The Taste Makers: Meet The Culinary Talent Behind Metro Detroit’s Food Scene

The biggest players in metro Detroit’s food community seem to be taking cues from the same place: each other. We asked some of the most notable culinarians to name their top collaborator and sat down with each pair for a chat between pals on the ins and outs of their industry.
metro detroit food
Alexandra Clark of Bon Bon Bon snacks on her favorite Paprika Peanut Butter Cookies from Sister Pie.

Since 2014, Hour Detroit has hosted its annual Savor Dinner Series. This year, with a new format, our team took the event to a new level. 

Rather than simply pairing two chefs to lead guests through an evening of five-course meals and wine pairings, we doubled up on the talent. Two teams of two chefs partnered up to innovate impressive takes on pasta, seafood, meat, veggie, and brunch themes — Chef Lloyd Roberts’ winning interpretation of spaghetti and meatballs, featuring udon noodles and duck meatballs tossed in a yuzo koshu teriyaki sauce was so tasty, I still crave it often.

Tickets sales reached a high and the responses that I heard from guests were only complimentary. Having the honor of serving as a judge this year, I indulged in five straight nights of fine dishes prepared by some of the country’s most celebrated chefs. But the true privilege was being amidst the collaborative energy forged by the concept. 

The success of the new-and-improved format of the dinner series is a testament to something our editors hear from professionals in southeast Michigan’s food industry often. That the metro Detroit community is far more collaborative than any in the country. We’d argue that what makes our restaurant scene so noteworthy, is the Midwestern charm that spills into the kitchens, where chefs are working together to support each other in making this the next great food destination in America.

Much like the duos at the dinner series, local cooks are joining forces to launch joint ventures. The team at Corktown’s Folk, for example, has recently partnered with the team at Marrow to launch Nest Egg LLC, a female-owned hospitality group that will house their existing and upcoming ventures. For this year’s Food Issue, we round up some of the most celebrated chefs in the city, interviewed by fellow culinarians they collaborate with most.

Throughout the month of August, join in as we roll out their conversations about inspiring partnerships and what’s next in the region’s food industry.