James Bloomfield, the chef at Alliance made a few cheese dishes for me to photograph for the Chef’s Dish column of Culture Magazine. Here are some of my selections from our winter photo shoot. The rest are in Culture!Read More
A Bavarian beerfest in a small little tavern along the Danube, is the perfect way to enjoy some local beer.Read More
Do you wonder where those wine aromas come from? They start their journey as freewheeling organic compounds produced during the wine making process and are released when you swirl your wine in your glass. If you’re lucky, they’ll travel deep into your nasal passages, lodge themselves in your brain and start your sensory experience with wine!!Read More
Every winter in Northern Michigan, when the snow is falling, the chill is in the air and it seems all too easy to hole up in your warm home, along comes a fabulous dining event called : Restaurant Week in Traverse City. During Restaurant Week, diners have the opportunity to try out new dining establishments for a set price of $25.00 for a three course dinner. Want to go to the Boathouse Restaurant, but find it a bit pricey? Go during restaurant week. That's what I did... here's a few pictures from this fabulous establishement on the Mission Penninsula.
Do you think that wine pairs nicely with cheese and pizza pairs nicely with beer and sweets just top it all off? Have you ever thought of pairing food with bourbon? The Grand Traverse Resort recently held a Bourbon Dinner that paired a four course dinner with bourbon from Buffalo Trace Distillery. As the sun set over the bay, Aerie restaurant was alive with the potential of an exciting, specially prepared dinner by the Grand Traverse Resort.
Executive Chef Bill Matthews created a first class gastronomic experience. The first course paired Blanton's Single Barrel Bourbon with a vanilla bean gastrique over baked focaccia bread crostini with maytag blue cheese and warm spiced pecans. Yum! But, that my dear friends, was just the beginning. Next up was a lovely peppery arugula tossed with honey crisp apples, toasted almonds, camembert cheese with smoked shallot orange zest Eagle Rare vinaigrette salad of sorts paired with an Eagle Rare 10 year Single Barrel Bourbon. I mean, who comes up with these dishes? Chef Bill of course!
The next course was an intermezzo, a break from the richness of the dinner. I heard the chef talk about the trial and error it took to find just the right marrying of flavors for the sorbet; ginger with bourbon. The bourbon served with the sorbet was a Buffalo Trace Small Batch Bourbon. And the diners loved every minute of it!
The main course was an espresso rubbed slow roasted tenderloin with saskatoon berry ridgemont demi glace, served with apple wood bacon wrapped potato terrine and butter poached brussel sprouts. There were three different potatoes under this tender mouth watering piece of meat. Paired with 1792 Ridgemont Reserve Bourbon. I believe the Chef received a standing ovation for this course!
The last and final course, paired with a velvety creamy bourbon from Buffalo Trace was a bourbon brioche bread pudding souffle, with sugar bourbon candied pecans drizzled with salted caramel, and served with vanilla bean frozen yogurt. Oh gosh, what a delight! Bourbon, bourbon, bourbon... all night long.
What a dinner! What an experience! Bravo Chef Matthews! Bravo Grand Traverse Resort for such an amazing dinner!!! And thankyou Buffalo Trace for providing the distinctively special bourbons!
CSA's are such an amazing way to get our produce. There are about 30 active farms in our region and so many varieties available. Want a vegetable CSA? check out MLUI's list online. Want a milk CSA? or cheese? those are available too. Everything grows abudantly in our lovely region, grapes, hops, tomatoes, kale, carrots, squash, pumpkins, flowers- the list goes on and on. In Grand Traverse Area there are veg CSA's, milk, cheese, flower csa's, wineries, breweries...It's enough to make your stomach growl.
One of my favorite events, one that i look forward to every year is the annual Harvest Dinner at our CSA from Meadowlark Farms in Leelanau Penninsula. John and Jenny always have fresh pressed cider and the members of their CSA and friends, bring dishes to pass and share. Since we all love fresh food, our dishes are usually comprised of the wonderful food that we get every week from Meadowlark.