Serving up Great Lakes fish is something Trevor Bethke had always wanted to do as a chef. But because of some rather Byzantine laws regarding wild-caught fish, food safety and distribution, it has long been difficult to do what seems so simple: see fish, catch fish, serve fish.
In Michigan, “patio” is its own season. At the first sign of 65-degree weather, we open the back door, sweep off the remaining dead leaves (and sometimes snow) and break out the camp chairs. Really, does anything beat drinking a cold beer on the back porch with a cool breeze cutting the humidity, listening to your favorite summer jams? Probably not.
On a recent weeknight at Little Bird, smack-dab in the heart of Monroe Center, I had the place virtually to myself.
Desserts may not be synonymous with summer in West Michigan, but they should be. True dessert devotees have long considered summer the peak sweets season. Why? The Midwest is in bloom once again and you can taste the difference. Fresh, locally sourced berries can once again top our ice cream and froyo. Of course, if you’d rather blanket your ice cream in graham cracker dust and rainbow sprinkles, we won’t judge.
Earth is a vast and wildly varied place, yet every culture we’ve ever come across has something in common: delicious food.
Cone Appétit is craft ice cream that feeds the soul and fights human trafficking. We sat down with its creator, Tara VanWagoner, to talk flavors, local ingredients and serving people with every scoop.
To some, fusion food means combining elements from different culinary traditions into one dish. To others, it’s a way of life.
Bar food has come a long way since the days of raw onions and cheese served up at McSorley’s Old Ale House. These days, you can find anything from fish tacos with champagne slaw to confit duck nachos — and let me be the first to admit that even veggie-centric dishes like the sprout tacos at Donkey are some of the best bar eats you could ask for.
Like music, movies and fashion, the culinary industry is prone to inescapable season-defining trends. Suddenly, a relatively innocuous foodstuff will get to bask in its 15 minutes of fame, with appearances in farm-to-table restaurants, fast-food joints and everywhere in between.
Each year, the National Restaurant Association releases data on the predicted top food trends. Many of these trends were inspired by viral videos on Instagram, including Thai Rolled Ice Cream and unusual flavor-filled doughnuts. And while we may not see rolled ice cream hitting the streets of West Michigan anytime soon, one of the list’s trends fits right in with our local food scene: quality sourced ingredients and a hyper-focus on locality or ethnic cuisine.
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