Raised in Union Lake, Michigan in a lake house meant one thing: visitors! Family, friends, boaters, fishermen, swimmers, sailors and neighborhood friends…my mother fed them all.
Folks ask where I received my training, and I tell them “in my mom’s kitchen!” Cooking at home for friends and family was our trademark. I cooked for and with my high school friends, some of which became chefs and chocolatiers. Looking back, I realize that the food that brought us together would also feed us for a lifetime.
I entered college at Mercyhurst College in Erie, Pennsylvania on a scholarship and a chance to be on the rowing team. The first year away from home was great, the food was not and the more athletic I became the more important food quality became. School breaks meant working the kitchen scene at the Bluebird & Riverside Inn in Leland or on sailing trips in the Caribbean. Opportunity upon generous opportunity allowed me to cook for business owners and the community. This self-guided education seemed to match my need for improvisation and adventure.
When I traveled to North, Central and South America my eyes were opened beyond measure. I discovered the open markets and food stands where the indigenous people eat local food. I tasted foods I can’t pronounce. I learned to cook directly from the land and water. These revelations of simplicity and availability became the prologue to my career.
I met Cammie in my early 20’s in the food scene, never realizing that our combined talent, philosophy of food and ability to put in the hours would produce Epicure Catering. I have had the good fortune to collaborate with amazing fellow chefs: Mario Batali, Brian Polcyn, Steve Grostick and to learn seam butchery from Christoph and Isabella Weisner. We have been open from May to October for the last 17 years, and I’m proud to say that we are loyal to our initial mission to “Contemporary Local Cuisine” with foods from farmers we know and friends we have made.