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/// Special Feature


Food Issue

We all have to eat, so we might as well enjoy what’s on our plate and all that comes along with it. In our third annual Food Issue, we take a look at the recent gluten-free rise and how restaurants accommodate it. We also check in on some local farmers market updates, talk to a “Top Chef” and take a look at the food incubators that help entrepreneurs get their ideas out of the kitchen and into the market. As a bonus for our readers, we asked local chefs to provide some of their recipes that you can recreate at home. Dinner parties will never be the same again. // by Revue Staff and Minions

Make This: Fried Pork Chop, prepared by Chef Mathew Green at Reserve. Recipe on page 52! Photo: Katy Batdorff

REVUEWM.COM | May 2013 |


Food Issue

Get the Gluten Out! More local restaurants are going gluten-free / By Li ndsay Patton-Carson

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Little “GF” logos are showing up on local restaurant menus — and they don’t mean food for your girlfriend. That’s because more and more local restaurants are retooling their menus to accommodate those with gluten and wheat intolerances, which vary. While all come with bummer side effects, celiac disease is most life-threatening of the group.

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“The problem with celiac disease is if you continue to ingest the wheat, you can be at an increased risk for certain kinds of cancers in the stomach lining and the G.I. tract,” said Karyn Gell, a doctor at Grand Rapids Allergy, which specializes in asthma and allergy care. That’s not all. In addition to cancer risks, people with celiac disease suffer from some of the most unglamorous side effects possible: diarrhea, bloating, gas, constipation, depression, fatigue and that dreaded hangover feeling, says one person who went gluten-free a year and a half ago. More than ever, businesses in the food industry recognize the pain and discomfort those with intolerances face and adjust menus accordingly. “We’re very respectful of other people’s allergies,” said Ted Watson, general manager at Brick Road Pizza in Grand Rapids, which offers nearly every menu item in a gluten-free option. “They come here trusting that we’re not going to make people sick.”

“Your body is a machine. If you put cheap gas in it, you might have problems with it.” —Aaron Smith, executive chef, Epic Bistro

Not everyone who chooses to go gluten free has celiac disease, however. Many have gluten intolerances, which are not as serious as celiac, but still result in those nasty side effects. “If somebody has celiac disease or is really allergic, those people call days in advance,” said Josef Huber, corporate executive chef at Amway Hotel Corporation. “They take a stand and they’re worried about it.” Within the past two years, the diet has grown not only locally, but on national levels. Just last year, the gluten-free diet came in at No. 2 on Time magazine’s top 10 list of food trends. That same year, Miley Cyrus endorsed the diet on Twitter and in 2010, after going on the diet, tennis star Novak Djokovic won five Grand Slam titles. Such celebrity endorsements lead to more interest in the diet and more tweaks to recipes and menu items. Now it’s even common to see a gluten-free aisle at grocery stores. “It’s getting better and better,” said Christina KlunderMeuser, co-owner of Grand Central Market in Grand Rapids. “When we were looking into gluten-free options two years ago, the products were not that awesome.” GCM stocks its shelves with gluten-free products such as beer, pasta and snacks, and also uses gluten-free meats from Dietz & Watson and breads from Gordon Foods, a large supplier to area businesses. “There has been incremental interest in gluten-free products for the past six years and more so in the past two years as consumers have become more aware of gluten,” said Andy Maier, spokesperson for Gordon Food Service. And yes, even though gluten is found in wheat, the protein can sneak into a lot of meat items — mostly processed products. “Processed meats have to be shelf-stable, so gluten is included as a stabilizing agent,” said Cheryl Powell, co-owner of GCM, who says Dietz & Watson’s meats are all natural, which make them gluten-free.

Gluten-free selections at Martell’s include Chicken Marsala and Pan-Seared Atlantic Salmon.

Photos: Joe Boomgaard

What the hell is gluten? So, you’ve heard the term. It’s on restaurant menus. It’s in grocery aisles. But what the hell does it mean? Well, first of all, wheat and gluten are not the same thing. Gluten is a protein complex found in wheat, as well as barley and rye. Basically, it’s what helps baked products rise and gives them a chewy texture. Gluten is a sneaky little bastard, though, and is not limited to just wheat-based products. It’s also an ingredient in soy sauce, processed meats, root beer (!?), salad dressings, Twizzlers and more, making reading labels especially important for those on gluten-free diets.

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Since gluten can hide in certain foods such as meat, soy and teriyaki sauces and hard candies, reading labels and talking to restaurants about their menus is important, Doctor Gell says. “That’s a problem with eating out — you don’t have a label to read. And our motto here is every label must be read before that food goes in your mouth,” Gell said. “If it doesn’t have a label, then you’re taking a chance.” Luckily for those with gluten intolerance, there are local businesses that educate their staff on customer dietary needs. “We provide explanations and options for our service and kitchen staffs,” said Matthew Burian, president and partner at The Millennium Restaurant Group in Kalamazoo. “Another key point in our education is that ‘gluten-free’ and ‘celiac’ [are] not the same thing.” Martell’s, one of Millennium’s 10 restaurants and catering businesses, went as far as to create separate menus for lunch, dinner and beverages. “Rather than strictly treating an ailment, diners now seem to be selecting gluten free as a means to greater fitness and health,” Burian said. Aaron Smith, who is executive chef at Millennium’s Epic Bistro, learned about the health benefits from his dietician sisterin-law, who is on the gluten-free diet, along with the rest of her family. He says the diet not only boosts energy, but people that go gluten-free are more aware of what they’re putting in their bodies. “Your body is a machine. If you put cheap gas in it, you might have problems with it,” he said.

At Amway, Huber makes sure to have gluten-free options ready for diners, but says the recent rise in dietary needs has made catering for large-scale banquets a little more difficult. “Over the last 15 or 20 years, when I did banquets, we maybe had one out of 100 requests, now we have 10-15 percent special meals.” But that’s only until it’s time for dessert. “A lot of people out there are ‘I’m gluten-free until it comes to dessert.’ People can eat cake all day long,” Huber said. “You know how many gluten-free cakes I make? Zero.” n

REVUEWM.COM | May 2013 |


Food Issue

Incubators Help Businesses Get into the Market / By Jane S imons

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For local would-be food entrepreneurs, incubators offer a chance to get their ideas out of the kitchen and into the market. These incubators, which are typically called food and/or kitchen incubators, got their start in Michigan in 2005 when Ron Steiner, Regional Entrepreneurship Educator with Michigan State University Extension, opened the Starting Block, a kitchen incubator in Hart. Steiner, executive director of the Starting Block, said there are now five similar operations in the southwest Michigan area which have opened within the past two to three years. “One of my initiatives for MSU Extension was to be the champion of a regional kitchen incubator,” Steiner said. “I was part of a group which felt that strategically the need for kitchen incubators was there to generate a new environment focusing on specialty food products.” Those specialty foods Steiner references are made primarily for shelf sale or wholesale and include items such as baked goods, jellies and jams and pickled products. In addition to being licensed to produce these food products, the Starting Block also is a meat processing facility. Steiner said the meat processing is regulated and licensed by the United States Department of Agriculture and the specialty food production is regulated and licensed by the Michigan Department of Agriculture. At 11,000 square feet, Steiner’s facility is among the larger food/kitchen incubators. Though incubators vary in size, they operate in pretty much the same way. Clients pay an hourly rate, which may start at $27.50 and decrease from there depending on the amount of commercial

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kitchen space they rent. This fee most often includes kitchen utensils and pots and pans, although the selection varies from incubator to incubator. Janet Tlapek, president and owner of Facility Kitchens in Lowell, said she doesn’t provide much in the way of cooking gear because every client is working on something different. “They tend to bring their own utensils,” Tlapek said. “I have pots and pans here, but many of them like to use their own, particularly if they’re cooking with heavy garlic.”

“The greatest thing that incubators do is give people time to develop a track record and a business plan so that by the time they go to a bank to get financing, they’re no longer a start-up.” —Ron Steiner, The Starting Block Kitchen Incubator

Chef Michael McKay at Facility Kitchen in Lowell. McKay is opening a new restaurant and lounge, McKay’s/Prohibition, in downtown Grand Rapids. Photo: Stephanie Harding

Unlike Steiner, who brought plenty of food experience to his facility, Tlapek is neither a cook nor a foodie. She is a professional accountant who saw an opportunity to provide a service and make money. “It appealed to me so much because you can begin a business and outsource the whole facility,” she said. “As an accountant, that made overwhelming sense.” In 2010, one year after researching the incubator concept, Tlapek decided to renovate an existing building, which now houses her 3,000-square-foot facility. Her hourly rates start at $27.50. She said individuals who want to start a food business will do much better if they don’t spend their own money to build a facility and focus instead on marketing and sales and packaging and distribution. Kelly Lecoy, owner of Uptown Kitchen, an 800-square-foot incubator in Grand Rapids that opened in February 2012, said by providing kitchen equipment and space to work in, clients are saving anywhere between $20,000 and $100,000.

“We’re providing business and kitchen resources, marketing and social media, and helping them through licensing,” Lecoy said. “We don’t want to be a place where businesses are constantly starting and failing.” In addition to offering kitchen space, Tlapek also accepts deliveries, as well as store equipment and ingredients. She has three people who perform work for her, but aren’t directly employed by her, which keeps costs low. “The greatest thing that incubators do is give people time to develop a track record and a business plan so that by the time they go to a bank to get financing, they’re no longer a start-up,” Steiner said. “We want them to launch their business and make all their mistakes at an incubator.” Since the Starting Block opened, 17 clients have graduated and gone on to own their own licensed kitchen facility or have turned production of their food products over to a co-packer so they can handle the business end of their enterprise. A co-pack-

Food Incubator Success Stories / By Carly Plank These businesses took advantage of local incubators to get their products out to the masses. The Canning Diva Incubator: Facility Kitchens (Lowell) Diane Devereaux’s canning business has been featured on WZZM 13 and specializes in capturing the flavors and freshness of fresh seasonal produce in salsas, jams, soups and many other recipes. CG Catering Incubator: Facility Kitchens (Lowell) A professional-grade catering company owned by Chef Chris Gribble, CG Catering has served at events all over the state and is known for stylish, high quality dishes.

Art Azevedo of Art’s Hot Salsa at Uptown Kitchen. Photo: Jonathan Stoner

er refers to a facility that has equipment to produce high volumes of product. Steiner said he has established a threeyear timeframe for a client to graduate, but says most of them graduate in far less time. He said his incubator can accommodate up to three or four clients at the same time if they’re doing a different product. The Starting Block is open 24/7 and has a client base of around 30, some of whom only come in once a month. John Coram, owner of Johnny Secreto Foods, spent about one year perfecting his pasta sauces, barbeque sauces and spice mixes at Facility Kitchens before launching

Deliciosity Incubator: Uptown Kitchen (Grand Rapids) Jeremy Kuhn started Deliciosity, which specializes in raw and vegan desserts, after deciding to cut animal products out of his diet. The healthy, sweet treats can be found at Bartertown in Grand Rapids. Dough Chicks Incubator: Can-Do Kitchen (Kalamazoo) Mother and daughter team Denise and Kara Steeley use Can-Do to produce all-natural cookies, granola and truffles distributed to stores in Battle Creek, Kalamazoo and Portage. Good Life Granola Incubator: The Starting Block Kitchen (Hart) Holland’s Good Life Granola began in Starting Block’s kitchens and is now sold in Meijer and

the product line in May 2012. Not long after that he began using a co-packer to produce the sauces, although he still mixes his spice blends at Tlapek’s facility. Tlapek said by the time people come to her, they are already commercializing their product. “The people I see are working on everything from catering, where they cook and take the food and immediately serve it, to barbequing or cooking inside,” Tlapek said. “They also package food for wholesale and retail sales or they could be making fresh salsa, pizzas for freezing, jams and jellies and spices. “Because we are a licensed vendor, we serve as a place where hot dog stand owners can come in and change out their old water or re-stock their cart.” Lecoy said the local food movement is all about how the local food economy affects the overall economy. “You’re voting with dollars and the choices you make every time you put something in your mouth,” Lecoy said. “Food affects our health. Through these businesses, we are working toward a healthy livelihood.” n

other grocery stores along the lakeshore. In 2011, it was featured on “The Today Show.” Making Thyme Kitchen Incubator: Uptown Kitchen (Grand Rapids) The Grand Rapids (966 Cherry St. SE) retailer offers fresh or frozen entrees made from scratch from local goods for a home cooked meal regardless of your time crunch. Delivery is an added bonus. Pit Stop Catering Incubator: Facility Kitchens (Lowell) Pit Stop specializes in foods that could be found at a summer barbeque, including salmon, salads, mac ‘n’ cheese and meat smoked over Michigan cherry pits for extra flavor.

Rita Girl’s Bakery Incubator: Kitchen Sinc (Grand Rapids) Taking advantage of 24-hour availability and retail space inside MoDiv, Rita Tornga founded her bakery in 2010, selling cookies and cupcakes and filling a niche in downtown Grand Rapids. Secreto Foods Incubator: Family Kitchens (Lowell) John Coram used Family Kitchens food incubator to create and distribute his line of pasta and barbecue sauces, which were recently picked up by Meijer.

Secreto Foods Uses Food Incubator to Launch Business


ecreto Foods produces and distributes a line of pasta and barbeque sauces and four different spice blends sold at grocery stores and farmers markets. Owner John Coram’s pasta sauce was recently chosen for inclusion in Meijer supermarkets “Made in Michigan” product lineup and got off the ground thanks to Family Kitchens incubator in Lowell. “We introduced the product line one year ago this May. It’s been an incredible adventure,” said Coram, who got his start at the Facility Kitchens food incubator in Lowell. Coram, who formerly worked in marketing and sales for Valley City Signs, said he did not have the capital necessary to start a business when he decided in 2011 to try his hand at mass producing the sauces and spice mixes. “A licensed kitchen is the foundation for a company like mine,” Coram said. “A lot of people want to get started, but they don’t understand the large time and money investment it takes before you can get a product going.” His wife encouraged him to think about starting his own business after watching him give away the sauces and spice mixes as birthday and holiday gifts. As the popularity of the product line increased, Coram had the happy dilemma of finding a way to mass produce the sauces. He still blends the spice mixtures at Facility Kitchens. “It took a lot of hard work to get to this point,” he said. “I can’t say enough about the importance of having access to Facility Kitchens.”

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Kish’s Kitchen

“Top Chef Seattle” winner and Kentwood native Kristen Kish was recently promoted to chef de cuisine for Menton in Boston, a five-diamond and five-star property of Relais & Châteaux. She chats with REVUE about chicken tenders, Olga’s Kitchen, and refuses to stick it to someone in her past.

After winning “Top Chef Seattle,” do you have any advice for cooks and chefs?

always pick it up for a treat as a kid, growing up when they didn’t cook. Although ... one of the things I kind of crave, at Olga’s Kitchen at the mall, is the orange cream shake drink and the chicken wraps. Amazing. (laughs) I like simple food. Now, my favorite meal when I come home is my mother’s cooking.

When it comes to cooking, I don’t follow recipes. It’s very hard for me to write them. If you mess something up, it’s just food. It’s going to taste good. If you put good ingredients together, it doesn’t really matter how you cook them if you season what it is you are making. Cooking is fun. It’s not supposed to be an intimidating thing. Ideally, it’s enjoyable. A goal as a chef is to inspire and make people do it at home in their own kitchen.

What wouldn’t you eat growing up? Raw tomatoes, cooked mushrooms — the smells alone would make me sick and I would hide in my room — sour cream and English muffins. As an adult, I love those things. As an adult, two things in particular are salmon or lamb.

Is there a food or ingredient you can’t live without?

What do you do on your days off?

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I cannot live without chicken fingers. I eat them often. They’re kind of my guilty pleasure, even though I don’t feel guilty about eating them. I eat crappy, crappy chicken fingers. I would never serve them. It’s my personal dinner. When it comes to ingredients, I love farmers markets. When I don’t have access to one, I become a little sad, almost. I really look forward to walking through farmers markets and getting beautiful, fresh ingredients. And my go-to secret ingredient is sherry vinegar. It kind of goes into everything I do.

It’s well known that your favorite dessert is a macaron. What is the best filling? I don’t think there is any bad filling for them. My personal preference is for anything tart, whether it is a lemon curd or a really tart berry jam. Or, completely opposite of that is peanut butter. You can put peanut butter on anything.

Growing up in West Michigan, what were the restaurants you loved? The 44th Street Bistro. It changed a few times. I always used to get chicken tenders and broccoli cheese soup. They served warm white bread and my parents would

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There’s never a day where there is nothing. There’s always a few hours of work, but I do like to run and clear my head. I also meet and catch up with my friends. We don’t really get to sit down and chat like we used to. And, going out to eat.

Is there anyone in West Michigan you’d like to stick it to?

“I cannot live without chicken fingers. I eat them often. They’re kind of my guilty pleasure, even though I don’t feel guilty about eating them. I eat crappy, crappy chicken fingers.”

I had a teacher in high school that I told I wanted to be in finance and business, that sort of thing, and he basically told me, not in as many words, that I couldn’t do it because I wouldn’t be good at it. But now, that threw me in the direction I am in now. I can’t really be mad. I will say thank you to him. No grudges though. (Laughs.) n Interview conducted and condensed by Matt Simpson Siegel. Edited by Lindsay Patton-Carson. Photo: Mercure Photography

REVUEWM.COM | May 2013 |



Make This!

Local Chefs share their recipes

Deep Fried Pork Chop with Crispy Polenta, Tempura Apples, Wilted Young Greens By Mathew Green, executive chef, Reserve 4 pork chops, one inch thick at least Salt Lard 6 ounces dry polenta 24 ounces chicken stock 4 ounces milk 2 ounces butter 2 ounces grated parmesan 1 teaspoon salt 2 apples 2 ounces cornstarch 2 ounces soda water 2 teaspoon baking powder Baby kale and baby mustard greens Balsamic vinegar Extra virgin olive oil First, take the pork chops and sprinkle generously on both sides with salt. You can do this up to a day ahead. Meanwhile, bring the chicken stock, milk, butter, and teaspoon of salt to a boil. Whisk continuously while you sprinkle in the dry polenta. Continue to stir as the polenta thickens. Reduce heat and stir often. Cook for 30-45 minutes. Add grated cheese and add more salt to taste. Grease up a 9x13ish baking dish and pour in the polenta. Cool completely in the refrigerator.   Get out the largest pot you own, something that the pork chops will fit into all together, fill one third of the way to the top with lard and heat to 350ºF. Turn the heat up all the way and carefully put the pork chops in. Fry for 8-12 minutes, but be sure to check the internal temperature with a meat thermometer. The FDA recommends 145ºF. Mix the cornstarch, soda water and baking powder. Slice the apples and coat in the tempura batter. Fry until lightly browned and crispy. While still warm, toss the tempura apples in a bowl with the baby greens, oil and vinegar. Cut the polenta cake into your favorite shape, squares, rectangles, circles, triangles. Deep fry until lightly browned and crispy.   Serve the pork chops with the fried polenta and topped with the apples and wilted greens. Add a little bit more vinegar and oil over the whole thing. Photo: Katy Batdorff

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Photo: Katy Batdorff

Fresh Rolls

Beef Tips on Toast

By Lisa Her, owner and head chef, Erb Thai

By Adam Watts, executive chef, Grand Rapids Brewing Co.

Ingredients: Dried Rice Paper Lettuce Carrots Green Onions Cucumbers Rice Noodles Cilantro (Note: All veggies should be cut into strips.)

Serves: Four

Need Sauce? You can buy sweet chili sauce at your local grocery store. Helpful Hints Try it with broccoli, bell peppers, beansprouts or any of your favorite veggies.

4 ea slices of brewers grain bread or any crusty European-style loaf cut into 3/4” size slices Season your beef with salt and pepper. Start with a large non-stick sauté pan over medium heat and add oil and tips. Sauté until color forms on all sides and remove from pan onto a side plate. Next, add mushrooms, shallot and garlic and sweat until slight color forms. Deglaze with your favorite brown ale or dry red wine. Reduce the liquid by half and add beef stock, heavy cream and thyme. Simmer until the sauce starts to thicken (3-5 minutes). Toast bread under a broiler until golden brown. Cut bread into bite-sized pieces and start to assemble the dish. Place beef tips back into the sauce and cook to desired temperature. Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Spoon out the sauce over the toast points. Wipe out the sauté pan and place back on the stove over medium heat. Add butter and cook eggs to desired style. Serve with a serrated steak knife.

REVUEWM.COM | May 2013 |

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Fresh Roll Directions 1. Dip the rice paper in warm water. Do not submerge the rice paper in water too long or else the paper will lose shape and strength. 2. Place the rice noodles and strips of veggies onto the wet rice paper about 1/4 from the bottom. 3. Roll the bottom part of the rice paper up and over the rice noodles and veggies. 4. Gently roll the up the gathered rice noodles and veggies with the rice paper. Be sure to pull and tuck the rice noodles and veggies back while you are rolling them up. This technique will help your fresh roll keep its log shape. 5. Once your roll is half way up the rice paper, flip the right and left sides of the rice paper over the roll. 6. Continue rolling up the roll to the top of the rice paper. Remember to continue pulling and tucking the veggies back while you are rolling. 7. The rice paper will self-adhere, keeping all the rice noodles and veggies inside.

1 lb. beef top round, tenderloin or loin, sliced into 1” cubes 2 T canola oil 1 pint crimini mushrooms, stems removed and quartered 1 tsp. shallot, fine chopped 1 tsp. garlic, chopped 1 tsp. thyme, picked leaves 2 T brown ale [GRBC’s John Ball Brown] 1/2 C beef stock 1/2 C heavy cream 2 T butter 4 ea whole eggs TT salt TT black pepper


Hors d’oeuvre

Blue Cheese Stuffed Dates

By Jamie & Jeremy Paquin, MIA + GRACE Date Filling 8 oz. cream cheese 1 cup Gorgonzola or other mild blue cheese, crumbled 1-2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar 1-2 tablespoons honey 2 cloves of roasted garlic, mashed into a paste with olive oil 1-2 teaspoons black pepper Kosher salt (to taste) For garnish: balsamic reduction (recipe follows) honey candied walnuts (recipe follows) Combine cheeses, vinegar, honey and garlic in a bowl. With a hand mixer, combine until mixture is creamy. Season the cheese mixture with black pepper, granulated garlic and kosher salt, and mix well. Store filling in an airtight container under refrigeration. Can be prepared up to one week in advance. Balsamic Reduction 1 cup balsamic vinegar 2 tablespoons honey Pour balsamic vinegar into a small sauce pan. Bring vinegar to a boil over medium high heat. Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer gently until reduced to Âź cup. Stir in the honey. Cool to room temperature. Store the reduction in an airtight container under refrigeration. Allow it to come to room temperature before using.

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Candied Walnuts 2 cups walnuts, toasted (at 325 degrees for 7-10 minutes) 1 cup granulated sugar 1 cup water Place sugar and water in a sauce pan. Stir over medium high heat until boiling vigorously. Continue cooking until sugar is amber in color and thick. Working quickly, with a wooden spoon, pour melted sugar over walnuts and stir until completely coated. Stir the walnuts occasionally until completely cool to help break them apart. Store candied walnuts in an airtight container up to one week. Halve and seed medjool dates, fill the crevice with the cheese mixture. Top with a candied walnut and then drizzle with balsamic reduction and honey.

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Photo: Jay Bolt, Revel



Photo: Katy Batdorff

Lemon Corn Muffins with Berry Icing By Matthew Russell, Bartertown

Wet ingredients: 3/4 cup sugar 2 cup soy milk 2 tsp. lemon juice 1 tsp. lemon extract 1/4 cup canola oil 1/4 cup non hydrogenated shortening (softened) 1 1/2 tbsp. lemon or orange zest

By Denise Miller, executive chef, Fuel Vegetarian 1 cup butter 1 cup white onion, finely chopped 1/2 cup celery, finely chopped 1 cup shallots finely chopped 2 teaspoons garlic, minced 2 tablespoons flour 1 cup whole tomatoes 2 cups vegetable stock 2 teaspoons salt 1 teaspoon black pepper ¼ teaspoon of cayenne 1 1/2 cups crumbled tofu In a large saucepan, melt butter and sauté onion, celery and shallots until tender. Add garlic and cook one minute more. Stir in flour and stir constantly until golden brown. Add tomatoes and brown. Blend in stock and simmer 10 minutes. Add salt, pepper, cayenne and tofu; cook slowly 15 to 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Serve with dirty rice.

Mix dry and wet separately in bowls, then combine in one bowl. Bake in lined cupcake pans for about 18-20 minutes at 350 degrees or until the tops have domed and started to brown. Remove from oven and cool completely before decorating. Makes a dozen muffins.

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Dry ingredients: 1 1/2 cups GF flour mix (Russell recommends Bob’s Red Mill) 1/2 cup yellow corn meal 1/2 tsp. baking powder 1/2 tsp. baking soda 1/2 tsp. xanthan gum 1/4 tsp. salt

Vegetarian Etouffe


Food Issue

The market last summer Photos: Richard Deming

Fulton Street Farmers Market Renovations Almost Complete / By Audrey Soc hor

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This year, the market added a new managlthough the Fulton Street Farmers er’s office and wheelchair-accessible restrooms. Market experienced unforeseen Fulton Street But the biggest project is a year-round building, problems during renovations, the Farmers Market which will house about eight vendors. The build1147 E. Fulton St. final phase of construction will be Grand Rapids, ing’s green roof is a work in progress. complete by the May 4 opening day. (616) 454-4118, With most of the renovations complete, Contamination in the soil caused delays and Helms-Maletic said the response from both made it necessary to extend the campaign for customers and venders has been hugely positive. capital before moving ahead. The entire project Open Tues., Wed., Fri., “Patrons appreciate the wider aisles and cost more than $3 million from start to finish. Sat., 8 a.m.–3 p.m., beginning Saturday, the ability to stay — mostly, depending on the “Thanks to many generous funders and to May 4 wind — dry while they shop,” she said. “Vendors several new donors, we completed the campaign are spending less time setting up and taking in November 2012 and were able to re-start down tarps each day, and many have reported construction in January,” said Christine Helmsincreased customer traffic, which benefits their business.” Maletic, project development manager. Parking has been a concern for some patrons, but urban Since renovations started, the farmers market installed a areas provide limited opportunities for expansion. Changes to new underground storm water management system and built parking have helped, but Helms-Maletic encourages the use a shed with overhead sheltering and lighting, in addition to of alternative transportation. new stalls with upgraded electrical and water access. Or customers could use the Market’s Wednesday hours “We also rearranged the parking area to encourage between 4-7:30 p.m. smoother traffic flow, repaired the pavement, added new trees “Many favorite vendors are still there, but the jostling and landscaping, installed extra bike racks and created a new, enhanced bus stop,” Helms-Maletic said. crowds are not,” Helms-Maleic said. n

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Food Stamps Make Farmers Markets More Accessible About 1.8 million people in Michigan receive benefits from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), formerly known as the Food Stamp program. Since 2007, farmers markets have been collaborating with SNAP, when the Michigan Food Policy Council and Michigan Farmers Market Association began increasing the number of markets capable of accepting electronic benefits like Bridge Cards. Since 2010, people with SNAP benefits can get twice as much local produce with the Double Up Food Bucks program. Customers use their bridge card at one of 40 participating markets (including the 100-Mile Market and Fulton Street, Holland and Muskegon farmers markets) and get an equal amount of tokens or electronic credit back to use on more Michigan-grown fruits and vegetables. Over the next several years, the program will expand to include more of the nearly 80 farmers markets that accept Bridge Cards. —Lauren Longo

So Close We Can Taste It:

Downtown Market Opens Outdoor Market This Month / By Steve n de Polo

The Grand Rapids Downtown Market has been busy over the past several months, securing vendors and completing construction on the $30 million culinary cathedral. Set to open its outdoor seasonal market May 4 and its indoor market in July, the 138,000-square-foot, year-round market recently announced the first of 24 vendors that will occupy the indoor food hall.

100-Mile Market 507 Harrison St., Kalamazoo May-Oct., Wed. 3-7 p.m. (269) 342-5686

GVSU Farmers Market Allendale Campus, Parking Lot H June 5-Sept. 25, Wed. 10 a.m.–1:30 p.m.

Ada Village Farmers Market 7239 Thornapple River Dr., Ada June-Sept., Tues. 12-6 p.m. (616) 676-9191

Holland Municipal Farmers Market (Eighth Street Farmers Market) 150 W 8th St., Holland May-Nov., Wed. & Sat. 8 a.m.–4 p.m. (616) 355-1138

Battle Creek Farmers Market Festival Market Square, Battle Creek May-Oct., Wed. & Sat. 9 a.m.–1 p.m. (269) 968-3448 Byron Farmers Market 84th Street and Byron Center Avenue (616) 878-6029 June-TBA, Tues. & Fri. 8 a.m.–1 p.m. Caledonia Farmers Market 9942 Cherry Valley Ave. May-Oct., Sat. 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. (269) 838-5264

Lowell Area Farmers Market 2111 W. Main St. Mid-June to mid-Sept., Thurs. 11 a.m.–3 p.m. (616) 897-9186 Moelker Orchards & Farm Market 0-9265 Kenowa Ave., Grand Rapids July-Oct., Mon. thru Sat. 8 a.m.–6 p.m. Nov.-Feb., 8 a.m.–5:30 p.m. (616) 453-2585

Centerpointe Mall Farmers Market 3665 28th St. SE, Grand Rapids May-Oct., Fri. 12-6 p.m. (616) 949-2550

Muskegon Farmers Market 700 Yuba St., Muskegon May-Nov., Tues., Thurs. & Sat. 6 a.m. –3 p.m. Dec., Sat. 7 a.m.–3 p.m. (231) 722-3251

Fulton Street Farmers Market 1145 E. Fulton St., Grand Rapids Open year-round, but regular hours are May-December Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays, 8 a.m.–3 pm. (616) 454-4118

Muskegon Heights Farmers Market 2724 Peck, Muskegon Heights Memorial weekend–Aug. Fri. and Sat. 7 a.m.–7 p.m. (231) 724-3100

Grand Haven Farmer’s Market Chinook Pier, Grand Haven June-Oct., Wed. & Sat. 8 a.m.–2 p.m. (616) 842-4910 Grandville Farmers Market 4055 Maple St., Grandville June-Oct., Tues. 8 a.m.–1 p.m. (616) 531-3030

New Horizons Farmers Market 2660 Breton Road at Woodmeadow June-Oct., Wed. 2-7 p.m. (616) 889-4922 Plainfield Township Farmers Market 4411 Plainfield Ave. NE June-Oct., Tues. and Thurs. 2-7 p.m. (616) 364-8466 Rockford Farmers Market South Squire St., Rockford June-Oct., Sat. 8 a.m.–1 p.m. (616) 866-1537 Saugatuck Center for the Arts (SCA) Farmers Market 400 Culver St., Saugatuck May-Oct., Fri. 8 a.m.–2 p.m. (269) 857-2399 South East Area Farmers Market 334 Burton St. SE June-Oct., Sat. 10 a.m.–4 p.m. (616) 632-7272 YMCA Farmers Market 475 Lake Michigan Dr., Grand Rapids June-Sept., Thurs. 3-7p.m. (616) 430-0511

REVUEWM.COM | May 2013 |

Scene | Sounds | Sights Dining Schedule

by Shelby Kibler, formerly of Zingerman’s baking Typical of the artisanal businesses recruited to school in Ann Arbor. the market are Simpatico Coffee and Love’s Ice There will also be fresh produce, meats, Cream. Simpatico has been roasting fair-trade seafood, dairy, baked goods, flowers, wines and beans from the Oaxaca region of Mexico for locally brewed beer sold by the two dozen indoor 18 months, which it sells to local coffee shops, vendors, as well as from the covered 58-stall restaurants and specialty stores from its Holland outdoor farmers market. production facility. Owner Alex Fink is excited to The investors envision the market to be a offer a second retail location in downtown Grand destination for local food innovation, education Rapids. and experimentation. In addition to food sales, “We want to make coffee a fun experience, there will also be two restaurants, a kitchen incushow people where the beans come from, how bator/certified commercial kitchen, coffee is roasted and just how fresh kids kitchen, wholesale produce coffee can be,” Fink said. distribution center and office space. Chris McKeller looks forward Downtown Market Look up and you will see a to opening Love’s Ice Cream in the Grand Rapids 6,000-square-foot rooftop greenmarket. The local entrepreneur and 435 Ionia SW house. The greenhouse is the founder of Grand Rapids Cooking (616) 805-5308, building’s signature design eleSchool will serve hand-crafted ice ment, as it supports educational cream made from local organic Outdoor Market opening programming that show school grass-grazed dairy as well as gourday: Saturday, May 4 children how real food is grown met non-dairy frozen desserts. and cooked. There are also work“I am a bit obsessed with Hours: shops and gardening classes held ingredients and the market will Tuesday: 8 a.m.–1 p.m. Thursday: 4–7 p.m. there. The country’s first LEEDallow me to share my whole food Saturday: 8: a.m.–1 p.m. rated public market also promotes perspective around organic, local sustainability through innovative and quality with others like me,” uses of energy, lighting, water and McKeller said. advanced composting and recycling programs. Spread over 3.4 acres, the mammoth facilPlanners expect the facility to lead to the ity provides space for small, independent food creation of 1,270 jobs, offer start-up opportunibusinesses that focus on Michigan-grown-andties for budding entrepreneurs and potentially produced foods. Such vendors include Aperitivo, provide $775 million in economic impact over a a wine and cheese-tasting shop, which is owned 10-year period. Sounds tasty indeed. n by Art of the Table’s Amy Ruis and managed by the business’ “cheesemonger,” Kate Leeder, as well as Field & Fire, an artisan bakery owned

West MI Farmers Markets


Food Issue

Eat Like a Minion We gave our current and former minions $20 to try a new restaurant and tell us about their experience. Here are the results, as told to us by the minions.

London Grill


Carly Plank, current minion

Elijah Brumback, former minion

On the creepily deserted streets of Kalamazoo on a Sunday evening, a truly authentic British pub complete with Indian menu options and beverages from across the Atlantic was the most hopping place in town. While the free appetizer of papadum and sweet tomato chutney and the salty, cheesy stacked naan I ordered were filling and surprisingly flavorful, I remained stateside with a California white zinfandel.

Other than the killer adornments (haha, get it?), the place is pretty bare bones — clearly it’s all about the pizza. I am all about the pizza too. Let me break it down. We’re talking vegan/vegetarian mixology. For those who are of the persuasion that meat is the best and only delivery vehicle, it’s time to break those shackles and stuff your pie hole with the sweet, savory and often unexpected pleasures of CVLT’s toppings.

214 E. Michigan Ave., Kalamazoo

10 Jefferson St. SE, Grand Rapids

Crust 54

Wally’s Bar & Grill

Kelli Gilmore, former minion

Meaghan Minkus, former minion

Crust 54 is a tasty, local pizza joint in Holland. The environment was casual with a seat-yourself and order-at-the-counter policy. We ordered a large thin-crust Chicago style barbecue chicken pizza that was more than enough for two people. The sauce was just the right amount of spicy and sweet but more toppings would have made it even better.

Wally’s down-to-earth, small-town atmosphere is complemented nicely by its better-than-your-grandma’s Yankee Pot Roast, served with grilled onions, Swiss cheese and a caper-mayo sauce (Capers! Fancy!) on an onion bun. With a side of onion rings and washed down with a Guinness, the whole meal comes out to $19.39 with tip and tax.

54 E. 8th St., Holland; (616) 394-3002

128 Hoffman St., Saugatuck


New Holland Brewery

Kari Norton, current minion

Lauren Longo, current minion

Eating at Curragh was like eating a home-cooked meal from my grandma in Ireland – if she lived in Ireland, that is. I like to celebrate my McNaughton heritage, and this pub actually made me feel like I was there. The shepherd’s pie was amazing and I would eat there every day if I could.

The Dixie Luau is not I-don’t-know-what-to-eat-let’s-just-getpizza, pizza. Nor is it just Hawaiian. I usually prefer thick, chewy crust, but this thin-crusted pizza was not too crunchy and covered in prosciutto, bacon, pineapple and five different cheeses (I ordered mine sans banana peppers). I demolished and loved it anyway.

75 E. 8th St., Holland

Schedule Dining Sights | Sounds | Scene

66 E 8th St., Holland

Bostwick Lake Inn Kyle Austin, former minion At Bostwick, I expected the flavorful menu options and casually classy atmosphere typical of other Gilmore joints, and I was not disappointed. The portions were large, but my dish (prime rib and pasta with succulent sautéed veggies) was so delicious that I welcomed the leftovers. The cozy ambiance of the place nurtured our table’s conversation, which kept coming back to the food. Now that’s full-circle excellence. 8521 Belding Rd. NE, Rockford

58 | REVUEWM.COM | May 2013

Old Burdick’s Bar and Grille Audrey Sochor, current minion Walking into Burdick’s, it took me a moment to realize it’s an upscale sports bar. The first hint came from glancing around at all the photos of top athletes and TVs displaying games, minus the “in your face” feel. The food is deliciously classic Americana, including a rich and creamy mac and cheese topped with baconwrapped shrimp. 100 W. Michigan Ave., Kalamazoo

The Next Best Thing We present three former food fixtures with cult followings whose flavors are gone, but not forgotten. We attempt the impossible with the next best thing. / By Matt Simpson Siegel RIP Mr. Fables, 1963-2000 Survived by The Filling Station West Michigan was once dotted with Mr. Fables, renowned for its onion rings and Mr. Fabulous Burger, the olive burger of olive burgers. It closed its final door in 2000. Although Yesterdog Owner Bill Lewis (and former Fables worker) owns the trademark, there are not any definite plans for the future. Former Fables competitor and Mr. Burger off-shoot The Filling Station offers up its own Mr. Fabulous and many diehards swear by it. Sit in the cafeteria-style dining room and let your taste buds take you back. The Filling Station, 4750 Alpine Ave. NW, Comstock Park; (616) 784-6706

RIP Little Mexico, 1968-2008 & 2010-2013 Survived by El Granjero Besieged by a fire in 2008 from which it never fully recovered after reopening in 2010, Little Mexico finally passed out of this world in March. Finding a west-side Mexican eatery that serves up the best American comfort food, one automatically assumes Maggie’s Kitchen, however, Maggie’s isn’t open into dining hours, of which Little Mexico was a premier destination during its heyday. Enter El Granjero Mexican Grill. Open ‘til 9 for the dining crowd, you’ll find a more casual experience with the flavors you miss in the familiar form of fajitas, tacos, burritos, tortas

El Granjero

Photo: Steven de Polo

and more. Be sure to check out the one and only “El Molcajete” for a massive plate of steak, chicken, grilled cactus, chorizo and cheeses. El Granjero Mexican Grill, 950 Bridge St. NW, Grand Rapids; (616) 458-5595

RIP Schnitzelbank, 1934-2006 Survived by AlpenRose Restaurant A staple of German cuisine for more than 70 years, the Schnitzelbank shuttered its doors in 2006. Unfortunately, yet luckily, there is one restaurant open that captures bits of the ‘bank’s magic in Holland. Austrian Chef Helmutt Klett provides the only real German deals at AlpenRose Restaurant. Although not exclusively German, AlpenRose has the best schnitzel, sauerkraut and sauerbraten around. For some real treats, try the Tafelspitz, a thin-sliced NY strip in a horseradish cream sauce, or the Pork Provencal in its herb-roasted pork tenderloin glory. For the beer swilling, brat chomping Bavarian in all of us, the Bratwurst Plate hosts two beef and pork white brats with house-made sauerkraut and beer mustard. AlpenRose Restaurant, 4 E. 8th St., Holland; (616) 393-2111, n

Scene | Sounds | Sights Dining Schedule REVUEWM.COM | May 2013 |


Food Issue

Cooking Classes / By Revue Minions

Amore Trattoria Italiana 5080 Alpine Ave. NW, Comstock Park Amore hosts free Italian cooking classes the second Saturday of the month. Previous classes included soups, risotto and Italian desserts, while chefs-in-training can look forward to a pizza class in May and Respecting the Lasagna in June.

Bartertown and Tree Huggers 947 Wealthy St. SE, Grand Rapids Every Sunday night at 6 p.m., Bartertown’s Matthew Russel joins Tree Huggers to demonstrate vegan cooking recipes. Classes focus on spring cooking, gluten-free recipes and how to make Kombucha, a beverage made from fermented sweetened tea. Demonstrations are free and always include samples.

Bekins Cooking School 6275 28th St. SE, Grand Rapids and 735 Washington Ave., Grand Haven Bekins, a home appliance and electronics company, began offering cooking classes in 2008 to encourage customers to get the most out of the store’s appliances. Now with locations in Grand Haven and Grand Rapids, Bekins Cooking School offers several classes each month taught by profes-

sional chefs for around $50 per person. Nearly 10 classes are offered this month between both locations.Topics to choose from include sushi rolls, fresh pasta and ravioli, Spanish paella and more.

San Chez 38 W. Fulton, Grand Rapids The unique thing about San Chez: the tapas bistro offers classes for adults and kids. Throughout May, there are four classes offered for adults and four offered for teenagers between the ages of 13 and 16. Adults learn how to make traditional Spanish favorites, while teens master breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert. The classes are on Mondays and Tuesdays from 5-7 p.m. at $25 per person.

Spartan Culinary Classroom 3960 44th St. SW, Grandville The D&W Fresh Market Culinary Classroom offers multiple classes each month for $40 per person. Learn basic grilling skills or how to make that dish you love from your favorite restaurant. For those interested in food from different cultures, this month features a Mexican cuisine class in time for Cinco de Mayo, as well as a Lebanese class. Start Mother’s Day weekend with their Date Night Out class on May 10, which includes a wine pairing dinner. n

Schedule Dining Sights | Sounds | Scene


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Visit and click on ‘Free Stuff!’ for a chance to win movie passes from Celebration! Cinema, concert and theatre tickets and more.

OOPENING MAY 4 Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday 8:00am - 3:00pm fulton

1147 Fulton Street

FOOD AFTER MIDNIGHT Not all of us are on the same eating schedule. Here are some of the best joints in town for you night owls. The Elbow Room This Grand Rapids joint serves bar staples like burgers, wet burritos, BLTs and more until 2 a.m. every day. Foosball and a jukebox are an added bonus. 501 Fuller Ave. NE, Grand Rapids

Gino’s Pizza This family owned and operated pizza place has more than 40 years under its belt. Gino’s is closed Mondays, but you can get your late-night fix Tuesday and Sunday until 2 a.m., or 3 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. 1556 Wealthy St. SE, Grand Rapids

Georgio’s Pizza This gourmet pizza joint takes the classic Italian dish to a whole new level. Grab the usual toppings or if you’re feeling adventurous, try options like Mac “N” Cheese, Hamburger, Taco and many more. Open until 3 a.m. Wednesday through Saturday. 15 Ionia, Suite 140, Grand Rapids

The Grand Coney This diner is open 24 hours and the perfect after-bar spot. Grease your stomach with classic coneys, four-egg omelettes, burgers and fries, country-fried steak and more. 809 Michigan St. NE, Grand Rapids

HopCat HopCat is open until 2 a.m. every day, with a special late-night menu until close. The minions recommend combining crack fries

and all three taco varieties. 25 Ionia SW, Grand Rapids

Johnny B’z Dogs and More Get your fair share of dogs, burgers and sandwiches until 3 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. Vegetarian and vegan options are offered as well. 638 Wealthy St. SE, Grand Rapids

Marro’s Restaurant Pizza by the slice served until 2 a.m. Friday and Saturday. Gluten-free options also available. 147 Water St., Saugatuck

Mr. Kozak’s Gyros This Grand Haven restaurant brings traditional Greek gyros and Chicago-style food to West Michigan and stays open until 2:30 a.m. on Friday and Saturday. 38 Washington Ave., Grand Haven

Stella’s Lounge The vegetarian/vegan friendly lounge’s kitchen stays open until 1 a.m. every night. 53 Commerce Ave. SW, Grand Rapids

Yesterdog The legendary Eastown joint stays open until 2:30 a.m. Monday through Saturday. When you just need some food for a couple bucks and don’t care about keeping it neat, then get your hands on a Yesterdog, Ultradog or Killerdog. 1505 Wealthy St. SE, Grand Rapids

Z’s Bar & Restaurant Nestled in the heart of the hotel district, the kitchen stays open until 2 a.m. on weekdays and Saturdays and 1 a.m. on Sundays. 168 Louis Campau, Grand Rapids n Compiled by Revue Minions

Scene | Sounds | Sights Dining Schedule REVUEWM.COM | May 2013 |


The Food Issue  

In our third annual Food Issue, we take a look at the recent gluten-free rise and how restaurants accommodate it. We also check in on local...

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