Good food brings good community together, and the proceeds go to a good cause.
I try to attend a good number of local events — especially when they have to do with good food! I recently attended an event at Grow Benzie, where the nonprofit Northern Michigan Culinary Arts Council (NMCAC) hosts bi-weekly dinner discussions throughout the winter. Meals are made from scratch, and guest speakers lead the friendly conversation and idea-exchange with attendees. Every discussion has a different theme, ranging from Benzie County’s watersheds to new solar initiatives to the state of Northern Michigan’s small farms, which was the topic for this particular event on Tuesday, April 5.
For $9 suggested donation, attendees received a *wonderful* home-cooked meal, made with local ingredients. In addition to the guest speakers, there was a free showing of In Defense of Food, a documentary film that is based on the #1 New York Times bestselling book of the same name by Michael Pollan. (The showing of this film was sponsored by the Northwest Michigan Food and Farming Network.)
Josh Stoltz welcomed all of us to Grow Benzie; most people had been there before, but there was a handful of newbies. There was also lot of literature available from Northwest Michigan Food and Farming Network, Grow Benzie, Taste The Local Difference, and others, so that people were well-informed on the farming situation in our area. A lot of great discussions were going on before the event began and as people waited patiently in line for food. It was a multi-generational event, with grannies and wee babes alike — everyone had a smile on their face, but how could you not with such great food to be had!?
Paul and Sharron May of Frankfort’s own The May Farm and the Lakes to Land Initiative were guest speakers, as was Bernie Ware of Bear Lake’s the Ware Farm. Austin Smith and Steve Tebo of Chimmey Corners Resort, Becky from Coho, Jim Barnes of Crystal Lake Catering Company and Elberto’s Taqueria, and Suz McLaughlin of Still Grinning Kitchens were among the Benzie County chefs who prepared this delicious meal. The meal consisted of a starter salad, a curried rice, Indian-flavored mutton (with meat from The May Farm), and some delectable desserts!
And perhaps the best part: all the proceeds benefited a local scholarship to attend NMC’s Great Lakes Culinary Institute. It was a win-win-win, and just what I needed to know that spring has sprung and the growing season is upon us!
There were a lot of mouths to feed and a lot of ears that were listening — thanks so much to our chefs who prepared the delicious meal!
Want to know more about this event? Here is a link to the Facebook event: http://bit.ly/22HiIzd)
Here are my favorite photos from the event.