A group of Grand Rapids chefs are teaming up this week on a five-course meal to benefit a local nonprofit.
Grove is hosting the harvest-themed dinner from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 13. Tickets are $75, with $25 of each ticket benefitting Slow Food West Michigan, which is a nonprofit that recognizes and promotes food producers, artisans, purveyors, chefs and restaurateurs in West Michigan. Reservations are still available, but going quickly, call 616-454-1000 to make yours.
Participating chefs include Jeremy Paquin, head chef at Grove, Aaron VanTimmeren, head chef at Bistro Bella Vita, Jenna Arcidiacono, owner and founder of Amoré Trattoria Italiana, Bob Huynh, head chef at Nonna’s Trattoria & Pantry, and Corey Barrett, an Iron Chef competitor and two-time James Beard award nominee from the Culinary and Sustainable Food Systems program at Kalamazoo Valley Community College
GR|Mag talked to Paquin about the event.
GR|Mag: There are five chefs participating. How did that come about and why do you think it’s important to come together and collaborate on this dinner?
JP: We wanted to make it a really interesting and unique event for the guest, so it came about by me asking close friends, who happen to be chefs, to participate. I’ve known each chef for a very, very long time.
It’s an opportunity for us to get together, cook and really give the guest a unique experience—five different cooking styles, highlighting local food.
GR|Mag: What do you think this willingness to collaborate says about the restaurant community in Grand Rapids?
JP: I think it is showing a level of camaraderie and unifying everyone around a common goal. We are like-minded chefs, so working and participating together strengthens the local restaurant scene. It is also great for us as chefs because we get to talk shop and bounce new ideas off each other, which is great for everyone involved.
GR|Mag: Is each of the chefs in charge of one portion of the dinner?
JP: Each chef will prepare one of the courses, with each highlighting local products and the cooking style of that specific chef. For example, Cory Barrett is a very well known pastry chef, so he inevitably cooks dessert.
GR|Mag: Is there anything else about this experience that you think would be important to include?
JP: This is a great opportunity for chefs who really value the importance of giving back to their community and representing the local farms they enjoy using. We are happy to have the support of our guests and the local community, who ultimately make events like this possible.
*Photo courtesy of Grove