Saturday, November 21

Taste of Michigan: Dinner with the Chefs

After the cooking demonstration/lecture at "Taste of Michigan" Visiting Chef Series, the following evening I also attended its Dinner with the Chef's five-course meal, prepared by all 5 chefs and Kellogg Center's kitchen staffs.

Once everyone was seated, wine was poured and the meal was served. All 135 attendees pretty much filled up the State Room, an on-site, casual fine dining at Kellogg Center. Great ambiance, very nice setting, professional and attentive staff. Each chef came out from the kitchen and talked about their dishes while we were enjoying the great meal.

First course by Chef Brian Polcyn (Forest Grill, Birmingham): Cherry Wood Smoked Trout with an heirloom tomato salad and balsamic reduction. I enjoyed everything I had that evening, but this dish was my most favorite of all. Very very delicious! It was served with Left Foot Charley, Michigan Riesling MD 2008.

Second course by Chef Eve Aronoff (Eve Restaurant, Ann Arbor): Curried Mussels with crusty bread. The flavor of the curry cream sauce was so rich and complex! Loving every single bite of it, I believe I wiped my plate clean with my dinner roll.

Third course by chef Benjamin Meyer (Chen Chow Brasserie, Birmingham): Apple Cider Glazed Salmon with kashi, celeriac puree, pumpkin, pepitas, and apple cider reduction. It was the most perfectly cooked salmon I've ever had! Pumpkin and dried cranberries added texture, sweetness, and creaminess to Kashi. It was savory and sweet altogether. Served with Black Star Farms, Isidor's Choice Vineyard Leelanau Peninsula Chardonnay 2007.

Fourth course by chef Don Yamauchi (MotorCity Casino, Detroit): Grilled Prime Beef Strip Loin with mushrooms, peas, and carrots. The loin was very nice and tender, went really well with the red wine sauce. Served with Three River, Champoux Vineyard Horse Heaven Hills Cabernet Sauvignon 2004.

Fifth course by chef Patricia Nash (MotorCity Casino, Detroit): French Chocolate Mousse with vanilla bean custard, roasted pineapple, and macadamia nut brittle. Fabulous presentation and flavor combination of every element on the plate.

It's been a while since I last had a meal at the State Room, so it was nice to be there for such an amazing evening of great dinner prepared by 5 award-winning chefs from around mid-Michigan. It was a nice opportunity for us to be able to experience variety of cooking styles by out-of-area chefs without having to travel away from home. And I do hope there is more to come!

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