Where are all the female executive chefs? In an interview with eater.com defending the lack of women in last year’s “Gods of Food” issue, Time editor Howard Chua-Eoan said: “It reflects one very harsh reality … which unfortunately has been true for years: It’s still a boys club.” Hernandez talks to area chefs about the topic (and more) on page 72. She also got a taste of culinary life, starting a pop-up restaurant and surviving to tell about it (page 35). “My chef friends always tell me they can’t watch Food Network or Top Chef because it’s unrealistic and makes cooking look glamorous. After standing on my feet days on end, burning myself with hot oil, and cleaning the fryer, now I understand,” she says. She’s still addicted to Top Chef.
Kate Bingaman-Burt makes work about the things we buy and the feelings we feel. The building blocks of her work include bright colors, hand lettering, inventories of illustrated objects, and input and interaction from the communities of awesome people who contribute to her crowd-sourced projects. See her work on page 40. She is the author of three books: Obsessive Consumption: What Did You Buy Today?, What Did I Eat Today?: A Food Lover’s Journal, and What Did I Buy Today?: An Obsessive Consumption Journal, (published by Princeton Architectural Press). Bingaman-Burt is an associate professor of graphic design at Portland State University and believes teaching is integral to her creative process.
This month, photographer Cybelle Codish went on a wild tasting adventure. “Any day that starts with fresh-made jam, followed by an exotic tea tasting, pickled vegetables, and ends with a refreshing cocktail is a good day,” she says. “All of the best food groups.” Codish and trusty sidekick Erika Patterson zigzagged around metro Detroit meeting, eating, and shooting the best of the best (page 40). “Everywhere we went we had an absolute blast, got an education, and the opportunity to sample phenomenal products,” she says. When not traveling or trying to eat her subjects, she can be found Instagramming photos of her dog-turned-supermodel, Johnny Cash Money, while he dreams.
“Even as I approach my 900th assignment, there is nothing like a deadline to get the synapses firing,” says photographer Justin Maconochie. “And this assignment created a fireworks of brain activity from everyone on the creative team.” The food entrepreneur portraits (page 40) were a particular challenge to put together — from creating a concept and pulling props to coordinating the schedules of the various subjects over the two-day shoot. “But we had it all buttoned up tight just before the first subject stepped onto our ‘calm’ set,” he says. “Hats off to all involved! Although my thumbs still hurt from all the texting.”
Northern Michigan has always had a flair for fine dining, centered on a hugely successful wine industry that reaps high honors annually in international competitions. The culinary summit used to be near Charlevoix, where The Rowe Inn and Tapawingo held the bar high. But now, Cook says, the culinary epicenter has shifted to Leelanau and Traverse City, bolstered greatly by the attention brought to it by uber-chef Mario Batali and Michael Moore’s annual Traverse City Film Festival. With that has come a blossoming (see page 68). Newer delights like The Cooks’ House, 9 Bean Rows, and Martha’s Leelanau Table have joined long-timers like Trattoria Stella and La Bécasse as Traverse City’s dining circuit grows.