For a decade, Epicure Catering founders Andy Schudlich & Cammie Buehler have been creating local and seasonal menus for weddings and other events. One of the ways they’ve made their name is with an uncompromising commitment to sculpting menus using the food that’s in season. Although most of us are probably looking out the window and seeing nothing but snow in season, it’s there if you know where to look.
Andy says, “The things that are in season in wintertime are the things that are still in the ground, beets, carrots, parsnips, sunchokes. They’re the vegetables that nature will put up on her own – you can leave them in the ground and they’ll get sweeter and better. Of course you still have dig them out.”
The person who will be digging through 3 feet of snow and frozen ground will be Jess Piskor of Bare Knuckle Farm near Northport. Along with other local farmers, Jess and Bare Knuckle play a big role at the tables Epicure Catering sets. “Most of our produce comes from within 20 miles and directly from the farmers, and it’s getting closer every year,” Andy explains. “This year Jess will be growing some vegetable plots for us for weddings. When food is picked on Thursday, blanched on Friday and sauteed and served on Saturday it’s fresher than most people ever get to eat and one of the amazing and lucky things about being in Northern Michigan.”
Along with seasonal vegetables, they plan to feature locally smoked fish and buffalo from Oleson’s buffalo farm at the dinner.
“This dinner is very different for us,” says Cammie. “We’re closed in the winter, and we almost never do public events. Although we’ve created hundreds of menus for private functions and weddings, most people have never had a chance to eat our food. We both came from restaurants though, and it’s fun to get back to that. The Little Fleet is an awesome space and collaborating with Allison and Gary (Jonas) and Simon and cooking from the Roaming Harvest truck will be a lot of fun.”
Idyll Farm cider washed chevre, Boss Mouse Mt Holiday brie with vegetable ash, Leelanau Cheese Company Raclette, with heirloom tomato jam, sweet & spicy pepper jam, house made pickles, Pleasanton grissini & 9 Bean Rows crackers
House smoked Lake Michigan burbot with horseradish creme fraiche, capers & minced red onion
Bare Knuckle beet salad with Werp Farm arugula and champagne vinaigrette, with Roaming Harvest duck confit and duck cracklins
Second Spring parsnip- Bare Knuckle sunchoke soup with green oil and fried onions
Braised Drettmann Ranch venison shank and Carlson-Arbogast Farm white beans with Werp Farm microgreens and dinosaur kale gremolata
Big Ass skillet cookie, served with Odd Side Ales Java Chip Mint Stout