As a family tradition would have it, I spent every summer of my youth in Omena. My great great grandfather started the tradition in the late 1800’s. As if it were yesterday, I remember shucking corn with my sister in our swimsuits while Dad lit the grill and mom seasoned the meat. Every sense awakens during summers in the county. I can still smell the charcoal off the grill, I can hear the boats humming by, I can taste the Leelanau peaches. These fond memories of childhood unwittingly guided my path.
My first job was scooping ice cream in Leland; I never switched industries. Gathering around a good meal with good people isn’t just a past time, it’s my passion along with being active, being outside and travelling. The combination of my degree in Outdoor Education from Ohio University, and the decade long journey of life in Northern California as a cook, caterer, pastry chef, and snowboard instructor brought me full circle, back to Northern Michigan where my love of local food began.
I approach coordinating your event as a unique adventure. We pull together every element to ensure we are honoring your vision- your taste, the local food, our staff and the venue. Andy and I design the menu to suit you and Andy makes it a reality on event day while I manage the service staff. For over 17 years, we have been doing what we do best; building relationships with our farmers to make healthy, local food for good people in a county rich with beauty, bounty and food artisans.
In the off season I enjoy working on all different types of projects with other small business owners, industry professionals and non-profits. I serve on the Advisory Board for the Great Lakes Culinary Institute, as well as the board of the Leelanau Conservancy, an organization whose mission is to conserve the land, water and scenic character of Leelanau County. Recent freelance stints include working as a kitchen manager for a program on the Cooking Channel, and catering in San Francisco, New Orleans and Moab. I find the people I meet along the way to be a constant source of light and inspiration.
The experiences I share with people are what make this work so meaningful. I hope I have the opportunity to collaborate with you on a project in the near future!