We had just met Ana Elena Mendez the day we arrived in Merida, the capitol city of the Yucatan. But such is the hospitality of Mexico that the next morning my friend Lisbeth and I are sitting in the dining room of Casa Lecanda, her elegant and exquisitely restored 19th century mansion, sippi…

I’ve spent a lot of time in Cleveland lately and really have learned about their food scene. One of my favorite restaurants in the city are Lola’s and Lolita which are owned by restaurateur Michael Symon, author of several cookbooks including Michael Symon’s Carnivore which is the perfect na…

I first met Emeril Lagasse at Heaven on Seven, Jimmy Banos’s New Orleans style restaurant in the Garland Building on Wabash Avenue in Chicago’s Loop. The Garland Building had a special affinity for me because I used to accompany my mom there to a salon which had been on the 7th floor to get …

“These might seem totally unrelated,” Bridgett Blough tells me as we stand in the kitchen of her parents’ Southwest Michigan home where she has a jar of her homemade kimchi, a spicy and sometimes pungent condiment served with almost every Korean meal and bruschetta topped with layers of crea…

Outside of Chichen Itza, a once thriving metropolis (back about a millennium ago) of 50,000 people and now one of the most significant archaeological sites in Mexico, I’ve just shoveled dirt over my dinner and am waiting for the Shaman to come give it a final blessing, when I realize I’ve go…

Even today most of us are omnivores, consuming both meats and vegetables. And back in the early part of the last century, vegetarianism was rare. But it was practiced in Southwest Michigan which starting from 1908 had several vegetarian restaurants that thrived until the mid 1970s. The premi…

“I’m doing some research and development on flour,” Willard Gustavsen tells me the moment I step past the historic brick façade of the late 19th century building into the linear space of his restaurant named, simply enough, Gustavsen.

For all of us who’ve ever encountered an odd looking vegetable at our local grocery store or farmer’s market and either passed it by or brought it home and then let it sit because we didn’t know what to do with it, Diane Morgan, an award winning cookbook author and culinary instructor, has t…

Starting August 14 and running for two weeks, Savor Summer, Farm-to-Fork Fantastic Restaurant Week Grand Rapids will explore what’s best in the city’s farm-to-fork restaurants with an emphasis on the area ingredients such as the season’s fresh produce, artisan breads, homemade gelatos and ic…

Grilled out? No matter how much we love easy to make summertime meals, half way through the season it’s sometimes nice to change gears and cook a meal other than a charred piece of meat slathered with barbecue sauce straight from the grill. That’s why I was so delighted to find these new coo…

A few weeks ago, my daughter Nia and I traveled to Benzie County, visiting the quaint villages of Arcadia, Frankfort, Elberta and Beulah lining Lake Michigan and Crystal Lake and staying at two great places, the historic Watervale Inn of Lower Herring Lake and Lake Michigan in Arcadia and Ha…

Built in 1816, the three-story gristmill at Spring Mill Pioneer Village in Spring Mill State Park in Mitchell, Indiana continues to grind, the river flowing down the mill race making the wheel turn corn into meal for making breads. In this delightful collection of historic restored buildings…

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