Asian Carp, Michael Moore on Festivals, Picnic at the Opera & More

There’s so much happening on TC’s culinary scene that we occasionally need to dedicate a day to catch up on things we’ve learned!

2014 TC Wine Fest CrowdJacob Wheeler of the Glen Arbor Sun has started writing for Bridge Magazine. He has a pair of features, one on Traverse City and our “festival fatigue” issue (complete with tourism impact numbers) and an interview with Michael Moore about the issue and other things. Here’s a couple of quotations – read lots more in Bridge!

MSU Tourism expert Dr. Sarah Nicholls: “This is the dilemma of any great tourism town. The visitors also realize this is fabulous place to be, and they impact the lives of residents who can’t get a parking space or a seat at their favorite restaurant or bar.”

Michael Moore: “We should be careful that we don’t miss the next cool thing for Traverse City. What if a more restricted parks policy had been in place in 2005 and prevented the first Traverse City Film Festival from happening? Here’s what would have happened: No TCFF, no State Theatre, no Bijou (a second theater) – and a downtown that would be very different today.”

Also check out TC Commissioner Gary Howe’s take at A Strong Traverse City.

Picnic-at-the-Opera

Picnic at the Opera with the Accidentals

The City Opera House starts their Picnic at the Opera tomorrow from 12-1 PM. It’s a FREE live TV variety show (UpNorthTV 97 and 992) hosted by Miriam Pico and held every Wednesday on the Opera House stage through February 26. Each one-hour Picnic at the Opera show features Miriam’s beautiful music, special musical guests and other performers, plus interviews with local poets and artists. This week’s guests are Kellerville & The Starlets with artist Beth Bynum and Sweet Pea as the fashion show store (whatever that is). You’re welcome to bring a lunch and donations to the nonprofit City Opera House are encouraged. Check below for a video featuring the Accidentals from last year’s series!

Tastes of Black Star Farms in the Mercato at The Village is kicking off a new series of experiential events called “Savor the Tastes & Flavors” that feature their wines along with complementary food for $3 per person and $5 per couple. February 7th  edition “A Tale of Two Chardonnays: To Oak or Not to Oak?” features a tasting of two of their Chardonnays along with Executive Chef Jon Dayton’s house made pork rilletes and red lentil crackers as you learn about additional food pairing and the characteristics of each wine.

Do we want Grand Traverse Bay to look like this?

Do we want Grand Traverse Bay to look like this?

The Michigan League of Conservation Voters says that the Army Corps of Engineers will hold a public hearing on their Asian carp plan (or lack thereof) this Thursday from 4 – 7 PM at the Hagerty Conference Center.  You need to register in advance if you want to speak. While the Asian carp threat that faces the Great Lakes might not seem like a culinary matter, it’s one of the most critical issues facing our local food supply. Leaving aside the multi-billion dollar sport fishing industry and tourists who enjoy boating and don’t want to be injured by 40 pound leaping carp, our menus would be much poorer without whitefish, walleye and other fish that the carp would dramatically impact.

Beth Milligan had a nice feature on Traverse City’s unofficial restaurant incubator at 439 East Front Street. The cozy place (app 20 seats) has served as the nest for several restaurants who have flown to bigger & better locations including 9 Bean Rows and The Cooks’ House. The restaurant is currently home to Latin-Asian fusion taquiera Georgina’s.