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.

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Weekend Roundup: Missing the January Thaw Edition

Spencer Stegenga and Theresa Patterson tasting Block II RieslingOur brutally cold winter continues after a brief respite. It (almost) makes you long for the January Thaw! Before we dive into what’s up this weekend, here’s a few quick news hits from the week:

  • If you’re a foodie or want to expand your culinary horizons, you’ll definitely want to check out NMC’s Festival of Foods on Saturday, Feb 8. Registration is open and space is limited!
  • The 2nd Short’s podcast is up and it’s a good one – exploring how Short’s creates the crazy names for their over 200 beers. It includes the story of how their iconic Soft Parade beer was named.
  • The 2012 Block II Riesling  from Bowers Harbor Vineyards took Double Gold in the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition, the largest competition of American wines anywhere in the world. This is the second year in a row that one of Bowers Harbor Vineyards has taken a Double Gold! They are having a pairing dinner at their tasting room with Chef Bradford Lewis next Saturday too – check out our feature on it.
  • Beth Milligan has an interesting feature in today’s Ticker about TC’s “Restaurant Incubator” – the tiny restaurant at 439 W Front currently hosts Georgina’s and has been the birthplace of some great restaurants including Patisserie Amie, 9 Bean Rows and The Cook’s House!

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NMC’s Festival of Foods on Saturday, February 8th


What do Eric Patterson, Jennifer Blakeslee, Pete Peterson, Randy Chamberlain and Mickey Cannon have in common? They are some of the best chefs in Northern Michigan and they are all coming together with NMC instructors and local food artisans for Northwestern Michigan College’s 6th annual Festival of Foods on Saturday, February 8th to spend a day sharing their passion for cooking with you!

Guide-to-NMC-Festival-of-FoodsFestival of Foods is focused around cooking demonstrations with chefs sharing their techniques, recipes, tips and allowing you into the world behind the dish. It’s one thing to sit down at blu and eat a dinner created by James Beard nominated chef Randy Chamberlain, but it’s a whole different deal when you get to be on the journey with that chef, experience their creative process, learn their tricks and hear about the experiences they’ve had as a culinary artisan.

Event Coordinator Julie Doyal says, “The chefs and artisan foodmakers are chosen not only for their great culinary expertise, but also because they are open, friendly and packed full of knowledge and great stories. It’s a chance to learn from the chefs you are familiar with and discover new chefs.”

You get to select 4 session to take throughout the day, which means it’s easy to customize and tailor your own experience. The sessions of 25-35 people are larger than your average cooking class, so it’s a perfect chance let the instructor be in the spotlight and sit back and learn. Tasting is a key focus of the event, and during the 20-minute breaks between sessions, you can sample the creations from the other classes and socialize at the tasting table in the lobby.


Eric Patterson of The Cooks’ House says, “The Festival of Foods is a fun, community activity that gives us a chance every year to see a lot of people we know and share what we do.”

The Festival of Foods runs from 10 AM – 3 PM and it’s just $69 for the entire day – complete with tastings! Check out our Festival of Foods page for a full listing of the classes and a first-hand account from last year and head over to NMC to register. Register today to get the best choices – space is limited!

Tasty Times in Traverse City!

Every Thursday we post a weekend roundup featuring a variety of things to do over the weekend. We had so much fun last weekend that we want to share some highlights and feature a some events this week to keep on your radar!

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The Pig: A cooking class with Myles Anton

Chef Myles Anton

Chef Myles Anton

This Sunday (January 12) from noon – 3 PM at The Box in Traverse City, you have a rare opportunity to learn from Chef Myles Anton of Trattoria Stella. Myles will butcher half a pig into the raw parts needed for classic Italian preparations and present several dishes that feature the individual cuts.

“I haven’t done a cooking class in a long time, but I like the intimacy and the chance to teach what I’ve learned over the years to people who are excited about food,” Myles says. “I’ll bring in half a pig, break it down to primal cuts – some that people are familiar with like chops and pork bellies and lesser known cuts like cheeks, skin and organs. I’ll show you how to work with it, how to prepare a dish or two, and I’ll also bring some dishes and cuts to try and recipes to help you work with this great product.”

Myles  butchering a local Berkshire Duroc pig. Photo courtesy Trattoria Stella

Myles butchering a local Berkshire Duroc pig. Photo courtesy Trattoria Stella

As to why he shares with so many great chefs the love of the pig, Myles explains “Pig is like no other protein. You can use every part of it – the skin, the fat, the organs. At Stella we’re probably doing 30-40 pigs a year, and the pig has led to lambs and steer. It’s fresh and local and great meat.”

Matt Sutherland of The Box says, “Myles is our only James Beard recognized chef, and I just love how he combines old school Italian farm and kitchen techniques with some of the prettiest, most creative Italian cooking being done anywhere. He doesn’t do many events or classes, so it’s a rare opportunity to hang out with him for a few hours and learn from a master.”

The cost for the 3 hour workshop is $100, and space is limited to just 10 people so you should definitely register today!

Stay tuned to cooking classes all over Traverse City from some of our finest chefs through the eatdrinkTC Cooking Class Calendar.

Weekend Roundup: Polar Vortex Edition

What a week it’s been, with temps hovering in the single digits and wind chills at the “I’m not going out there” level. A reprieve (of sorts) is on the way with a small January Thaw in store for the weekend. Here’s hoping this weekend’s events can thaw your frozen spirit!

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Weekend Roundup: Welcome to 14 Edition

2014 is here! While this weekend isn’t as action-packed as we’ve become accustomed too, there’s still plenty of fun to be had!

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Weekend Roundup: Out with the Old, in with the New Edition

It’s almost time to say farewell to 2013 and welcome 2014. From this weekend through when the Cherry Ball drops, we’ve got your loooong weekend covered!

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Weekend Roundup: ’twas (almost) the Night Before Christmas edition

Here comes Santa Claus, here comes Santa Claus … right down Front Street. We’ve got a full slate and we’ll take you right up to Christmas Eve. Thanks Downtown TC & Shorts for pics!

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Join the Green Room Romp this Saturday

Parallel 45's Ben Whiting gets ready for the Green Room Romp

Parallel 45’s Ben Whiting gets ready for the Green Room Romp

What do eating & drinking have in common with Shakespeare? Everything in the case of this Saturday’s Green Room Romp at 7 PM at InsideOut Gallery!

The Romp is the holiday party & fundraiser for local theatre company Parallel 45. It will feature the best food & drink scenes from Shakespeare along with a one-night-only performance of The Complete Wrks of Wllm Shkspr (Abridged) directed by Linda Osborn. Complete Wrks is an insanely funny, high-energy show, whirlwind theatrical romp through all of the Bard’s plays and sonnets in a one-hour event accessible to everyone, whether you are a fan of Shakespeare or not.

Tickets to Green Room Romp are $50 (click the link) and include admission to performance, pre & post-show musical performances from Miriam Pico, delicious hors d’oeuvres from former Tapawingo chef/owner Pete Peterson’s boutique catering service, Food Inc., a hosted drink (and also a cash bar), goodie bags stuffed with local treats, and a chance to win some great prizes!

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