When you think of northern Michigan you may think of the dunes, the woods, the lake, but what you may not think of are the number of locals who gather here to partake in the goodness that our land gives us every season. So when Nathan from Kinfolk and I began to conceptualize an idea for a story for an upcoming issue, I of course thought of my close friends and favorite chefs, Cammie and Andy of Epicure Catering.
When I first moved to northern Michigan Cammie and Andy taught me the value of what our area had for us and why this place is so precious. It only seemed right to share the story of Epicure and how Cammie and Andy come together to work with local farms and foodies to give the best of what this area offers to their customers and friends.
We planned the shoot for a night in early September. Tec and Chelsea Petaja came to Omena, Michigan and we gathered together to cook a meal and shoot the story for Kinfolk. Andy had received a few fish from a local native American fisherman and packed it in salt and placed on the fire to allow it to cook slowly and absorb all it’s own flavors.
As the meal was cooking, friends gathered as we knew we would have tons of wonderful food to share with those that meant the most to all of us. The food Andy put together was the perfect example of how to cook with the seasons. He gathered only the freshest foods for us to enjoy during the shoot.
We set the table and everyone brought something to share to drink for the evening. The weather couldn’t have been any more ideal for the early onset of Fall. It felt like the last goodbye to everyone’s favorite season in northern Michigan; Summer.
We all took our seats and Andy brought the fish and the lamb out to share with us all. It was quite the display with him cracking open the salt packs and serving the fish on platters for all of us to devour.
Before we partook in the meal we all raised our glasses to the beauty of the land we live and the friends, farmers, craftsmen, and people that make it come to life for all of us. We raised our glasses to the end of Summer, the beginning of Fall, and the slow decent in to Winter. We raised our glasses to the Summers ahead and the bounty we would share in again as a group of friends in weather like this.
Though it was early in September, the apple orchards were the horizon to our evening. They held the goodness of the coming Fall, which we would enjoy at the harvest parties to come in October and November, but for now I think we all wanted to simply linger in to the beauty of the moments of Summer.
There is no better way to close out the Summer than with a meal like this to share the story of how it all came together, the people who made it happen, and why local eating is so important. Then to be able to share this with Kinfolk and the world made it that much more special.
In many ways we try to keep northern Michigan a little secret, but some stories, such as this one, are far too amazing not to be told and shared.
I hope you all take the chance to read our piece in Kinfolk and share in our evening through the piece we were lucky to be apart of in this Spring issue. The whole issue is beautiful so make sure to grab it. It was such an honor to have our story amongst so many other inspiring creatives and artists. This collaboration process was one of my favorites thus far and I am so glad to share it with so many.
Cheers to more beautiful nights such as this that bring the closest to you all together and places the best of what makes your area beautiful on your table!
Contributors to our story:
Writing: Shea Petaja
Photography: Tec Petaja
Styling: Chelsea Petaja
Coordination and connecting: Megan Gilger
Food and location: Epicure Catering