Friday, December 25, 2009

Farm Country Cheese!

We were introduced to farm country cheese through our good friend Brad Deyoung about 8 months ago. Farm Country Cheese House broke ground in April of 1983 and started production in July of 1984. Since the beginning, the Amish communities in and around Lakeview, Michigan have supplied the milk and most of the labor required to process the cheese that they sell. They currently receive milk from approximately 97 Amish farmers who have an average of 6 to 15 cows per herd, which are milked twice daily by hand.

Jim and Julie Nunley are the great visionaries who have dedicated their lives to producing some of Michigan's top Cheddars! With the passion and dedication that it takes to produce great cheese and the persistent patience that helps it become even better, they are truly a great local farming co-op that should be supported!

We are using Farm Country Cheeses daily at and understand that by purchasing this amazing cheese, we are supporting a craft that has been around for hundreds of years. Farm Country Cheese House is open six days a week from 9:00am until 5:00pm. Those who'd like to watch cheese making in progress should be sure to stop in Monday through Friday from 9:00am to 2:00pm. If you'd like to contact them, please call at (989) 352-7779, visit them at 7263 Kendaville Road, Lakeview, MI 48850.

They are approximately 50 miles NE of Grand Rapids, well worth the drive if you love great cheese, or stop into to get your hands on some. Try the raw milk cheddar, WOW!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Harrietta Hills Rainbow Trout

Here another great new dish that has been called "addicting" by our General Manager George Aquino on his blog My Hotel Life

harrietta hills rainbow trout
lardon . brussel sprouts . fingerling potatoes . leek . fennel pollen hollandaise

A little history on Harrietta Hills:
Harrietta Hills Trout Farm is a family owned and operated aquaculture facility registered with the Michigan Department of Agriculture. We are located in Harrietta, which is a small village located about 20 miles west of Cadillac, Michigan.

Started in the 1950’s Harrietta Hills has grown into one of Michigan’s largest private fish farms. We specialize in the production of Rainbow trout, with Brook trout, brown trout, largemouth bass, hybrid bluegill, yellow perch, channel catfish, fathead minnows, and decorative koi also available. We take pride in the quality and health of our fish.

With suppliers and farmers like this it is really hard not to use their products to the best of our ability and treat them with the upmost respect!

Check out this great new dish and many others off our ever changing seasonal menu!

Eat Local, Feel Global . . .

Roasted Pacific Monkfish

Pacific Monkfish
curried lentils . celery root puree . carrot . bok choy . andouille . gooseberry nectar

Here's the latest dish in! Monkfish, a pacific ocean, deep water angler fish. Monkfish has also been called "Poor Mans lobster" for its delicate, buttery textures and light, appealing flavors. This is a truely globally influenced dish, with a lot of locally sourced products. All of the vegetables are from our good friends at Trillium Haven Farms! Stop in to and indulge, we look forward to serving you!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Michigan Culinary Tourism Alliance

I will be sitting on the board for the new Michigan Culinary Tourism Alliance as the Grand Rapids representative. Michigan Culinary Tourism Alliance will focus on bringing local farms, breweries, wineries and locally focused restaurants together for the common goal of stimulating the economy through the purchase of local products and support of small local business. Here are some articles from MLive and Detroit Business Journal that helps describe this amazing new focus on Michigan, support LOCAL!

Liquid Nitrogen Parsnip Ice Cream

Here it is, the show stopper of the March of Dimes Chefs auction gala. Joel and I decided to live a little dangerous and make parsnip ice cream with liquid nitrogen to order. We served it with a sugar cone dipped in chocolate and smoked bacon with black Hawaiian sea salt! It rocked and the danger involved made it all the more cool!

This is a picture of me trying not to become cryogenically frozen as the liquid nitrogen is -320 degrees Fahrenheit! The recipe is one part ice cream base to four parts liquid nitrogen. The LN2 when poured into the base freezes the ice cream so fast there is no chance to form ice crystals and the end result is the smoothest and creamiest ice cream you have ever eaten.

Nothing like flirting with death to make amazing food . . .