Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Venue Video

Mostly for those who did not attend
Sample video(s) of Hagerty Center ballroom  ... here

Thursday, November 1, 2012

The fire is lit

Rick Coates on the prospects beyond our little event

"Sometimes you need an outsider’s perspective to truly understand what you have.
That perspective came last week by the way of best selling author/writer Michael Ruhlman and award winning chef Brian Polcyn. The two were in Traverse City for Pigstock and visited area farms, wineries, breweries and restaurants. They addressed 200 guests at the Pigstock dinner to benefit the new 10 Cents A Meal program that serves local farm products at area school lunch programs.
The underlying message from both was that the region has become a “mini mecca” when it comes to food and drink. The question they posed to those of us in the audience was, what are we going to do to maximize the potential we have to create a major economic engine out of all that we have?
To a certain extent, without any real organization or structure over the past 20 years we have seen numerous wineries, breweries, distilleries, restaurants and small farm operations sprout up in the region. The impact on our economy and tourism industry as a result has been huge. But we need to do more, when outsiders like Polcyn, Ruhlman and others visit our area they come to the immediate conclusion we are sitting on a goldmine."
More here : Northern Express 

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Tuesday, October 23, 2012


Awesome dinner, great guests

Big Thank You to all the chefs, NMC Staff, Allison, Brian and Michael, Peter ...

Already planning a better event for 2013

A bit of fun

Always serious Chef Polcyn on dry cure

click here


New site for hosting photos

Attendees, please consider signing on and sharing


Sunday, October 21, 2012



A change of pace from past years (frosty morns)

From Intellicast for Traverse City

Monday, October 22
PM Showers
PM Showers
View Detailed Hourly »
SunriseRise: 8:07 AMSet: 6:45 PMSunsetRise: 3:08 PMSet: 12:37 AM
Day: A mix of clouds and sun in the morning giving way to a few showers during the afternoon. High 68F. Winds light and variable. Chance of rain 30%.
Night: Showers and thundershowers likely. Low near 55F. Winds light and variable. Chance of rain 60%.
UVUV Index: 3 (Moderate)
Relative HumidityRelative Humidity: 74%
PrecipitationPrecipitation: 60%
Snow ProbabilitySnow Probability: 0%
Cloud CoverageCloud Coverage: 61%
Moon PhaseMoon Phase: First Quarter
Wind Speed: 2Mph (3Km, 1Kts)
Wind Direction: 124° (SE)

Friday, October 19, 2012

No autographs please

Cammie and Andy from Epicure Catering have been huge helpers in getting
PigStockTC established

Above and beyond the call of duty

    Thank You


On Food

Excellent post by Michael

Huffington Post on why write about food

"So telling stories about food and cooking is not only natural, it's necessary for our survival. It's important to understand how something that is essential to our humanity and our well-being affects all other aspects of our lives and our humanity. No one questions the need to explore string theory and economic policy, or asks for justification for art and literature. But people do question the seriousness of writing about food. I can go weeks without quantum physics or a good movie. Can't say that about food. I dream of a day when we no longer need to be obsessed with food, because that would mean that we had figured it out, we had all come to a common understanding of how to grow our food, distribute it, and consume it in ways that don't make us sick and crazy, but rather healthy and happy; that, rather than being guilty, fearful, and intimidated by food, we instead rejoiced in food; that we would cook together, with our families and friends, and then sit down to share this cared-for food and tell each other the stories of our day.

This I think I was meant to do. To connect food with what I believe is fundamental to our lives and our happiness, to our humanity, and to do so through story. I will continue to write about many things, but I will never stop writing about food and cooking, what food and cooking means, to make it clear that cooking dinner is not a chore or a hassle, not simply the fulfillment of a bodily need, or even an indulgence, but is in fact fundamental to our humanity and to the health of our children and our children's children."

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Local Press

Good stuff in the Record Eagle 

We're going to hit the ground running

Also, since we are changing the program, with less in the way of scheduled meals for participants, here are some local places

This is NOT an exclusive list, just representing chefs that are either participating or attending, and in no ranking order, also only listing ones that are in or close to Traverse City

BTW : if you want us to add to this list, just let us know

Bistro FouFou (was Hanna)
LaBecasse' (Burdickville)
Mission Table (Bowers Harbor)
Boathouse Restaurant (Bowers Harbor)
Cook's House
Trattoria Stella
The Riverside (Leland)
Black Star Farms (Sutton's Bay)

And let's not forget brews and wines
Here are participating breweries/wineries (but please note that there are over 30 in the region, please support them as well)

Right Brain Brewery
Left Foot Charley
Brys Estates
Château Fontaine
Shady Lane
Black Star Farms

Wednesday, October 17, 2012


2012 Event Schedule

Monday, October 22, 2012

  • -  Breakfast on own, light snacks at the farm and coffee
  • -  9:00 AM Santucci Farm for slaughter-­‐ Check in upon arrival
  • -  12:00 PM Lunch onsite
  • -  2:00 PM Depart for wine tour
  • -  Dinner on own

    Tuesday, October 23, 2012
  • -  Breakfast on own
  • -  9:00 AM Classes start with Wiesners & Polcyn at Hagerty Center
  • -  12:00 PM Break for lunch
  • -  1:00 PM Return to class with Wiesners & Polcyn
  • -  6:00 PM Pigstock Dinner at Hagerty (not included in standard registration fee) -
    Wednesday, October 24, 2012
  • -  Breakfast on own
  • -  9:00 AM Classes start with Wiesners & Polcyn at Hagerty Center
  • -  12:00 PM Break for lunch
  • -  12:45 PM Return to class with Polcyn
  • -  5:00 PM Class ends
  • -  Each of you will receive one printed manual on Tuesday at the Hagerty Center.
  • -  If you have knives and would like to bring your own, please do.
  • -  Dress warm for the farm. You will be outside for several hours.
    Addresses for Events
    Bayshore Resort-­‐ 833 East Front Street (231) 935-­‐4400
    Santucci Farm-­‐ 11789 Center Rd. Call Allison Beers if lost (231) 883-­‐2708
    (The farm is just past Peninsula Cellars on the left hand side of the road) Hagerty Center-­‐ 715 East Front Street (231) 995-­‐1146
    If you have questions at any time, please contact Allison Beers at 231-­‐883-­‐2708.

Monday, October 15, 2012

And it just keeps getting better

What have we started?

Last weekend was ISLAND/Epicure Catering Hog Breakdown:

Now Randy is butchering a hog tomorrow

and Mark Baker is having an event early Nov

We don't take credit for all of this, but we do applaud the continuing growth of the local hog/proteins movement

Pig Ears?


And here's a story on Pig Ear Terrine

Saturday, October 13, 2012

10 cents a meal

What's it all about ?

Record-Eagle piece here


October 13, 2012
By Diane Conners
Would you chip in $1 if it meant 10 schoolchildren could eat locally grown fruits and vegetables at lunch on Monday?

How about $10 for 100 kids? That's about four classes full of children, bursting with energy and ready to learn new things.

You can do just that by contributing to a new campaign that starts this fall for a program that could be in place by spring: 10 Cents a Meal for School Kids & Farms. This new pilot project in the Grand Traverse region puts into action one of the 25 recommendations of the Michigan Good Food Charter, which suggests that extra spending power in tight school budgets will help Michigan's economy while putting healthy food on kids' plates.

Michigan schools serve 141.4 million lunches a year, so 10 cents a meal would send $14 million to the state's farms and food businesses. As Gary Derrigan, food service director for Traverse City Area Public Schools, notes that TCAPS is the largest restaurant in the region. 

Many of the schools in our region are committed to serving more local food, but they face incredibly tight budgets. For about $50,000 a year, this program would provide up to nine school districts in four counties an extra 10 cents per school lunch for locally grown fruits and vegetables multiple times a week, mostly in elementary schools. Eventually, the project could be expanded throughout our region. 

The10 Cents a Meal program is a joint, two-year effort of the Michigan Land Use Institute's farm to school program and the Traverse Bay Area Intermediate School District. It's supported by the Northwest Michigan Food & Farming Network, which has a big goal:
For at least 20 percent of the food we eat in our region to be locally grown by 2020.

MLUI is working with these schools to serve and promote more locally grown food in their cafeterias. And each has pledged to match the 10 cents provided by the fund with an additional 10 cents from their existing school lunch dollars.

Many children eat up to two meals a day at school, where they're picking up lifetime eating habits. With an obesity crisis threatening the health of our kids, it's important they have great experiences with fruits and vegetables. Serving local food can provide that positive experience; it's delicious, and it's fun for the kids to get to know the farmers who grow their food.

At one local school, kids started eating five times as many apples when the food service director switched to juicy, flavorful fruit delivered from a farm down the road. It was a welcome change from the bland apples grown across the country — not for flavor, but for their ability to withstand handling and long-distance shipping. 

At another school, a child told a Leelanau County farmer that his potatoes tasted sweeter than the regular potatoes the school had been serving — and the boy was right. The potato the farmer grew was a small and tender "new" potato instead of a dry, russet baking potato. 

Another farmer reported that families were calling to buy asparagus from him because their kids had tasted it roasted at school and loved it.

The local food distribution company Cherry Capital Foods is raising money for 10 Cents a Meal through its annual PigstockTC event for professional and serious home chefs. The public is invited to a seven-course meal prepared by featured chefs on Oct. 23, and Cherry Capital will donate $10 of every $75 ticket sold toward the program.

If you would like to support 10 Cents a Meal, feel free to contact me. And watch for a Facebook page soon with more details.

Diane Conners is senior policy specialist in food and farming at the Michigan Land Use Institute. She directs MLUI's farm to school program. Learn more about the Michigan Good Food Charter at michiganfood.org; and about the Food & Farming Network at foodandfarmingnetwork.org. More information on PigstockTC is available at mlui.org and from Cherry Capital Foods.

Friday, October 12, 2012


There may be some last ming changes but this is the menu planned :


Pigstock TC 2012 Wine Dinner

Tuesday, October 23 at 6:00 pm will feature the Pigstock TC Wine Dinner. Enjoy a seven course wine dinner prepared by some of the best local chefs.
Cocktail Hour Beer- Right Brain Brewery’s Mangalitsa Pig Porter

1st Course
Leelanau County Country Terrine with Raclette Cup
Black Star Farms Apple Brandy, Mustard, Verjus Pickled Beets, Pea Shoots
Prepared by Jon Dayton of Black Star Farms
Black Star Farms Arcturos Pinot Noir Rose

2nd Course
Smoked Neck Roast w/ Garganelli, Golden Chanterelles and Roasted Garlic
Prepared by Myles Anton from Trattoria Stella
Left Foot Charley Pinot Gris

3rd Course
Chicken Gumbo w/ Salami Diablo
Prepared by Coburn McNaughton from The Hagerty Center
2011 Brys Estates Gewurztraminer

4th Course
Pan Fried Lardo with Sauce Gribiche
Prepared by Guillaume Hazaël-Massieux and Adam McMarlin from Bistro FouFou / La Becasse
Chateau Fontaine Pinot Noir

5th Course
24 Hour Pork Shoulder with Pig Head Torchon & Pickled Mustard Seed
Prepared by Paul Olson and Justin Tootla from Mission Table
07 Peninsula Cellars Cab Franc Merlot from Hogs Back Vineyard

6th Course
Cassoulet - sausage, pork, duck, lamb served family style
Prepared by Eric Patterson and Jennifer Blakeslee from The Cooks’ House
Shady Lane Franc ‘n’ Franc

7th Course
Rhode Island Greening Apple Tart with Mangalitsa Lard Crust
Prepared by Fred Laughlin from The Great Lakes Culinary Institute
Black Star Farms Sirius Maple Dessert Wine

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Party with the Pig

Our friends at The Cook's House are having a Pig Roast Sunday before PigstockTC

Caution, then you'll have to fast for a day or two

Attire ?

Question hasn't come up - yet

Attire : "Up North Casual" or as some call it "Up North Business"

Not fancy, no ties, likely not even sport jackets (depends on weather)

This is about the food, the experience, the camaraderie, listen to great food speakers, talk about local food, celebrate the harvest.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Other events

In case you come to town early, consider Sutton's Bay Fall Wine & Art event

Details here

Sutton's Bay is a short drive up West Bay from Traverse City

Also consider visiting local wineries
Word is that the season has been "near perfect" and we expect an exceptional vintage

Visit LP Wines for more information here and wineries of Old Mission Peninsula here

Come early, stay late, enjoy !

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Presentation Partners

Christoph and Brian

Our champion presenters ... they told me that they would only present with each other


Monday, October 1, 2012

Not Wrigley Field ... but

Michael has posted up the Oct tour dates

We're not Wrigley Field, but Hagerty is nice and warm

link here to Salumi Tour with more teasers

Sunday, September 30, 2012

More boost for the area

Now NewYork Magazine picks up the theme


Of course, they pick up on 3 of our 7 Fundraiser Dinner chefs


Saturday, September 29, 2012

Thursday, September 27, 2012


Because this is a blog format, where posts scroll down, we are re-posting the Registration link here

To register for the Event, classes for the home chef or the Polcyn/Ruhlman dinner please click 

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Re-iteration of why to visit the area

The greater Traverse City Area continues to gain attention

Come early and/or leave late

Forbes Magazine coverage here

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Excellent piece on Brian and Michaels impact

Detroit Free Press :

New book underscores Brian Polcyn's impact on dining

"In the grand scheme of things, not many chefs can legitimately claim to have made a tangible impact on dining in America. But Brian Polcyn, a chef and teacher in our own backyard, can.
Not that he does. Or would. But he could.

It's an accomplishment largely unrecognized here, where restaurant goers and serious cooks have known his name and patronized his restaurants -- from Pike Street to Five Lakes Grill to Forest Grill -- for more than two decades.

But as he and co-author Michael Ruhlman mark the release this month of "Salumi: The Art of Italian Dry Curing," their second book on cured meats, it's an appropriate time to step back for a broader view of Polcyn and what he has contributed to cooking in America.

As much as anyone in this country, he has helped ignite a renaissance in the artisanal crafts of French charcuterie and Italian salumi -- the traditional, Old World methods of preserving meats to make everything from prosciutto and salami to country patés and smoky bacon."

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Fundraiser : the PigstockTC Dinner


but we're already planning for 2013 !!!

Pigstock TC Dinner

Tuesday, October 23rd
6:30 pm doors open
7:00 pm dinner

Hagerty Center
$75 per person ~ Order Tickets HERE

Where do we even start?  There is  something for everyone to enjoy! 
Enjoy a seven course wine dinner prepared by some of the best local chefs.  Featured chefs include: Myles Anton from Trattoria Stella, Paul Olson from Mission Table, Guillaume Hazaël-Massieux from Restaurant La Bécasse and Bistro Foufou, Eric Patterson from The Cooks’ House, Fred Laughlin from The Great Lakes Culinary Instutite, Coburn McNaughton from The Hagerty Center and John Dayton from Black Star Farms.

Each chef will prepare a small plate course “loosely inspired” by Brian Polcyn and Michael Ruhlman’s books, including their latest book, Salumi: The Craft of Italian Dry Curing.  Polcyn and Ruhlman will be featured during the dinner where they will be interviewed, by Peter Payette from Interlochen Public Radio. 

 Wait, we’re not stopping there!  $10 of each ticket sale from Pigstock will go toward the nonprofit Michigan Land Use Institute’s farm to school program to build a 10 Cents a Meal pilot program for interested area schools. 

10 Cents a Meal, a joint project of MLUI and Traverse Bay Area Intermediate School District, will provide an extra 10 cents a meal to area schools to purchase locally grown fruits and vegetables, benefiting kids and the local farm economy!

For the Home Chef

Basic Butchery for the Home Chef

Monday, October 22nd

Garde Manger Lab, Great Lakes Culinary Institute 
$50 per person - More Information and Registration HERE

Learn how to breakdown primal cuts of meat for use in the home.  Not sure what to do with the pig from the 4H Fair?  Learn how to use these meats and more.  Sample some of the products like homemade bacon and sausage.  

Aprons will be provided.  Class taught by Chef Bob Rodriguez, Instructor at the Great Lakes Culinary Institute- Northwestern Michigan College.  Chef Rodriguez teaches classes in Garde Manger, meat cutting and charcuterie.  

Sunday, September 9, 2012


A note on meats

Note that this is an open blog, with no pre-screening for vegetarianism or pro-PETA attitudes.

The hogs used are pasture raised, treated humanly and with respect.

Slaughter is done with minimal stress, and respect for the animal

Besides - this provides the best meats

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Who are these Chefs and what are they planning?

We'll have word out soon
In the meantime, mark your calendar for evening of October 23rd 

As guitarist Brian May plays it  ... We Will Rock You

Monday, September 3, 2012