Posts tagged Michigan

Five favorite food joints in Detroit

Last weekend, Mr. Squid and I surprised the kids with a weekend away in Detroit to see the musical Wicked and to visit some of our favorite southeast Michigan foodie haunts. While Detroit’s reputation might be more tied to auto-making, or ‘the Big three,’ Michiganders would say, this town knows how to eat.

Here are my favorite foodie spots in and around Detroit.

1) New Yasmeen Bakery

We drove straight from Cleveland to New Yasmeen. There you’ll find meat kibbee, tabouli, fattoush, madardara, and a dozen other dishes I can’t even pronounce, but love sampling. That’s what you’ll find at this Middle Eastern restaurant in the heart of Dearborn. The city also happens to have one of the largest Middle Eastern populations of any town in the U.S. In other words, if you’re looking for authentic flavors, stock up on pitas and hummus here.

Chicken shawarma

My suggestion: Chicken shawarma–grilled chicken pieces spiced with cardamon, allspice and slathered with a garlic/yogurt/tahini sauce, peppered with pickles and wrapped in a homemade pita.

What the kids liked best: Uh, the pastry counter. Seriously, they have chocolate cups filled with whipped vanilla and chocolate cream. On the savory side, my two youngest daughters downed cheese pies while my oldest polished off a meat shawarma.

2)Best China

There’s no website for Best China and if you blink, you’ll miss this dive that’s tucked in a mini-mall behind a gas station in Canton. The owners, who are from Shanghai, have two menus, one for English speakers, and another full of regional favorites, all listed in Chinese.

My suggestion: Sesame chicken. I know, I know, it’s not authentic Chinese cuisine, but I could seriously drink the sauce that doesn’t suffer from the sticky-sweet flavor, or worse, ketchup-based blandness you normally encounter when you order sesame chicken elsewhere. Order the pork potstickers (fried or steamed) as soon as you get in if you want them before your meal, otherwise you’re likely to get them as dessert, which is just fine with me.

What the kids liked best: Everything. But dipping their potstickers in sauce with their chopsticks is always fun.

3)Lupitas Tacqueria

Real Mexican tacos--no cheese, no crisped shells, lots of flavor!

Regular readers know I love Mexican food, especially tacquerias, or taco shops. In the Mexicantown area of Detroit there are several good places for authentic fare, but Lupitas stands apart for their tacos and endless chips and plentiful salsas that are served as appetizers. *Lupitas is only open for lunch and I must admit, I think it’s better during the week versus the weekend.

My suggestion: Tacos al pastor, which are made with pork that’s marinated, then roasted on vertical skewer and before it’s slivered off in pieces. If you’re feeling more adventurous ask for the torta ahogada, which isn’t on the menu, but is a specialty of Mexico’s Jalisco. The sandwich is usually filled with pork, beans, and cheese then it’s dipped into a chile-infused sauce. Warning: it’s hot!

What the kids liked best: Tacos lengua. My middle child who shuns peanut butter loves tacos lengua, or beef tongue tacos. Go figure.

4)Mudgie’s Deli

Located in Detroit’s Corktown district, Mudgie’s inventive dishes–on one visit the soup of the day was cheeseburger–use fresh, local ingredients. For a taste a Mudgie’s check out their recipe here for brownie waffles.

My suggestion: We weren’t able to visit Mudgie’s on this visit, but I’ll admit I follow their Twitter feed just to get meal ideas. Whatever the special is, that’s my order.

Mudgie's Deli decadent brownie

What the kids liked best: Brownie waffles, of course.

5)Leo’s Coney Island

Coney Island restaurants are a Michigan novelty. You just don’t get these anywhere else. Even though the restaurants are named after the chili-doused New York dog, the food here tends to veer more toward Greek flavors–along with your typical diner fare. Note: there are several different Coney Island chains, Kerby’s (spell coney with a K), but Leo’s are the best IMHO.

My suggestion: The Greek salad. And make sure to get the small (the large feeds 4+). Mr. Squid likes the Greek salad with peperoncinis, feta, olives, beets, and chickpeas so much he bought a bottle of dressing to bring home.

What the kids liked best: The coney dog

I just had to pass along more pictures from New Yasmeen. Enjoy!

It took us three days to finish off this chocolate-filled, chocolate cup

My youngest sampling kibbee

Mmmmm, the deli counter

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Chef Q&A with Tony Yaquinto from Compari’s on the Park

It’s Chef Week at MyKidsEatSquid. I’ll be featuring Chef Q&As, along with their favorite recipes all week. Look for a great giveaway coming up Wednesday too!

First up, Tony Yaquinto, head chef at Compari’s on the Park in Plymouth, Michigan. He’s the first chef who has pointed out using a special ingredient I’ve discovered from Mexican cooking, Maggi sauce, which has the depth of soy sauce without being overpowering (I’ll have to post on the miracle of Maggi sauce another time). On to Chef Yaquinto…


What three ingredients do you always keep stocked in your pantry?

I would like to say onion, chicken stock and kosher salt. Onion is the base for great soups and sauces and stocks. I use just standard white onions—a lot of them. Kosher salt is what I use to season all my food. And chicken stock, or even vegetable stock, is good for making sauces or even cooking ingredients in when you want to add flavor.

Your favorite meal to make or serve?

Pork tenderloin. Usually when I have family or friends over that’s what I make. It’s inexpensive and easy to prepare. I like to marinate it then grill it. With the marinade I usually put in a little bit of everything—oil, salt, pepper, garlic and I have a spice at home and in the restaurant I use for seasoning called Maggi and I put that in too. I might also rub on brown sugar and mustard to give it a nice crust.

We all have a favorite indulgence, for a chef like you it must be something spectacular?

Once a week I like to have a nice, big breakfast. A couple eggs over easy, bacon or sausage, toast.

What’s one of your worst cooking mistakes?

I do a cooking club here at the restaurant once a month. We meet with some guys that live around town. Once we made a cheesecake and one of the guys used salt instead of sugar–it came out a little bit salty. We always joke about it.

What do you suggest for first-timers to Compari’s on the Park? What menu item should they make sure to try?

I would recommend the fagioli calabrese. This dish is very unique, it’s something we came up with a few years ago and just started playing with since. It has butter beans, banana peppers, chicken stock, Italian sausage, white wine, cheese, and noodles. People may not be familiar with it, but 90% of those who try it fall in love with it.

Tomorrow I’ll pass along the recipe for Chef Yaquinto’s fagioli calabrese pictured above.

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Creme brulee french toast from Betsie Bay Inn

Perkins sent me this from her camera phone

My mouth is watering just looking at this picture and checking out the ingredients for this recipe–homemade caramel sauce hugging pieces of whipping cream-soaked sourdough bread. Scottish born Lesley Perkins, owner of Betsie Bay Inn & Restaurant in Frankfort, Michigan, graciously passed along this recipe to me when I was interviewing her for MetroParent’s Crumbs column. So if you want to indulge yourself a bit for breakfast–although I think this would be an amazing dessert–here you go. (Perkins told me this is one of her guests’ favorites.)

Recipe

Caramel Sauce

  1. Melt 1 pd. butter in a saucepan (take care to do this slowly so butter does not brown).
  2. Add 3 cups brown sugar.
  3. Whisk together over low heart until sugar is completely dissolved.
  4. Add 1 pint of heavy whipping cream.
  5. Mix well, set to the side.

Egg Mixture

  1. Whisk together 1 dozen eggs, 2 pints whipping cream and 1 teaspoon vanilla until well mixed.
  2. Fill large mixing bowl with bite-sized chunks of good quality bread (we use our homemade sourdough which had a orange zest added to it ).
  3. Pour egg mixture over the bread until the it’s absorbed.

Assembly

  1. Grease glass baking dish with butter, approximately 8” x 14”; we do single servings in a skillet.
  2. Ladle caramel sauce into dish, then fill dish with soaked bread chunks and the rest of the egg mixture.
  3. Bake in oven until golden (about 10 – 12 minutes).
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Tart cherries 101

You might call Jamie Roster a sour cherry aficionado. In 2005, along with her husband, Nick, she became the owner of The Cherry Stop, “the world’s largest selection of cherry food and gifts” in the heart of Traverse City, Michigan, which happens to supply 80% of the country’s sour cherry supplies.

The Cherry Stop is definitely a hands-on business. Along with picking local cherry processors that select cherries from nearby farms, Jamie comes up with new products to highlight the smooth, tart flavor of the berries. Keep reading to learn more about sour cherries and how you can use them to pump of the flavor of your recipes. After talking to Jamie, I used dried cherries to add a zing to my pico de gallo recipe–my kids loved it. And my husband kept asking, “What did you put in this, I like it.”


For more on cherries, here’s Jamie…

Can you explain the types of tart cherries available?

There are two types: Montmorency, which are the premiere cherries for making cherry pies, and Balaton cherries. Montmorency cherries have a red exterior and yellow flesh. They bruise easily once they’re picked. Balaton cherries have a darker skin and a burgundy color from skin to pit.  The Balaton cherries are larger and hardier than Montmorency but they’re not quite as tart. Balatons were originally from Hungary and through a collaboration with Michigan State, they were introduced here about 20 years ago.

How are tart cherries processed?

We’re not involved in the growing or the processing, but I can explain how it’s done. Typically tart cherries are shaken off the trees. There’s this machine that holds the tree and shakes the trunk so that the cherries fall into a canvas underneath. Then the cherries are placed into water containers on trucks. They’re very fragile, so farmers have to be careful transporting them. But the cherries go right from the tree into the processor or they’re frozen. Tart cherries have to be processed very quickly. They don’t last very long off the tree.

What about the cherry products offered at your store?

Our cherry jams are a staple. And our cherry salsa is incredibly popular: it’s tomato based with a little tart and a little spice. Our old-fashioned cherry butter… But we’re constantly coming up with new product ideas.

How do you create new cherry products?

My husband and I are pretty much hands-on in every aspect of production. It’s either my ideas, or my husband’s. At home, we come up with crazy things and try them out in small batches until we perfect the recipe. That’s how I came up with cherry ginger jam. You have to try it—it’s a phenomenal jam. We also have a new product we’ve called ‘cherry catsup,’ but that’s misleading because it’s very versatile—you can use it for everything from pork chops to ice cream.

What should cooks know about using cherries?

The big thing is not to be afraid of trying out something new—cherries are so versatile, whether it’s for something sweet or savory. Cherries compliment other flavors instead of overwhelming them.

To find just about anything “cherry” from jams to t-shirts, you can visit The Cherry Stop in Traverse City or order their products online. And for those of you looking for a unique Father’s Day present, Jamie mentioned she gets more than one call around June asking if they ship fresh, frozen, tart cherries. The answer? You bet.

Next week I’ll have Jamie’s recipe for Cherry Chocolate Chip Oatmeal cookies available for you to try!

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Chef Q&A: Joseph George of Grand Traverse Resort & Spa

Chef Joseph George

Chef Joseph George

I’m still pondering some Thanksgiving tweaks for this year. What about a little pumpkin in the potatoes? I recently spoke with Chef Joseph George, executive chef at the Grand Traverse Resort & Spa in Acme, Michigan who shared some foodie insights as well as a recipe or two.

What three ingredients do you always keep stocked in your pantry?

At home you can always find different types of cheeses like brie, chevre and baby bell which I love eat with rustic breads from local bakeries. I also drink lots of orange juice with eggs, deli meats for sandwiches and cereals.

Your favorite meal to make or serve?

My favorite meal to make is braised short ribs. The there are several cooking techniques involved, which I love, from marinating to searing, to braising to proper cooling so the meat stays moist. You can make this dish multidimensional by pairing it up with several different types of sides.

We all have a favorite indulgence, for a chef like you it must be something spectacular?

I have a sweet tooth. When I indulge, I go for the chocolates in life. I enjoy a rich smooth chocolate infused with different flavors in a truffle or a bon bon. It is quite a treat so I love to analyze it, is it smooth, is it flavorful, is it tempered correctly and the list goes on.

What’s one of your worst cooking mistakes?

One of my worst cooking mistakes happened when I was 19 trying to force my knife through an onion. The knife was dull, slipped and I cut myself pretty bad.  Needless to say, I am a big advocate of sharp knives from then on out since most injuries occur with dull knives, not sharp ones.

There are so many great Michigan-made food products, what is your pick?

My favorite is a new one I just discovered this year and that is the honey cream line from Sleeping Bear Farms. It is a richer form of honey that they produce plain, with lemon or cherry. Great product for home and for a professional kitchen.

What do you suggest for first-timers to Grand Traverse Resort & Spa? What menu item should they make sure to try?

When staying at the hotel or a local going out to dine I highly recommend eating breakfast in Sweetwater bistro and ordering my favorite salmon Benedict. For dinner I would go right to the top of the tower in Aerie Restaurant and Lounge to try the Tuna Tartaki appetizer followed by the Maytag Encrusted Filet.

Yield:  6 servings

Spiced Sirloin:
6 Sirloin Steaks
1 c. quatre espice – (equal parts ground: ginger, cinnamon, white pepper, nutmeg, clove)
2 T. bacon fat
Salt

Pat dry all steaks.  Season steaks with salt, rub generously with quatre espice.  In a large sauté pan, sear both sides of steaks in bacon fat until dark brown.  Roast in oven on roasting rack for 10-12 minutes (medium steak), more or less for different temperatures.

Pumpkin Potato Gratin:

1 quart heavy cream
1 16oz. can pumpkin puree
8 peeled Idaho potatoes
1 T. nutmeg mixed with 1 T. cinnamon
Salt and pepper
1 pound grated parmesan Reggiano

Grease a 9×13 baking pan.  In a small container, mix pumpkin puree, cream and cinnamon mixture.  On a mandolin, slice potatoes very thin, layer potato, cream mixture, salt and pepper then parmesan.  Continue again until pan is full to the top.  Bake covered at 350 degrees for 45 minutes (or until soft all the way through), bake uncovered for an additional 10 minutes until golden brown.  Let rest at room temperature for 15 minutes before cutting.

Mushroom Braised Swiss Chard:

8 stalks Swiss chard – julienned
4 pints button mushrooms – sliced
3 peeled shallots – diced
1 bunch fresh thyme
1 head garlic cut in half
Salt and pepper
12 oz. white wine
½ pound butter
Juice of 2 lemons

In a medium rondo pan, place mushrooms, shallots, thyme, garlic, wine, butter and lemon cook on medium heat covered for approx. 15 minutes.  The mushrooms should release a good amount of liquid, at this time, add the Swiss chard and simmer for 5-7 minutes covered.  Strain and serve.

Assembly:
Cut potato gratin into squares, place over braised Swiss chard/mushroom mixture.  Slice sirloin next to potatoes, cover again with Swiss chard and more mushrooms.  Garnish with fried onions, shaved Reggiano or fresh vegetables.

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Chef Q&A: Pam Turkin of Just Baked

cupcakes

Photo credit: Pam Turkin

For over a year, Pam Turkin put in long hours through the weekend tweaking and perfecting her recipe for buttercream frosting. “I bet I made 100 batches,” recalls Turkin of her efforts. Along with buttercream, Turkin baked different varieties of cupcakes trying to find the right balance of sweetness, flavor, moistness and that indescribable something that just makes cupcakes so alluring: See Just Baked’s Fat Elvis cupcake for an example☺

During the week, Turkin worked in marketing and advertising often traveling for her job. She’d noticed on her travels little boutique cupcake shops dotting each coast and yet when she got home to Michigan, she couldn’t find a similar shop. “I just got it into my head that a cupcake shop was one thing I wanted to bring Detroit,” says Turkin. To date, she’s brought four retail shops, called Just Baked to Michigan.

Turkin’s first store opened in Livonia in 2009. Other stores followed in Ann Arbor, Royal Oak, Twelve Oaks Mall in Novi, and soon the first franchise in Canton, just across the street from IKEA. While Turkin admits baking, marketing, planning and everything else involved with running the cupcake shops have eaten away most of her time, her family has been supportive all along the way. Granted, her five kids acted as the official taste-testers in the early days of her business!

So far, Turkin’s keeping mum on her cupcake recipes (darn!), but she passed along a recipe for her pumpkin cookies to share with MKES readers.

What three ingredients do you always keep stocked in your pantry?
Fresh eggs, fresh butter, potato chips

Your favorite meal to make or serve?
I love to cook. My favorite meal to cook is Thanksgiving dinner—the turkey, stuffing, I love the smell of it, the look of it—I love everything about it.

We all have a favorite indulgence, for a foodie like you it must be something spectacular?
Easy, shortbread. We make our own homemade shortbread to use in a lot of our cupcake bottoms. Many of the cupcakes are layered. We also use crumbled shortbread as a topping for our strawberry cheesecake cupcakes. My employees know to stash a little extra shortbread in the back for me.

What’s one of your worst cooking mistakes?
My mother never cooked, but she happens to make one thing really well and that’s brisket. No matter what I do, I either overcook or undercook it. Every time I make it it’s just wrong. I’ve given up.

There are so many great Michigan-made food products, what is your pick?
I love Faygo sodas. When I think of Detroit I think of Faygo, it’s indicative of Detroit. I had the opportunity to go to the plant—it has to be the best smelling place in the world. It smells just like orange cream soda.

What do you suggest for first-timers to Just Baked? What menu item should they make sure to try?
Our Grumpy cake cupcake is definitely our bestseller. With the holidays coming up, though, I’d have to recommend the pumpkin pie cupcake—it’s my personal favorite. Then there’s the sweet potato pie cupcake that we also only do around this time of year and that’s really good too. *By request Turkin also has gluten free and vegan cupcakes available.

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Chef Q&A: The Jolly Pumpkin’s Maggie Long

Photo credit: esthereggy

The concept for the Jolly Pumpkin Café & Brewery has literally been stewing for years. The eatery located in downtown Ann Arbor is the brainchild of chef, and managing partner, Maggie Long and brewer extraordinaire Ron Jeffries. Jeffries has been crafting his artisanal sour beers in Dexter, Michigan for years and now has a restaurant and brewery in Traverse City along with the café, which opened in September of 2009.

Long says the philosophy behind the food at the café is fresh, organic. For example, her oldest daughter volunteers at an area farm where some of the ingredients come from for the café. And the sourdough pizza is fashioned with a sourdough starter that Long received from a fellow foodie whose held onto it for 130 years. Beyond the fresh ingredients, Long says that the aim of the café is “welcoming.” “We want everyone to feel comfortable here, especially families,” explains Long. “I love to see families here and I’m honored to provide food for them that is both healthy and delicious.” She notes that the menu includes kid favorites like chicken strips, but that the strips are made from locally raised chickens and breaded in organic cornflakes.

For a taste of Long’s organic creations, you can try this recipe from the Jolly Pumpkin café’s appetizer menu; this edamame spread is served alongside fresh, grilled sourdough pizza.

What three ingredients do you always keep stocked in your pantry?

Quinoa, organic peanut butter—it’s gotta be crunchy, and honey from the farmer’s market. Those are the staples in my house. It doesn’t mean I put those all together!

Your favorite meal to make or serve?

That’s a hard one. I absolutely love Tamworth hogs. A braised pork shoulder is my favorite meal–slow cooked. Tamworth is a heritage breed of hog and it’s a flavor not to be missed. It’s a darker meat and it has a ton of flavor.

We all have a favorite indulgence, for a foodie like you it must be something spectacular?

Ron introduced me to Alan McClure of Patric Chocolate, a small chocolate maker in Missouri. I’m not usually a fan of dark chocolate but the stuff this guy puts together is absolutely amazing. My favorite is the 70% Madagascar chocolate bar with little cocoa nibs in it. It’s addictive.

What’s one of your worst cooking mistakes?

Anything that I burn. Once, I burned the mac ‘n cheese sauce—totally toasted it. I tried to fix it, but you can’t. I use really good pasta and really good cheeses, but nothing can take that scorched flavor out.

There are so many great Michigan-made food products, what is your pick?

For me, anything seasonal. Rosewood Farms makes a phenomenal tofu.

What do you suggest for first-timers to Jolly Pumpkin? What menu item should they make sure to try?

I make a smoked tofu salad that’s really good. There’s spinach, cherry tomatoes, shitake mushrooms, shaved broccoli, a sesame vinaigrette and, of course, smoked tofu. The flavors meld really well. The sourdough pizza is always good too.

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Q&A with The Henry Ford’s Head Chef, Nick Seccia

Oven-Seared Amish-Raised Chicken Chop
Decadent & creative

Fiddling in the kitchen one day, The Henry Ford’s Executive Chef, Nick Seccia, dreamed up one of his signature creations—a flavor-infused chicken breast modeled after a pork chop. Using fresh herbs grown at the Greenfield Village (the historic town which is part of the museum’s property) and animals raised on local farms, Chef Nick concocted the inventive dish. Did I mention that the chicken breast is wrapped in bacon?

Buying local not only helps support Michigan’s economy, explains Chef Nick, but it’s also good for the environment too. And there’s an even better reason why Chef Nick uses local ingredients in his professional kitchen and in his home—it tastes better. For home cooks, Chef Nick suggests getting to know the farmers’ markets in your area. He’s also a regular at the Eastern Market in Detroit. “I remember how exciting it was to go there as a child,” recalls Chef Nick, who grew up in Novi and Gaylord. “It’s really coming back. It’s a lively, happening place now with lots of great, local vendors.”

Below Chef Nick, who regularly creates everything from 5-course meals for high-end events to finger foods for visiting school groups to menus for the museum’s on-site eateries, shares some insights into his cooking style. He also passed along the recipe for his Oven-Seared, Amish-Raised Chicken “Chop” with Morel Sauce.

What three ingredients do you always keep stocked in your pantry?
It’s tough to choose just three. But, I’d have to say veal stock, fresh herbs and butter. Real butter.

What is your favorite meal to make or eat?
Anything braised. I like dishes where the meat has been seared and then cooked for a long time so that it just becomes tender.

We all have a favorite indulgence, for a foodie like you it must be something spectacular?
Chocolate. I like ganaches (smooth, creamy chocolate sauce or frosting) that are made with a high percentage of chocolate.

What’s one of your worst cooking mistakes?
I learned how to cook first and when you’re cooking you create dishes using your eyes and your palette. I tried to do the same with baking. Now this was a long time ago, but I made this cake without measuring any ingredients. I can’t even remember what kind of cake it was supposed to be–it was just terrible.

There are so many great Michigan-made food products, what is your pick?
Real Michigan maple syrup.

What do you suggest for first-timers to The Henry Ford? What menu item should they make sure to try?
At the Eagle Tavern, we make our own sausage. We use Berkshire hogs. And these hogs are raised exclusively on apple pulp. It’s something you won’t find anywhere else.

If you’d like a taste of Chef Nick’s culinary creations, you can head to The Henry Ford in Dearborn and try any of the eateries there, or you can master one of his dishes at home.

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Q&A with The Fly Trap’s Kara McMillian

The Fly Trap's Red Chile Salmon Burger

A creamy combo of cheddar, smoked Gouda, and Blue cheeses mixed in with the trademark elbow macaroni, then topped with caramelized onions. Is your mouth watering yet? That’s the description of The Fly Trap’s 3 Cheese and Mac. I’ve had friends go in and order this dish planning on eating about a third of it at the diner and then snacking on the rest for a week afterwards.

Located in Ferndale, The Fly Trap’s notoriety for serving classic dishes alongside funky favorites like Asian pho bowls and tofu fried rice have made it not only a hit among locals, but even the Food Network has featured its fixins’ on Guy Fieri’s Diners, Drive-ins and Dives (that’s where I first heard about it).

Kara McMillian and her brother Sean McClanaghan, are the co-owners of the popular dining spot. Kara’s husband, Gavin, is the brain (and head chef!) behind the eclectic, mouth-watering menu. Here, she spills on her favorite ingredients—and her go-to dish when she dines at work.

What three ingredients do you always keep stocked in your pantry?

I love cooking with spice. Big flavors are what set us apart. That’s our biggest complaint when we have new guests come to the restaurant–we like to add a little spice to our dishes. At home we always have Sambal Oelek, which is a Vietnamese red chili paste, on hand. Olive oil. Locally made tofu.

Your favorite meal?

My favorite meal on the menu is the fried rice. We use short grain brown rice, tons of roasted eggplant and red pepper; shiitake, cremini and oyster mushrooms; carrots; sugar snap peas; fresh spinach; and a splash of chili paste. It’s so good with lots of veggies and whole grain rice. Mmmm. It’s something that I like to have to take home with me.

We all have a favorite indulgence, for a foodie like you it must be something spectacular?

I recently took up making desserts. I used recipes from Baked, which is from a bakery in New York City. Their brownies are absolutely spectacular. I get requests for pans and more pans. The key is there’s the smallest amount of espresso powder in the brownies and that turns the corner with the flavor—they are super rich.

What’s one of your worst cooking mistakes?

I made a whole batch of cookies once and let people eat them without trying them myself. They had way too much flour and baking soda in them.

There are so many great Michigan-made food products, what is your pick?

Tofu. We buy our tofu from Michigan Soy Products in Royal Oak. It’s a really good product. We also get fresh fruit and fresh-squeezed juices from the Western Market right here in Ferndale.

What do you suggest for first-timers to The Fly Trap? What menu item should they make sure to try?

There are two categories of first timers. For a real crowd-pleaser, I would suggest the Charmoula Chicken, which is a North African spiced chicken breast, jack cheese, caramelized onion on grilled sourdough with a lemon, garlic aioli. But for those who are a little more adventurous, I’d recommended the Vietnamese pho bowl, which is a really brothy, spicy dish that has your choice of tofu or chicken, rice and tons of veggies. On a cold day, it’s really heartwarming.

If you’d like to get a taste of The Fly Trap at home, McMillian graciously shared her recipe the Red Chili Salmon burger.

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