Peek into the minds of Ann Arbor’s culinary arbiters when, each issue, a new local chef shares their unique perspective on Washtenaw County’s dining and hospitality culture.
Known for channeling the Northwoods supper clubs of yore, fusing classic Midwestern dishes like beer-battered Lake Superior whitefish and Jucy Lucy Burgers with chef-driven accents at the Graduate Hotel’s Allen Rumsey Supper Club, Chef Loren Halprin (formerly of the Gandy Dancer) sheds light on his favorite grocery spots, local ingredient purveyors and how he spends his nights out.
Where’s your go-to local grocery store when cooking at home?
Plum Market and Ann Arbor Farmer’s Market.
What are your favorite local ingredients to employ in dishes at your restaurant?
We all know Michigan has great produce but many times people forget about all the other wonderful items Michigan produces. At Allen Rumsey Supper Club we buy our lamb from S&S Farms in McBain, MI, our chicken from Miller Farms in Orland, IN, our specialty cheeses from Detroit’s Traffic Jam Creamery, Reny Picot in Benton Harbor, MI, and Farm Country Cheese House in Lakeville, MI. We purchase all these and many other local products from Ann Arbor’s own Eat Local Eat Natural.
What brought you to Ann Arbor?
This city has a different (i.e. better) feel that anywhere else I’ve lived. It’s the uniqueness of the people, the environment in and around campus, the food scene and the overall college town atmosphere – especially on game days.
What’s your earliest memory of cooking?
Cooking for my brother as a young child while our mom was working.
Where do you go for a night out?
A nice quiet dinner (typically nothing too fancy) and a long drive in the country (preferably at sunset) with my wife.