) at American Expedition Vehicles (AEV). Every year the week prior to Easter, there is a convergence of the off-road industry in Southeastern Utah. Days are spent testing vehicles, taking faithful customers on guided trail rides and training the newer drivers in the bunch. All of this hot 4 x 4 action can make a person hungry. This is where I come in. In the evenings, delicious dinners are a great way for these guys to unwind, refuel and talk shop. As any awesome day spent out in the fresh air should end, the evenings are spent around the campfire. I spend the week making box lunches, cooking dinners and catching some rays when time allows. It is a privilege to cook for this company, to see the passion they put into their work and the camaraderie they share. It is no wonder their brand is so strong and that they are at the top of their industry. While I was in Moab, my friend who happens to be one of the owners of AEV was doing some daily dispatches for the Detroit Business blog. You can read more from him about the trip here. I would love to thank them again, so …THANK YOU! You guys are the best. Until next year…
Celebrating over a decade of
Contemporary Local Cuisine
in Leelanau County, Michigan.
PO Box 212
5530 N West Bayshore Drive
Omena, Michigan 49674
Planning an event?
Are you planning a wedding or event in Northern Michigan? Look no further than beautiful Cherry Basket Farm in Omena, MI. Located about 30 minutes North of Traverse City, between Suttons Bay and Northport, Michigan on M-22, Cherry Basket Farm provides an accessible yet rural setting for your wedding or special event. In addition to serving our Contemporary Local Cuisine at our venue, Epicure Catering also caters weddings and special events at your home or venue.