Sunday, January 24, 2010


We just completed our first of many wine dinners partnering with non-other than the industry leader in Michigan Wines, Wyncroft Winery! Now, "industry leader" sounds like a large, over produced, slightly pretentious winery that cares more about making money than producing great wines, quite opposite is the case. Wyncoft Wines sets the bar that all others should strive for. The artist behind these amazing creations is Jim Lester, quite possibly the most passionate wine maker I have ever met! His attention to detail, old world processes, patience and persistence helps produce some wines that are un-matched the world around! The greatest thing about Jim, is he is not only a partner in Wyncoft, but the grower, picker, crusher, bottler, graphic designer (bottle labels), sales force and deliverer! WOW!!!! Now your thinking to yourself, "yeah right", but in the world of craft wines, not production wines, this is possible. Wyncoft produces the most complex Chardonnay's that Michigan has ever seen, Bordeaux blends and Pinots that will take your breath away and a December Riesling that is BEST late harvest wine produced, it's features are sweet and complex yet completely bone dry!

Here is the menu we put together in hopes that we would help compliment the wine with great food! This menu was built exclusively around the Lamb we purchased from Trillium Haven (previous blog entry) and locally sourced vegetables.

merguez sausage . new potatoes . leeks . balsamic . grain mustard
Wyncroft Dry Riesling Avonlea Vineyard, 2009

lamb consommé . duo of squash . braised frisée
Wyncroft Chardonnay Avonlea Vineyard, 2006

smoked lamb “ham” . endive . apple . cashew – brown butter vinaigrette
Wyncroft Chardonnay Avonlea Viineyard, 2005

lamb porchetta . mustard greens . winter vegetable pave . golden fig – red onion preserve

Wyncroft “Shou” Avonlea Vineyard, 2006

Wyncroft Pinot Noir Avonlea Vineyard, 2007

bittersweet chocolate soufflé . gianduja . raspberry buttermilk gelato . hazelnut tuile

Wyncroft December Harvest Riesling Wren Song Vineyard, 2008

A big special thanks to Wyncroft Wines, Jim Lester, Michael and Anja (Trillium Haven Farms), Joel Wabeke and the rest of the JW Marriott Staff! Keep your eye on the blog, we will be having another Wyncroft dinner in April and if you would like to win a dinner for two, you will have to stay posted!

See you in, next time your in for dinner, indulge in some Wyncroft Wines!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Lamb Vindaloo Flatbread

The latest flatbread at Indian fusion or "confusion" cuisine we call it, has landed us this latest masterpiece.

Lamb Vindaloo Flatbread
paneer cheese . apricot - raisin chutney . ginger . cardamom - almond "yogurt" 9

Check it out while it lasts!!!!

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Trillium Haven Farms Lamb. Rated - R for Vegetarians!

We started purchasing some whole butchered animals with the hopes of achieving a few things. We want to introduce our cooks to the process of butchering a whole animal, how to utilize the entire animal for various dishes and that meat doesn't just come pre-cut in packages ready to cook. The great thing about this is we are able to purchase these products for a very affordable cost and experience the great (sometimes challenging) process of total utilization!

These pictures will walk you briefly through the steps in breaking down the lamb into primal cuts, and what we will be doing with those cuts.

Here is the whole lamb. It was grown on a free range pasture and grain fed from Trillium Haven Farms. We ordered this little guy about 2 months ago and have been waiting to get him processed until proper weight. It is a small lamb at just over 30# hanging weight, but should make for an amazing meal!

First process is to remove the front legs around the shoulder blades. We will be making some great Merguez style sausage with this!

Here is the one of the front legs, can almost imagine this as a top notch Merguez sausage!

Next remove the hind quarters on leg at a time. We will be making city style lamb hams from the hind legs.

Once the hind quarters are removed we wanted to free the ribs up, so we can remove them. We will be making a "porchetta" of sorts, which is basically the whole mid loin section completly boned out, stuffed and roasted. We will be using this for a wine dinner coming up in a week, lucky guests!

Here is Joel removing the rib bones and I am boning out the spine from the loin. There are many ways to butcher an animal, it just depends on the desired cuts and uses.

Here is the loin section completely boned out, ready for the stuffing.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010


Come and enjoy an amazing night of food, drink and friends at the first annual Juice Ball, in the international ball room and the JW. The Juice Ball is a fundraising gala with proceeds going to Kids Food Basket. The proceeds from the Juice Ball will be used to purchase juice boxes for under privileged children in Grand Rapids Public Schools.

Tommy Fitzgerald, local chef, celebrity and media guru is celebrating his 40th birthday party and thought what better way to ring in 40 than with giving back. His simple idea has turned into what will be an amazing event, with over 1000 guests, over the top prize tables,amazing food and drink and some events that will kept secret until the night of the event.

The food will be the JW's version of 80's style school cafeteria food, with added twists to put this simple yet delicious food to the next level. Below is the menu served this evening and for $40.00, $10.00 of which will go to Kids Food Basket, this is a dinner you will not want to miss!

(Believe me, it's not what you expect, ssh!)

Waldorf Salad
gala apples . cucumbers . ginger yogurt dressing . shaved iceberg . walnuts, grapes

Mixed Green Salad
Spring greens . radishes . cucumbers . carrots . miso vinaigrette . almonds

Cabbage Coleslaw
Cabbage . carrots . onions . scallion . boiled dressing

Pasta Salad
farfalle . cucumber . olives . caramelized onions . feta . balsamic dressing

Rolls and Butter
roasted garlic – herb butter

Whipped Potatoes
smoked bacon . cheddar .yukon gold potatoes

Cauliflower Gratin
béchamel . parmesan . bread crumbs

Mac – n – cheese
penne . cheddar mornay . ritz crackers

Buttermilk Fried Chicken
southern style buttermilk fried airline chicken breast

JW Meatloaf
smoked bacon . lunch lady sauce