There is no shortage of culinary art in the Midwest. To showcase their cities and region, the chefs featured here source and infuse local flavor from homemade condiments to locally raised beef, produce, ales and liquors.
This issue’s star chefs selected signature items, along with the perfect beverage pairing, that will leave everyone’s mouths watering!
The Amway Grand Plaza Hotel prides itself on elevating traditional methods of preparation by sourcing and serving local and sustainable gastronomy. From utilizing local craft suppliers, in-house produced charcuterie (cold cooked meats), and his love of apiary (a collection of bee hives), Chef Huber revitalizes the way the Grand Rapids area eats and guests from around the world revel in it. He helped launch The Hotel Kitchen line (www.thehotelkitchen.com), a locally sourced, small-scale line of ketchups, mustards, dressings and BBQ sauces, which he incorporates into his menus.
Chef Josef Huber/Executive Chef
All of the condiments in this dish, from the mild tarragon and the spicy stone ground Austrian-style mustards to the bourbon barrel aged local honey, are inspired by local resources and produced by The Hotel Kitchen line. The platter brings together the old world traditions of charcuterie with slow, natural curing and long periods of smoking and drying local pork (using the whole hog in production of sausage and cured meats).
To complete the platter, guests can enjoy the local French-style ale from Brewery Vivant. Light, mildly sweet and crisp with a slight cloudy appearance, this local favorite cleanses the palate and enhances the flavors of the smoke and rich, well-cured meats.
(located inside the Ramada Plaza Hotel & Oasis Convention Center)
Home to a show-stopping countertop ice bar and filled with the ambiance of greenery and fountains, the Fire & Ice Bar offers a feast for the eyes and taste buds! Guests watch the chefs in action via the open kitchen concept and witness fire among the cool complements of the ice bar.
Chef Aaron Gregory/Certified Chef De Cuisine
The perfect dish for high end clients looking for something different! The short ribs offer a rich decadent flavor and are specially ordered with a longer bone attached. They make an impressive plate presentation, adding height and giving that initial wow factor. The ribs are completed with a demi-glace that includes a locally brewed root beer for sweetness and aroma.
For the perfect pairing with the ribs, guests are served the Brown Derby. Whiskey is a great choice for ribs and this tasty drink is created using Copper Run whiskey from a local micro distillery with raw sugar cane honey and fresh squeezed grapefruit juice, whose acidity helps cut the richness of the dish.
Groups of all sizes will find themselves enjoying the best of fine dining and specialty whiskeys within the 10,000 sq. ft. entertainment hub located near many local attractions.
Chef Harpster’s creations provide an experience beyond the usual chophouse by offering unique and tasty cuts of beef with the perfect whiskey drink.
Brandon Harpster/Executive Chef/Butcher
As a chophouse and whiskey bar, their signature items include a combination of these items. Certified Piedmontese is a Nebraska beef producer and The Single Barrel uses their beef exclusively. The smoked béarnaise sauce gives the dish a great smokiness and the mushroom powder adds an earthiness to the dish, offering a great match with both the beef and the whiskey.
Marin Restaurant & Bar offers visual and culinary treats for groups. Unique spaces, like the Barrel Room with its brick interior and in-wall barrels, offer a wine country feel and The Library Bar on its lower level gives guests a special place to enjoy the tasty creations from Chef Mike Rakun.
Chef Mike Rakun/Executive Chef & Partner
Since Chef Rakun is constantly changing their menu to keep things seasonal, it was hard to choose a signature item! The winner is their cherry glazed salmon, wild rice pilaf with celery root remoulade. The salmon is purchased from a farm in British Columbia, which employs sustainable practices to ensure the best product. The wild rice pilaf is made with local wild rice and several other grains to add texture and flavor. In keeping with their goal of offering local items, the restaurant purchases as much as they can from nearby sources and uses as many organic vegetables as possible.
Marin offers a comprehensive list of different gin and tonic drinks, taking time and expertise in selecting the perfect gins to compliment the proper aromatic herbs and spices. In addition to offering 42 different gins they also make their own tonic in-house, providing guests the ultimate beverage experience.