Matt Schellig & Paul Yan

Their stylish menus are enticing enough to attract a loyal clientele of discriminating diners, but no matter how expert they are, restaurant people like to take a break from their own kitchens for a taste of someone else’s cooking

Matt Schellig deals with high-end ingredients in his executive chef role at Zazios in Birmingham, but his food cravings tend toward such things as Cuban sandwiches, mac & cheese, and pizza. He makes Cuban sandwiches in his home kitchen with Cuban bread, thinly sliced ham, brined and roasted pork loin, provolone cheese, sliced pickles, mustard, and mayonnaise. His wife’s mac & cheese, topped with Cheez-Its, is another favorite. And whenever he gets the chance, he heads to an old standby. “My favorite little place in town is Gregg’s Pizza at Six Mile and Livernois,” he says. “We used to go there every day for lunch when I was in high school at U. of D. Jesuit, which is just around the corner from there. They used to have my order ready for me every day when I pulled up. A Bambino with cheese and a Faygo Red Pop. Man, that cheese was so thick, if you tilted your pizza just a little bit it would run right off. Today, when my old high-school friends come to town, we always make a point of going to Gregg’s.” 

Paul Yan is the chef/proprietor of the serene Gim Ling in St. Clair Shores, where he prepares what he calls a modern-interpretation of Chinese cuisine. “I believe that the most important thing is to cook the food with our heart because customers can tell,” he says. When he ventures to other Chinese restaurants, it’s for brunch. “I do enjoy dim sum and those [dim sum restaurants] in the metro area fare pretty well. I do commute to Toronto occasionally, because I find that the restaurants there serve the more authentic type of Chinese food that I am accustomed to.” He also appreciates restaurants from other cultures. “Most recently I went to Forest Grill and Mitchell’s Fish Market in Birmingham. I love seared Hawaiian ahi tuna at Mitchell’s.” He also enjoys lunch at the NM Café at Neiman Marcus in Troy.

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