Category: Food and Cuisine

Great Lakes Hop and Barley Conference coming to Grand Rapids April 10-11th

In response to the growing demand for Michigan grown ingredients for the craft beer industry, educators from Michigan State University Extension with support from Michigan State University AgBioResearch, the Michigan Brewers Guild and ISLAND are hosting the Great Lakes Hop and Barley Conference April 10-11, 2015. The Conference will be held at the Eberhard Center on the Grand Valley State University Campus in downtown Grand Rapids, Mich.

Three conference tracks will be offered, including beginning hop management, advanced hop management, and malting barley production and malthouse opportunities. Friday’s program will offer a wide-range of presentations from speakers across the country focusing on growing and strengthening the vibrant craft ingredient industry in the state. Featured speakers include Lester Jones, Chief Economist for the National Beer Wholesalers Association, and Dr. Bart Watson, Chief Economist from the Brewers Association. Other noteworthy speakers include Derek Prell (Malteurop), Dr. David Gent (USDA-ARS), Sara Del Moro (John I. Haas, Inc.) and Zac German (Yakima Chief-Hop Union). Experts from Michigan State University will also be on hand to discuss best management practices for hop and malting barley production.

Friday’s program will conclude with a “Brewers Cut Analysis Demo and Meet the Buyer” event hosted by the Michigan Brewers Guild at the Fifth Third Ballpark on the opening weekend of the Grand Rapids Whitecaps. This will be an excellent opportunity for current hop and malting barley growers and processors to meet brewers and find out what they are looking for. This event requires preregistration and is limited to growers with acreage in production (or going into production in 2015) and active brewers. Come and enjoy the game, great beer, networking and food!

On Saturday, the malting barley track will tour Pilot Malt House, Michigan’s largest craft malthouse, and learn more about the science of malting and the quality analysis that goes into ensuring a quality product. The program will end at noon with lunch. The two hop tracks will come together to learn about post-harvest quality control and hear from a panel of brewers on how the hop industry in Michigan can meet the current demand. An optional hop yard tour and lunch at the Hopyards of Kent is available Saturday afternoon. Pre-registration is required for that event.

To learn more about the conference and to register, visit: Sponsorship opportunities are also available and can be accessed at the registration site. Any questions can be directed to the conference planning committee:

Betsy Braid,, 517-884-7081 (ANR Event Services)

Ashley McFarland,, 906-439-5176 (Upper Peninsula Research and Extension Center)

Erin Lizotte,, 231-946-1510 (Wexford County)

Rob Sirrine,, 231-256-9888 (Leelanau County)

Scott Graham,, 989-732-0569 (Michigan Brewers Guild)

New Marquette Food Co-op to open May 22nd

MARQUETTE, MICHIGAN – The Marquette Food Co-op has set a date for its opening! On Thursday, May 22 at 8am the new store will open its doors. A Grand Opening is being planned for later this summer. Planning for expansion first began two years ago, and now, after six months of construction, the Co-op leaves Baraga Avenue for 502 W. Washington Street. “This expansion has been a long time coming and after all the work behind making it happen and making it through the harsh winter, opening the doors of the store will be a real treat for everyone,” said Matt Gougeon, General Manager of the Co-op.

The moving process has already begun, and the Co-op hopes to be closed for only two days to make the final push. Customers should make sure to pick up essentials they may need by the end of business hours on Monday May 19th.

When the new Co-op opens on May 22 there will be a few tasks that remain to be finished over the course of the summer. The hot bar of the deli will not be ready, our meat department will still be limited, and the façade and landscaping will not be done. Customers will still have plenty of new things to be excited about, though! There will be expanded selection in all the current departments, more offerings in our deli cold case, a teaching classroom, and of course, the same high standards of customer service people have to come to expect from the Co-op.

Some special events are in the works for the May 22 opening, be sure to watch for more information. For those impatient to see the progress, pictures are being updated regularly at

Food Safety Tips for Areas Affected by Severe Storms and Tornadoes

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) is issuing food safety recommendations for the residents of the Midwest to minimize the potential for foodborne illnesses due to the aftermath of the weekend’s tornadoes and the severe weather that has followed. Power outages that often result from weather emergencies compromise the safety of stored food, but there are steps that can reduce food waste and the risk of foodborne illness. FSIS wants those affected to be aware of resources available to them and the measures they can take to keep food safe and protect themselves.

The publication “A Consumer’s Guide to Food Safety: Severe Storms and Hurricanes” can be downloaded and printed for reference during a power outage. FSIS’ YouTube video “Food Safety During Power Outages” also has instructions for keeping frozen and refrigerated food safe.

FSIS will provide relevant food safety information as the storm progresses from its Twitter feed @USDAFoodSafety. To get tweets about weather-related food safety issues affecting just your state, follow @XX_FSISAlert, replacing XX with your state or territory’s postal abbreviation.

Steps to follow if the power goes out:
• Store food on shelves that will be safely out of the way of contaminated water in case of flooding.
• Group food together in the freezer — this helps the food stay cold longer.
• Keep refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible.
• A refrigerator will keep food cold for about 4 hours if you keep the door closed.
• A full freezer will keep its temperature for about 48 hours (24 hours if half-full).
• If the power is out for an extended period of time, buy dry or block ice to keep the refrigerator as cold as possible. Fifty pounds of dry ice should keep a fully-stocked 18-cubic-feet freezer cold for two days.

Steps to follow after a weather emergency:

• Check the temperature in the refrigerator and freezer. If the thermometer reads 40° F or below, the food is safe.
• If no thermometer was used in the freezer, check each package. If food still contains ice crystals or is at 40°F or below when checked with a food thermometer, it may be safely refrozen.
• Discard any perishable food (such as meat, poultry, fish, soft cheeses, milk, eggs, leftovers and deli items) that have been kept in a refrigerator or freezer above 40° F for two hours or more.
• Discard any food that is not in a waterproof container if there is any chance that it has come into contact with flood water. Containers that are not waterproof include those with screw-caps, snap lids, pull tops, and crimped caps. Discard wooden cutting boards, plastic utensils, baby bottle nipples and pacifiers.
• Thoroughly wash all metal pans, ceramic dishes and utensils that came in contact with flood water with hot soapy water and sanitize by boiling them in clean water or by immersing them for 15 minutes in a solution of 1 tablespoon of unscented, liquid chlorine bleach per gallon of drinking water.
• Undamaged, commercially prepared foods in all-metal cans and retort pouches (for example, flexible, shelf-stable juice or seafood pouches) can be saved. Follow the Steps to Salvage All-Metal Cans and Retort Pouches in the publication “Keeping Food Safe During an Emergency.”
• Use bottled water that has not been exposed to flood waters. If bottled water is not available, tap water can be boiled for safety.
• Never taste food to determine its safety!
• When in doubt, throw it out!

Steps to follow to prepare for a future weather emergency:

• Keep an appliance thermometer in the refrigerator and freezer to help determine if food is safe during power outages. The refrigerator temperature should be 40° F or lower, and the freezer should be 0° F or lower.
• Freeze refrigerated items such as leftovers, milk, and fresh meat and poultry that you may not need immediately — this helps keep them at a safe temperature longer.
• Have coolers on hand to keep refrigerator food cold if the power will be out for more than 4 hours.
• Purchase or make ice and store in the freezer for use in the refrigerator or in a cooler. Freeze gel packs ahead of time for use in coolers.
• Plan ahead and know where dry ice and block ice can be purchased.

Videos detailing food safety information are available in English, Spanish, and American Sign Language on FSIS’ YouTube channel, An FSIS Public Service Announcement (PSA) illustrating practical food safety recommendations for handling and consuming foods stored in refrigerators and freezers during and after a power outage is available in 30- and 60-second versions at News organizations and power companies can obtain hard copy (Beta and DVD) versions of the PSA by contacting FSIS’ Food Safety Education Staff at (301) 344-4757.

Consumers with food safety questions can “Ask Karen,” the FSIS virtual representative available 24 hours a day at or on a smartphone. Mobile Ask Karen can also be downloaded from the Apple and Android app stores. Consumers can e-mail, chat with a live representative, or call the USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline directly from the app. To use these features from Mobile Ask Karen, simply choose “Contact Us” from the menu. The live chat option and the toll-free USDA Meat and Poultry Hotline, 1-888-MPHotline (1-888-674-6854), are available in English and Spanish on weekdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. ET.

Peruvian Health Secrets Revealed!

In Peruvian Power Foods: 18 Superfoods, 101 Recipes and Anti-aging Secrets from the Amazon to the Andes (HCI Books, October 16, 2013; ISBN: 978-0-75731-722-4; $18.95; Trade Paperback Original), nationally-renowned registered dietitian Manuel Villacorta, with Jamie Shaw and a Foreword by Gastón Acurio, celebrates 18 of the world’s greatest superfoods—all of which hail from Peru:

• Manuel Villacorta is an award-winning dietitian with more than 16 years of experience. He is also the author of Eating Free and a contributor for the Huffington Post, Univision, and Fox News Latino;

• Manuel traveled back to his homeland of Peru to experience these foods in their natural environment;

• Manuel took over 2,000 photos of foods throughout Peru—growing in the wild, from jungles to farms, and showcased in delicious dishes—and created over 100 recipes for the book;

• While in Peru, Villacorta spoke with chefs, fishermen, farmers, food bloggers, as well as everyday people across the country to learn how they use these ingredients traditionally;

• Peruvian Power Foods highlights 18 superfoods, revealing unknown marvels such as the pichuberry, purple potatoes, and aji, explaining the specific health properties of each and why they are all anti-aging agents;

• Because these foods have long been hidden in the Amazonian jungles and Andinian valleys and highlands, the myriad of health benefits they provide are only now beginning to be understood;

• Every one of the 101 recipes can be completed in less than six steps, making them quick and easy; and

• The book features a Foreword by Gastón Acurio, internationally-renowned chef, author, and restaurateur.

A Full-Color Mouthwatering Celebration Of The
Health-Transforming Culinary Treasures Native To Peru

Peruvian Power Foods:
18 Superfoods, 101 Recipes and Anti-aging Secrets
from the Amazon to the Andes

Manuel Villacorta, MS, RD
and Jamie Shaw
Foreword by Chef Gastón Acurio

Deerfield Beach, FL, October 17, 2013 – Eating healthy no longer means a low-fat, low-cal frozen dinner with a protein-powder shake and side of supplements. Today’s health-conscious eaters are increasingly turning away from artificial and processed quick-fixes and back to nature’s bounty of power foods. When it comes to all-natural superfoods—hardworking functional foods that far surpass basic nutritional content—one of the richest sources on the planet is Peru. Everyone from Frommer’s to CNN’s Anthony Bourdain agree that the country is now one of the most talked about places for culinary treats.

In his new book, Peruvian Power Foods: 18 Superfoods, 101 Recipes and Anti-aging Secrets from the Amazon to the Andes (HCI Books; October 16, 2013; ISBN: 978-1-75731-722-4; $18.95 Trade Paperback Original), author Manuel Villacorta MS, RD, internationally-renowned nutritionist and wellness expert, with coauthor Jamie Shaw and a Foreword by international celebrity chef, author, and restaurateur Gastón Acurio, shares the fruits of his labor of love. Returning to his birthplace and culinary roots, Villacorta set out on a cross-country adventure to discover the origins of and best uses for the most incredibly potent foods. Armed with the latest scientific research and a hearty appetite, he traveled from the fertile farmlands of the Andes, where over 3,000 kinds of potatoes and 200 species of corn are grown, to the depths of the Amazonian jungle, where thousands of amazing fruits, nuts and seeds originate. Along the way, he visited open markets, restaurants, humble food stands, and family kitchens, stopping to gather the stories and favorite recipes of local chefs, food bloggers, farmers, fishermen, and abuelitas. In between savoring dishes packed with phenomenal disease-fighting, immunity strengthening ingredients, he took over 2,000 photographs of stunning landscapes and delicious masterpieces.

“Because these foods have long been hidden deep in the Amazonian jungles and Andinian valleys, we are only beginning to understand their profound health benefits,” Villacorta attests. “What we can unequivocally say is that they are proving to surpass even the wildest expectations of their potential healing properties.”

In vibrant color and eye-opening detail, Peruvian Power Foods introduces 18 incredible edibles—all native to Peru but now widely available across America—showcased in 101 recipes, ranging from simple smoothies, snacks, and salads to hearty entrees to irresistible desserts, plus coffee drinks and cocktails. The superstars include:

• Pichuberry, possibly the earth’s greatest superfruit. Rich in vitamins and heart-healthy fatty acids, with a remarkably low glycemic index, the pichuberry also contains withanolides, a rare but special group of antioxidants that have been shown to suppress cancer-causing agents. With a unique flavor profile that enhances both savory and sweet dishes, this superfruit shines in recipes from Pichuberry Salsa to Quinoa Pichuberry Salad to Pichuberry Strawberry Galette;

• Camu Camu, one of the world’s richest sources of vitamin C—packing more than 60 times per serving than the almighty orange. This tropical fruit works wonders to boost immunity and brain power, maintain healthy eyes and glowing skin, and more. Enjoy its health benefits in sweet treats like Mango Camu Frozen Yogurt, the decadent Camu Coco Truffle, or a spirited summer sipper, the Camu Pineapple Pisco;

• Sacha Inchi, a fantastic source of heart- and brain-healthy omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids and one of the most powerful inflammation fighters ever discovered. A seed, it can be pressed to produce an antioxidant-rich oil to kick up salads (try Zesty Sacha Inchi Cilantro Dressing), White Bean Hummus, and the traditional Peruvian potato-layered Veggie Causa. Or, it can be used whole for a morning energy-booster in Sacha Inchi Seed and Kiwicha Granola; plus

• Maca, a natural energizer prized for boosting libido (and irresistible in Maca Fudge Brownies), Lucuma, an anti-inflammatory fruit which may help control diabetes (and luscious in Lucuma Café con Leche), Kiwicha (also known as amaranth), a protein-packed wonder grain (which makes a great gluten-free, kid-friendly option for coating Kiwicha Chicken Nuggets); and more, from Aji to Purple Corn to Yacon.

With Peruvian Power Foods to tantalize and inspire home cooks, eating super-healthy is exciting and immensely satisfying.

About the Author:

Manuel Villacorta, MS, RD, is a nationally recognized, award-winning registered dietitian with more than 16 years of experience. The author of Eating Free and the founder of Eating Free, an international weight management and wellness program, he is a trusted voice in the health and wellness industry. A national media spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics from 2010-2013, he is also a health blog contributor for The Huffington Post and an on-air contributor for the Univision and Fox News Latino. He is the owner of a San Francisco-based private practice, MV Nutrition, and the recipient of five “Best Bay Area Nutritionist” awards from the San Francisco Chronicle, ABC7, and Citysearch. Born and raised in Peru, he lives in San Francisco. His coauthor, Jamie Shaw is a writer and brand expert who specializes in food.

We All Scream – for the Winning Pure Michigan Ice Cream Flavor Pure Michigan, Hudsonville Ice Cream and Detroit Tigers Unveil Winning Flavor

DETROIT – Pure Michigan, Hudsonville Ice Cream and the Detroit Tigers are kicking off the official start of summer by announcing Pure Michigan Double Berry Pie as Michigan’s next great ice cream flavor at tonight’s Tigers home game at Comerica Park.

The winning flavor features vanilla ice cream and swirls of blueberries and strawberries surrounded by real pie crust pieces. The flavor was submitted by Linda Ann Stewart of Taylor, Michigan who drew her inspiration from Michigan lighthouses. Stewart described the flavor as “rays of blueberry and strawberry,” with the pie crust pieces representing golden sand around the state’s lighthouses.

“We love partnering with Pure Michigan and this year’s flavor competition has been no exception,” said Caryn Beatty of Hudsonville Ice Cream. “We received an overwhelming number of Michigan inspired ideas that highlighted Michiganders’ great pride for their state. Linda Ann’s combination of fresh produce was a unique entry that wonderfully embodies the taste of Pure Michigan.”

“Pairing Hudsonville ice cream with Michigan blueberries and strawberries is a great way to get a taste of Pure Michigan agriculture,” said Jamie Clover Adams, Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development Director. “With June being dairy month, and the kick-off of Michigan’s fresh fruit season, I thank MEDC and Hudsonville for their ongoing support of the state’s food and agriculture industry.”

In addition to winning a two night stay at Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island, a year’s supply of Hudsonville ice cream and Pure Michigan merchandise, Stewart and her family were invited to throw out the first pitch prior to tonight’s game between the Detroit Tigers and the Boston Red Sox.

“Enjoying a Hudsonville Ice Cream during the summer months is a natural for Tigers fans and part of the Comerica Park experience,” said Steve Harms, Tigers’ Vice President of Corporate Partnerships. “The Pure Michigan Double Berry Pie flavor is certain to be a hit.”

More than 7,000 flavor suggestions were submitted during the course of the two weeks to determine the next great Pure Michigan ice cream flavor. Other flavors submitted included Michigan Chardonnay Cherry Fudge, Pure Maple Syrup Sundae and Pictured Rocks Swirl. Pure Michigan Double Berry Pie was chosen as the winning flavor by Hudsonville based on its inclusion of Michigan produce and unique flavor combination.

“This flavor speaks to the spirit of Pure Michigan we wanted to tap into with this contest – from highlighting our vast agricultural offerings to drawing on our shoreline and natural beauty for inspiration,” said George Zimmermann, Vice President of Travel Michigan, part of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. “This is an engaging and fun way to celebrate Pure Michigan as America’s perfect summer destination.”

Pure Michigan Double Berry Pie will be available as a limited edition flavor in grocery stores beginning in October, 2013.

Pure Michigan is a brand on the rise, representing business, talent and tourism initiatives across Michigan. These efforts are driven by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, which serves as the state’s marketing arm and lead agency for business growth, jobs and opportunity with a focus on helping grow Michigan’s economy.

For more on the MEDC and its initiatives, visit: For Michigan travel news, updates and information, visit

Mom Was Right; Eat Your Peas And Carrots (And Grapes And Oranges).

Fresh, filling and heart-healthy, fruits and vegetables are an important part of your overall healthy eating plan. They contribute important nutrients for the human body, vitamins, minerals and fiber – and they’re low in calories! Eating a variety of fruits and vegetables may help with weight management and blood pressure.

Yet, most Americans still don’t eat enough of them. The American Heart Association recommends eating eight or more fruit and vegetable servings every day. According to a report by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), Michigan adults and adolescents consume below the low national average of 1.1 servings of fruits and 1.6 servings of vegetables a day.

The prevalence of obesity in both Michigan and the U.S. has risen steadily since the year 2000. The Michigan Public Health Institute reported in 2009 stated that approximately 30.3% of adults in Michigan were considered obese, while 35.2% of the adult population was overweight.

Several factors may directly influence the daily intake of fruits, vegetables and other healthy foods.

Better access to stores that sell fruits and vegetables and other healthier foods may increase their consumption among adults. Improving access can include expanding access to stores that stock an affordable selection of fresh produce, improving availability in smaller convenience stores and utilizing community approaches like farmer’s markets.

Improving access for children and adolescents can include encouraging the consumption of fruits and vegetables at school events and opportunities outside of school meal programs. According to the CDC, only 28.3 percent of Michigan schools currently offer fruits and vegetables at celebrations and events.

By increasing the number of healthier food options at such events, schools can promote better eating and support of a food environment that aligns more closely with current dietary guidelines.

Through the purchase of produce from local/regional farms, the implementation of salad bars, training services for food providers, teachers, and parents, fruit and vegetable intake may help increase among children as well. Experimental learning opportunities such as school garden programs and farm visits for youth and staff can support nutrition awareness and better personal choices.

The American Heart Association’s Teaching Gardens program fights childhood obesity in schools by teaching elementary school students how to plant seeds, nurture growing plants, harvest produce and understand the value of good eating habits.

In 2011, the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics revealed that 82 percent of U.S. adults cited not wanting to give up foods that they like as a reason for not eating healthier.

The Heart Association offers the following tips to make eating more fruits and vegetables an easy choice.

For students:

· Try apples with peanut butter, carrots and humus, or bananas and yogurt. These double as a quick grab-and-go breakfast to wake up the mind and body for the day’s activities.

· At school, take advantage of the salad bar and serve yourself at least a half a plate of your favorite fruit and veggie options.

For adults:

· Keep it colorful and mix them up! Challenge yourself to try fruits and vegetables of different colors. See if you and your family can consume a rainbow of fruits and vegetables during the week.

· Add it on. Add fruits and/or vegetables to foods you love. Try adding peas to mac’n cheese, veggies on top of pizza and sliced fruit on cereal or ice cream.

For more information, visit the American Heart Association’s Nutrition Center at

Hereford and Hops Opens “The Other Grill”

Escanaba , Michigan -The variety is endless at Hereford and Hops’ “Other Grill”. The restaurant, located on Ludinton Street in Escanaba, has added a new Mongolian style grill where customers can mix a delicious concoction of vegetables and meats. The restaurant continues to have their GYO steak grill available as well.

“We are excited to bring this new concept to Delta County . We hope everyone comes in and tries it,” explained Becky Moody, owner.

The only grill of its kind, it provides a family or group of friends the opportunity to create their own meal. No more endless hours to make a decision about going out to dinner. “The Other Grill” provides a 10 sauce variety that includes tangy teriyaki sauce, a succulent curry sauce, and a delicious sweet and sour sauce. Their vegetables range from broccoli to water chestnuts and baby corn. The meal includes a choice of rice, flat bread, and flour tortillas.

With the infinite choices provided by The Other Grill the customer can make their own Mexican fajitas, beef curry, sweet and sour chicken, and more. Yet, the best part of it all is the social ambiance this new concept brings to Delta County . Customers can share their creations, kids can get excited about veggies, and adults can make a healthy choice for lunch and dinner. The customer can choose from one bowl or a bottomless bowl.

The Delta County Chamber of Commerce Team was invited to enjoy their new feature.

Here are their comments:

Vicki Micheau, Director: The staff is so enthusiastic about this new addition. They were helpful and made the process very easy. They seemed to be just as excited as the customers trying the new product.

Suani Nieto, Administrative Assistant: I am in love with their curry sauce. I included beef, pork, and all kinds of vegetables with two scoops of curry sauce and two scoops of lemon oil. I paired it with steamed rice and flat bread. The flat bread reminds me very much of naan bread I’ve had at Indian restaurants. The bread is soft and yummy. My only advice to any new customer is to get the bottomless bowl so they can try different mixtures.

Rick Elrod, Administrative Assistant: This really adds variety to dinner options in Escanaba. As a person who eats out often, I am always looking to try new local foods. The meat variety is delicious and tender.

Chris Perryman, Accountant: It was so much fun. The food was very good. I tried the beef with three different sauces. The stout reduction was amazing.

Stuckos Purchase Longshot Property

Mike and Sonia Stucko, owners of Stucko’s Pub and Grill at 900 North
Third Street in Marquette have announced the purchase of the former
Longshot Saloon property at 149 W. Baraga Street in Marquette. The new
name is Breakers Roadhouse.

Renovations are underway that will transform the property into a
completely new entertainment venue for Downtown and South Marquette.
Breakers Roadhouse will feature a brand new horseshoe bar and a stage
for live entertainment, along with new lighting, TV’s and a new
décor. The Roadhouse will also feature pool, darts, and a
shuffleboard table to go with other pub games.

“Though Breakers Roadhouse will be a completely new place and
different concept from Stucko’s Pub, we look forward to Team Stucko
providing the same great service Marquette has come to expect from us
and a new entertainment experience at our new venue,” said Mike
Stucko. “It will be a fun place and a great addition to the downtown
scene, run by a team you already know you can count on.”

The Stuckos have owned and operated Stucko’s Pub and Grill since
July 2006.

An early June opening is planned, with the exact opening date to be

The Island Resort & Casino Names Three Executive Chefs

The Island Resort & Casino has named three executive chefs to oversee the multiple, separate unique dining experiences within the facility. According to Food and Beverage Director Todd LaFave, the three chefs, Mark Cardinal, Kristina Pomeroy and Jay Fehl, earned the position through their commitment, education and culinary skills. They will be responsible for staff supervision, as well as managing the selection, buying, preparation, quality and overall success of their individual venue.

Said LaFave, 2006 U.P. Chapter of the American Culinary Federation (ACF) Chef of the Year, “These three have shown an unswerving dedication to exploring and expanding the dining experiences available at the Island . When they get together to compare notes and brainstorm, it’s really apparent that they love what they do. And they are all excellent leaders with teams that also have a passion to provide superior quality in all aspects of food service.”

Executive Chef Mark Cardinal oversees food preparation for the 5 Bridges Pub & Restaurant as well as the Island Convention Center . Originally from Ishpeming , Michigan , he quickly developed his culinary passion and creativity. “My grandmother owned a restaurant and was always in the kitchen. I guess that rubbed off on me,” he related. Time only made him more determined to follow his dream and in 1993 he graduated from Northern Michigan University with a degree in Culinary Arts. Shortly thereafter he became the Kitchen Supervisor for Kewadin Casino in Sault Ste Marie, Michigan . His experience has run the full gamut from line cook to sous chef to owning and operating his own restaurant and catering enterprise. He began at the Island in 2007 as line, then lead cook. To him the most satisfying part about being a chef is “the smile on the faces of the people who eat my food.”

Kristina Pomeroy is the Executive Chef for the Coral Reef Grille, as well as supervising Bingo and Sweetgrass Golf Club food outlets. She has been with the Island for nearly 12 years but got her start at Jack’s Restaurant, a dining hotspot in Rapid River , Michigan . She credits both her mother and close friends with developing her interest in food preparation and inspiring her to develop the skills and confidence to succeed in the culinary arena. Her newest challenge will be to develop and supervise the soon-to-be-unveiled signature sub sandwich and pizza venue at the recently expanded Island Oasis fuel and convenience center adjacent to the casino. “Leading my team in the right direction, working on menu development, food quality, presentation, and knowing the customers are leaving happy,” are her priorities and the most satisfying part of her position.

Executive Chef James (Jay) Fehl has the task of overseeing the operations of Firekeepers Restaurant, the number one rated casino restaurant in the Upper Peninsula for the last six years. Born in Houston , Texas and raised in Appleton , Wisconsin he truly worked his way up in the industry, starting as a dishwasher in the Appleton area. An opportunity to prep cook and work closely with top-notch chefs jump-started his desire to pursue a career in the culinary arts. He achieved his AAS degree in Culinary Arts from Le Cordon Bleu in Minneapolis , Minnesota and is pursuing a BA in Culinary Management. He especially likes to prepare Mexican/Latin dishes and American regional cuisine. His “grassroots” background and emphasis on fundamental, sound preparation make him the ideal fit for the Firekeepers’ family-oriented dining concept and will undoubtedly lead to more awards.

LaFave summed it up by adding, “Our ultimate goal is to always give our customers the best quality and service to ensure a great dining experience. Mark, Kris and Jay are the perfect team to make this happen.”

NCLL Presents French Cuisine

MARQUETTE, Mich.— The Northern Center for Lifelong Learning will bring the flavors of France to the community with an ethnic dinner on Thursday, Feb. 21. It is scheduled from 5:30-9 p.m. at Chez Nous restaurant in the Jacobetti Complex at Northern Michigan University. Students from NMU’s hospitality management program will create and serve the meal.

The dinner includes appetizers, a salad, main entrée, dessert and beverages. Those participants concerned about the ingredients being used can request the menu and recipes prior to the event.

Attendance is limited. Registration must be made prior by Monday, Feb. 11. The meal costs $28 for NCLL members and $35 for non-members. Call 227-2979.