Episode 10 - The Details
Eric and Jenn are talented, soulful Chefs who operate the lovely Cooks House in Traverse City. They put forward a dining experience that is both culinary indulgence and intimately personal. The connect to ingredients and technique with such harmony, they make it look simple. I enjoyed being able to take the time to hear their story and share a couple of drinks.
The Music: Everywhere is Calling courtesy of and © Cavepeople
Eric Patterson and Jennifer Blakeslee worked together in Las Vegas, where they had been cooking in Michelin-starred kitchens, namely under iconic French chef André Rochat and hatched an idea to open a small restaurant in Blakeslee’s native Traverse City built on the bounty of locally grown and foraged foods. “We take most of our focus from the actual ingredients themselves,” Patterson explains. “My food is a bit simpler, whereas Jen likes to work with more complex flavors from her travels in India, Mexico and Southeast Asia.” Patterson and Blakeslee supplement their busy year-round dinner service with cooking classes that explore regional cuisines and improvised seasonal cooking from local farmers markets.
The eponymous retrofitted address on Wellington Street speaks to the inspired minimalism of farm-to-fork cuisine that has established The Cooks’ House as one of the Midwest’s cultiest eateries. The white, well-lit, 26-seat dining room is hung with modern paintings from local artists, and tables are set with white linens and quality crystal, but the restaurant emphasizes a comfortable come-as-you-are approach to enlightened local eating. (The dress code is simply “clothes.”) The Cooks’ House retains a high staff-to-guest ratio so that diners are never wanting for comfort, and atmosphere is relaxed and social with tables trading conversation.
Jason Salas is the Brewery Production Manager for New Holland Brewing Co. and has been a part of our team since 2007. Jason started his passion for brewing as a home brewer and brewery tour guide. Jason has his brewing certification from Institute of Brewing and Distilling, and is currently working on his diploma in brewing. Jason enjoys all things outdoors, Dungeons and Dragons and video games.
Episode 9 - The Details
Scott is a well seasoned advocate and ambassador for breweries, particularly those that have opened in Michigan. I’ve worked with him in several different capacities, and have always been impressed with his grace under fire, and his natural posture of looking forward. We caught up, away from the brisk pace that Guild events typically have, at Old Boy’s Brewhouse in Spring Lake over a couple of beers. Scott then introduces me for a special edition 2nd segment, which is the keynote address I delivered to the MSU Hop & Barley Conference in Traverse City a few weeks back.
The Drinks: Motor City Brewing’s Ghetto Blaster, New Holland’s Dragon’s Milk Reserve, Vanilla Chai, Old Boy’s Brewhouse, Michigan Common.
The Music: Underground Giver courtesy of and © Seth Bernard
Scott Graham is a Northern Michigan native and has been involved with brewing and beer in Michigan for more than 20 years. He has a background in both brewing and beer sales and marketing including a diploma in Brewing Technology. He served as an apprentice at the Frankenmuth Brewery, was a founding Brewmaster for Big Buck Brewery and has managed sales for breweries, both large and small. Since 2007, Scott has served as the Executive Director of the Michigan Brewers Guild – a non-profit corporation which aims to unify the Michigan brewing community; to increase sales of Michigan-brewed beer through promotions, marketing, public awareness and consumer education; ant to monitor and assure a healthy beer industry within the state. Under his direction, the Guild has grown significantly in scale and reputation. In addition to his role in Michigan's brewing community, Scott is a dedicated father to 8-year-old Lily. The two enjoy spending time in and near Lake Michigan, skiing the area slopes, enjoying the outdoors in Northern Michigan and while traveling around the state.
Fred Bueltmann, aka The Beervangelist, is an owner of New Holland Brewing Company, where he serves as Vice President of Brand and Lifestyle. He is a nationally recognized expert on pairing beer and food, and a Certified Cicerone®. Bueltmann is past president of the Michigan Brewers Guild and recipient of their prestigious “Tom Burns Award” recognizing the pioneering spirit of the “Great Beer State.” Fred serves as a judge for the Brewer’s Association’s Great American Beer Festival and World Beer Cup. His first book, “Beervangelist’s Guide to the Galaxy” is a seasonal tome on pairing, cooking and hosting with craft beer, and was recognized as an Indie Book Award finalist. Fred hosts and produces New Holland’s “Stop & Taste Conversations” podcast, and speaks to audiences large and small around the country, which has included serving as 2013 Keynote Speaker for the Michigan Restaurant Association and TedX Macatawa in 2015.