Keep Growing Detroit

By Food Editor Pam Aughe, R.D 

Recently, the staff of edibleWOW took  our weekly meeting on the road in Detroit. We began at Avalon International Breads. Without hesitation I chose the most wonderful chocolate brioche (with house-made chocolate ganache) and Chartreuse organic tea. Offering a variety of artisan baked goods, Avalon was one of the first success stories involving the food and agriculture comeback of Detroit.

From Avalon we had the opportunity to tour a 1.75 acre property owned by MGM Grand Detroit but maintained by the amazing staff of Keep Growing Detroit (KGD). Ashley Atkinson, co-director, hosted the tour. She and only 8 other staff members produce transplants, seeds, perennials, edible flowers, flower bouquets, fruits and vegetables. They also provide education offering more than 100 workshops per year on topics like season extension, building trellises and labor planning. Fourteen other community gardens use KGD as a resource hub for equipment and education. KGD’s goal is to have Detroiters grow the food they consume.

Our last stop before lunch was Our/Detroit vodka in the Hubbard-Richard neighborhood. Our/Detroit vodka is the first micro distillery of its kind in the United States and is run by all women.… Read More

Innovation in Detroit

By Food Editor Pam Aughe, R.D 

Recently Urban Innovation Exchange hosted a wonderful three day event in Detroit. I attended the Future of Food segment where I had the opportunity to listen to food leaders from Detroit and other cities talk about the local food projects that inspire them.

Speakers including Devita Davison of Food Lab Detroit, Dan Carmody of Eastern Market Corporation and Anthony Hatinger of CDC Farm and Fishery, represent the places and organizations that are making changes in Detroit and beyond. These innovators are creating social, environmental and financial profits for the city of Detroit.

After a full morning of information, I was ready for lunch. Just outside Corktown along the industrial side of the Detroit River is Johnny Noodle King, a craft ramen restaurant with a Japanese inspired menu. I enjoyed the carrot ginger bowl and our executive editor had a mushroom salad and bacon rice side. No fountain drinks here—only bottled items like rose lemonade and ginger root beer. It’s great to have another new and interesting place to eat in Detroit.

 

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Plymouth’s Local Treats

By Food Editor Pam Aughe, R.D 

Exploring story ideas led the editors of edibleWOW to Plymouth. Our first stop was a great family destination called Plymouth Orchards. With its tractor rides, farm animals and playgrounds—along with all the traditional treats of warm donuts, tart cider and crisp apples—this orchard is worth the trip. Be sure to save a few dollars to purchase some Michigan made products. Plymouth Orchard’s market has jams, honey, coffee and baking mixes produced locally.

Our next stop was Pure Pastures, a Michigan meat, dairy and grocery store. They carry grass fed pastured beef, bison, pork, lamb, chicken, turkey, elk and venison. Most are from small, local farms in Michigan. The selection of locally raised meats is outstanding. The owner, Garry Kuneman, has been in this business for years and was very knowledgeable. His focus is supporting Michigan businesses that produce the best quality products. A great surprise was the frozen Michigan blueberries sold in bulk.

Lunch time brought us to Sweet Afton Tea Room right in the downtown area. It was just the perfect place for a ladies’ lunch.… Read More

WOW Goes to Frankenmuth

By Food Editor Pam Aughe, R.D 

For locals and tourists alike, Frankenmuth is a destination for beer festivals, water parks, mirror mazes and chicken dinners. What I have now learned, after a brisk fall day visit, is that Frankenmuth is really a celebration of Michigan culture and agriculture

My goal was to find out about Bavarian Inn matriarch Dorothy Zehnder’s second cookbook, From My Kitchen to Yours. I was thrilled to sit down and chat about the cookbook with Dorothy, her granddaughter and Bavarian Inn General Manager Amy Zehnder-Grossi, and Marketing Manager Mandy Borsenik.

The cookbook celebrates the long history of the Bavarian Inn and Dorothy’s love of good food and family. I found out that high quality, homemade food made from local ingredients is a number one priority for the Zehnder family. The Bavarian Inn has been using local since the 60s—long before it was trendy to be local.

I was absolutely floored by the amount of Michigan products the restaurant uses each year. For example, The Bavarian Inn uses 1,550 bushels of Michigan apples and 72 tons of Michigan squash annually.… Read More