Kitchen Talk with Owners and Chefs

. October 1, 2014.

Getting to know the folks behind the scenes.
Community foodie pros provide insight at the intersection of their personal and professional lives.

Photos by Patrick Record
 

People’s Food Co-op

216 N. Fourth Ave.
Ann Arbor, MI 48104
(734) 994-9174
peoplesfood.coop

Chef Gary Elrod and Pastry Chef Keegan Rodgers

If I wasn’t a chef, I’d be:
GE: Musician.
KR: Pilot.

Guilty pleasure:
GE: Ice cream.
KR: Artisan chocolate.

Signature dish:
GE: Chicken ala King; Turkey Meatloaf; Veggie Ragu.
KR: Crustless Cheesecake and BBQ sauce.

Favorite local ingredient:
GE: Fresh kale.
KR: Blueberries and apples.

Items that can always be found in my home refrigerator:
GE: Garlic.
KR: My homemade BBQ sauce.

Tips for the home cook:
GE: Learn and use the 5 Mother Sauces; Bechamel, Espagnole, Hollandaise, Tomato, and Veloute.
KR: Let chocolate chip cookie dough chill overnight before baking.

Food I could eat every day:
GE: Salad.
KR: Artisan chocolate.


 


CUBS’ A.C. Sports Bar and Restaurant

1950 S. Industrial
Ann Arbor, MI 48104
(734) 665-4474
coloniallanescubsac.com

Chef Robert McGeorge

If I wasn’t a chef, I’d be:
A DNR Officer

Guilty pleasure:
Homemade chocolate cake nd craft beers

Signature dish:
Cajun Pasta


 


Lena

226 South Main St
Ann Arbor, MI 48104
(734) 994-2773
lena-annarbor.com

Chef David Burnell

If I wasn’t a chef, I’d be:
A farmer.

Guilty pleasure:
Pork.

Signature dish:
Our beef churrasco, grilled sirloin slices over creamy sofrito rice, traditional chimichurri, matchstick plantains and fried egg.

Favorite local ingredient:
Butternut squash.

Three items that can always be found in my home refrigerator:
Fresh fruit, cheese, and bacon.

Tips for the home cook:
I’ve always found that if a recipe doesn’t work, you should try it again. Recipes are more like guidelines, they aren’t exact.

Food I could eat every day:
Pizza.


 


Paesano

3411 Washtenaw Ave.
Ann Arbor, MI 48104
(734) 971-0484
paesanosannarbor.com

Chef David Whitney

If I wasn’t a chef, I’d be:
I would be either a football coach, or a player, specifically a defensive coordinator.

My mentor:
My old chef, Isabella.

Guilty pleasure:
Lambchops

Signature dish:
Our dishes change seasonally,
I would say it would be our lamb loin, with morel mushrooms and risotto.

Three items that can always be found in my home refrigerator:
Garlic, kale and lamb.

Tips for the home cook:
Patience!

Food I could eat every day:
Pancetta.


 

Ann Arbor Tortilla Factory

727 W. Ellsworth Rd. #6
Ann Arbor, MI 48108
(734) 973-9824

OWNER: GUADALUPE QUETGLAS

What makes your business unique?
Our method. We cook our Non-GMO corn rather than mix corn flour and water which is the standard with most businesses.

Three words that describe your business?
Fresh, nutritious, and local.

What do you think when you hear someone say, “I think owning my own business looks like fun?”
It is! It’s hard work and labor intensive but the customers’ comments make your day.

How did you get your start in the industry?
Morgan & York believed in our products and started selling them. It took us about a year and a half to set up and get a product that was good and tasty. Markets receive the product the same day that itis made; you can’t get fresher than that!

What keeps you going?
The workers who are dedicated and the people who call and say “Thank you!” It’s exciting to see it growing.


The Blue Nile

221 E. Washington
Ann Arbor, MI 48104
(734) 998-4746

CHEF:Almaz Lessanework

Signature dish:
Our Ethiopian Feast includes beef and chicken dishes and a variety of vegetable preparations. We also have a Vegetarian Feast as an option, too.

Favorite local ingredient:
All the ingredients that we get from local farms in Michigan, such as onions and collard greens.

Food that I could eat every day:
Beef and collard greens.

Three words that describe your restaurant?
Great customer service.

What do you think when you hear someone say, “I think owning a restaurant looks like fun”?
Sometimes it is fun. Meeting new people, introducing new cuisine, and seeing your customers happy and excited makes it all worth while.

What keeps you going?
The Ann Arbor community keeps us going, and we’ve had a loyal customer base coming to the Blue Nile for the last 25 years. We are lucky to be in Ann Arbor.


The Northside Grill

1015 Broadway St,
Ann Arbor, MI 48105
(734) 995-0965

CHEF: Jim Koli

Guilty pleasure:
Anything my doctor says I shouldn’t eat.

Three items that can always be found in my home refrigerator:
Garlic, onions, butter.

Thing that I am fussiest about in the kitchen:
Cleanliness and consistency.

Tips for the at-home chef:
Wash your hands. Twice.

Food I could eat everyday:
Anything from The Northside Grill.

 

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