Meet the Chefs

Red Mesa Grill  1544 US 31 N  Traverse City , MI 49686  (231) 938-2773
Red Mesa Grill
1544 US 31 N
Traverse City , MI 49686
(231) 938-2773

Latin American Flavors

Aaron Meyers

Mexican, Caribbean, South American, Central American; all of the flavors of Latin America are celebrated at Red Mesa Grill. We offer traditional dishes and exotic specialties prepared with the freshest ingredients using our unique and flavorful recipes.

Aaron has been concocting culinary delights in the kitchen since he was eleven years old. While he has tried his hand in several different fields, the call of the kitchen always sucked him back in. Aaron has spent 12 years cooking professionally and honed his skills in several local establishments, including Auntie Pastas, Reflections and GT’s before joining the team at The Red Mesa Grill in Traverse City.

As the Working Chef at Red Mesa, when Aaron isn’t sizzling fajitas, searing steaks or serving up laughs in the kitchen, his favorite thing to do is to spend time with his wife and 3 children. They’re his hobby—he says doesn’t have time for anything else to be!

120 S. Park St
Traverse City, MI 49684
(231) 421-5912
Josh Vinocur

The Italian “little sister” of Harrington’s By the Bay, Sorellina opened in late May in the downtown Traverse City spot formerly occupied by The Bay Leaf. The restaurant offers “casual but semi-fine authentic Italian cuisine” overseen by Harrington’s chef Josh Vinocur.

Sorellina is open seven days for dinner and soon will add lunch service. Prices range from $5 for the signature salad “La Sorellina” (baby spinach, toasted spiced walnuts, pear and Gorgonzola cheese with citrus vinaigrette) to $30 for osso bucco (veal shank). The Italian sausage is housemade, as is the gelato, one of two desserts along with tiramisu. Like Harrington’s, the restaurant also offers seafood, including swordfish, snapper, salmon and gamberetti (grilled shrimp with white wine, garlic, spinach and linguini).

127 E. Front Street
Traverse City, Michigan
(231) 421-9156

Sugar Kissed is a dessert destination in Traverse City, Michigan. Sugar Kissed will offer customers a variety of cupcakes, cake pops, whoopie pies, and frozen yogurt including Leelanau coffee, Light of Day tea and matcha sorbet, hot chocolate, Northwoods nostalgic soda, water, milk, and juice. We also understand the need for gluten-free and dairy free options, EVERYDAY! Sugar Kissed will have Dennett’s Gluten Free Creations, all yogurt is gluten-free and a dairy-free yogurt will also be offered. We will serve as a gathering place where locals and tourists alike can socialize while enjoying a delectable dessert. Sugar Kissed will become known for its excellent customer service and a perfect place to host a party or buy desserts for one.

The Boathouse
14039 Peninsula Drive
Traverse City, MI 49686
Executive Chef
Eric Nittolo

The cuisine of the Boathouse, created with distinctive flair by Executive Chef Eric Nittolo, is refined and contemporary with an underlying element that echoes classical French tradition of Escoffier. Incorporating only the finest ingredients, from Kobe bee and Dover sole to a wide rand of local products-some of them from owner Doug Kosch’s own garden-he creates dishes that you won’t find on everyday menus.

Chef Eric is an honors graduate of the Great Lakes Culinary Institute and was the 2008 Signature Chefs Auction “Top Chef” Award winner.

Fire Fly
310 Cass Street
Traverse City, MI 49684
(231) 932-1310
Tim Holtz

Located in downtown Traverse City, on the banks of the Boardman River, Fire Fly specializes in small plates, sushi and steaks. Fire Fly offers daily specials including Happy Hour every day until 7 pm.

Fire Fly is proof that great food doesn’t have to be expensive.

Stop by with friends, share a few Small Plates or enjoy one of our signature Big Plates like the Beef Wellington or the Crab and Scallop Fettucine.

We offer a wide selection of local, national and international wines. Our knowledgeable staff can help pair the perfect wine with your dinner!

Adriana’s Bakery
612 Quail Ridge Drive
Traverse City, MI 49684
Adriana Martin

Adriana Martin, chef de cuisine and patissier, combines skill and experience, with high quality ingredients (many locally sourced), to create from scratch, attractive and delicious cakes and pastries.
Our products are crafted fresh with natural ingredients, locally baked, decorated and packaged to order. Call us with your selection, 1 week in advance please. Cakes, pies and scones are also conveniently available at local retail locations. Flavors, appearance and texture are similar to those found in a European bakery.

7951 Turnberry Cir
Acme, MI 49610
(231) 938-9800
Executive Chef
Joseph George

LochenHeath is a golf club that pledges to provide its members and guests with the highest standards of excellence in all areas of services, facilities and activities while providing the highest level of customer service. The pro shop and restaurant are perched on the bluff with outstanding bay view throughout, especially from the large full service deck. Under the expert guidance of Chef Joseph George. LochenHeath offers exceptional food and service for lunch and dinner. If your group wants a special meal not found on the menu, our culinary staff will not disappoint while providing the best service in Northern Michigan.

Black Star Farms
10844 East Revold Road
Suttons Bay, MI 49682
Executive Chef
Jonathan Dayton

A unique agricultural destination that features two winery production facilities with adjacent tasting rooms, a distillery, an Inn, and an equestrian facility. Our winery and distillery produce some of the most sought after and awarded Michigan wines and spirits. Our luxurious Inn is the perfect place to host private special events including weddings, corporate retreats, and family celebrations. Enjoy culinary offerings including dinners at the Inn or wood-fired pizzas at the Hearth & Vine cafe both located on our Suttons Bay site.

Executive Chef Jonathan Dayton’s artfully prepared dishes will inspire you to savor each bite while fully enjoying our relaxing ambience. Meals are prepared from fresh and local ingredients and are served alongside Black Star Farms wine and brandies.
Dinners are offered select Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. A complete list of dates can be found on our website calendar.

Red Ginger
Featuring Chef
237 E Front St
Traverse City, MI 49684
Dan Marsh

Red Ginger is located at 237 East Front Street between the State Theater and Horizon Books. The three story building has a beautiful Asian themed ground floor restaurant with a seating capacity of 130, a large lounge, sushi bar, and a private room for 30 to 40 people for parties, rehearsal dinners, and A/V set up for meetings. But this in not a typical Asian restaurant. “We wanted to bring an Asian flare to Red Ginger, but we wanted the customer to have the opportunity to have a great steak as well,” says Dan.

Chef and Owner Dan Marsh studied at the Culinary Institute of America in New York and has been a chef in New York City and San Francisco. “Although I’ve worked with many different cuisines throughout the years, I’ve always been passionate about Asian food. I believe there is a desire for my style of cuisine here in Traverse City,” says Dan.

The Hagerty Center at NMC
1715 East Front Street
Traverse City, MI 49684
Coburn MacNaughton

As Executive Chef of The Hagerty Center, located on the Great Lakes Campus of Northwestern Michigan College, Coburn MacNaughton says he is privileged to work at one of the most spectacular venues in Michigan—and to have the opportunity to express his creative nature through the food he and others prepare. Executive Chef MacNaughton is sixth in a family of seven, born and raised in Horton Bay, MI. He and his wife, Wendy, have two children. Second to his family are his passions for cooking and culinary pursuits. He has spent many years in the hospitality industry, and his culinary experience ranges from rustic fare to highly-regarded fine dining. Prior to joining The Hagerty Center, he was Chef at the historical Betsie Bay Inn of Frankfort, Michigan. The Hagerty Center staff strives to create a memorable dining experience, whether for a small conference or a formal gala. “More and more I realize the importance of utilizing local resources for all aspects of our events,” Chef MacNaughton says. “We are fortunate to have a bounty of locally-grown produce, artisanal food items and sustainable resources.” Bon Appétit!

Patisserie Amie and Chez Peres
237 Lake Avenue #200
Traverse City, MI 49684
Eric Fritch

Born and raised in New Jersey, Eric first started in the restaurant business as a waiter. “This is the type of business that gets under your skin at an early age.” He enjoyed learning all that he could about every aspect of different cuisines, restaurants and wines. French cuisine was his favorite. Professionally trained at the Seattle Culinary School, Eric had the pleasure of studying under Master Chef Regis Bernard. This is where he discovered his true passion for French cooking, pastries, and desserts. Chef Bernard expected the best of his pupils. Chef Regis was very hands on and invited the students to immerse themselves into the work. Although classical French pastries are his specialty, one trip to Patisserie Amie for a dinner will immediately tell you that Chef Eric can handle more then pastries. Upon graduation, Eric first chef position was with Tom Douglas Restaurants in the Palace Kitchen. This experience further honed his skills as a Pastry Chef. He worked in and around the San Francisco Bay area until landing in Michigan. Locally, Eric has worked at Hanna Bistro mand Tappawingo. He has also been an instructor at Great Lakes Culinary Institute. Eric and his wife Amie, who’s restaurant bares her name, own both the Patisserie Amie and Chez Peres. Chef Eric has teamed with Chef Keil Moshier for your culinary pleasure.

Mission Table at Bowers
Harbor Inn
13512 Peninsula Drive
Traverse City, MI 49686
Paul Olson

Mission Table makes its home in the former Bowers Harbor Inn, built in the 1880s as a summer retreat for Chicago lumber baron J.W. Stickney and his wife, Genevive. Extensive updating in 2008-2009 included a large format event space that accommodates up to 150 guests and the transformation of The Bowery into Jolly Pumpkin, Old Mission Peninsula’s only microbrewery. Executive Chef Paul Olson and Master Brewer Mike Hall use local harvests and hops in their food and beer. Quite simply, Mission Table and Jolly Pumpkin offer unique and exciting local dining experiences. Chef Olson is a graduate of both Michigan State University and The Culinary Institute of America. He worked in Manhattan (La Cité, Café Luxembourg, and La Boehme) and in Connecticut (opened and co-owned The Cookhouses and The Inn at Newton) for the past 20 years. Paul welcomed the opportunity to move his wife and children back to Michigan to raise their family (and play hockey!) in Traverse City.

Shanty Creek Resorts
One Shanty Creek Road
Bellaire, MI 49615
Andrew Reh

Andrew Reh is a Traverse City native but has spent most of his career on the East coast. After graduating Johnson & Wales University with a Bachelors Degree in Culinary Arts he worked for the Ritz Carlton in Boston, MA and Pentagon City, VA. From there he worked for The Washington Court, a small boutique hotel on Capital Hill in Washington DC as well as The White House under the Clinton administration. He also worked for Lansdowne Resort in Leesburg, VA. From there he moved back to Michigan to run a Kellogg’s owned property. Two and a half years ago he finally made his way back to Northern Michigan as the Executive Chef of the newly renovated Shanty Creek Resorts. He lives in Traverse City with his wife, two beautiful daughters, and his pug Roux.

Trattoria Stella
Village at Grand Traverse Commons
1200 West 11th Street
Traverse City, MI 49684
Myles Anton

In 2004 I moved back to northern Michigan to open Trattoria Stella. At Stella I have been able to expand my true vision of what my food can be. I run a locally based menu that changes daily. Local farmers show up at my door all summer with their goods. This kind of menu requires a lot of thinking on the fly. It is one of my greatest assets as a chef. I do the Iron Chef gig on a smaller, less pressurized basis every day during the months of June – October in Traverse City. The Farm to Table approach of purchasing is top priority in my kitchen. I deal with more than 45 individual farms in this region. My food is aggressive, bold, bright, and fresh. I keep my dishes simple, and let the quality of the products do the talking – the Italian way. Throughout the last five years I have been featured in local and national magazines and newspapers. During last year the national spotlight has reached our little restaurant, culminating in a semi-finalist nomination for Best Chef Great Lakes Region James Beard Award. In May I will be cooking a dinner at the James Beard House in Manhattan.

As far as community, I have a strong commitment to March of Dimes. I participate every year in the Celebrity Chef’s Auction. My personal life has been just as successful in the last year. My significant other, Emily, and I bought our first house in October and had a beautiful baby girl, Annika, two days after closing. (Now that’s pressure)! We enjoy all the outdoor activities Northern Michigan has to offer with our dog Benny the Boxer and chill around the house with Annie, our cat.

Tuscan Bistro
12930 South West Bay
Shore Drive
Traverse City, MI 49684
Mickey Cannon

Mickey began his culinary career in Russia from 1990-1993.He opened the first America managed motel in the former Soviet Union. Training a large non-English speaking staff to manage and sustain a large motel was no small task! From Moscowit was onto Vermont where he became the Purchasing Agent and Executive Chef at the Radisson Hotel. Mickey was able to keep costs down while maintaining excellent service and food quality. Other East Coast positions included two catering restaurants in both New Jersey and New York. Mickey is not shy with a large crowd. He was directly responsible for managing food, service and menus for up to 2,500 guests. Locally, he has worked in and around our region since 1995;Sugarbush, Northwestern Michigan College, and opening Gabby’s Bayside Bistro now called Tuscan Bistro. Mickey makes his own mozzarella cheese which is the staple of many of the dishes at the Tuscan Bistro. Opened in May of 2006, the Tuscan Bistro is open for lunch and dinner. Come in and let us serve you!

Om Café
205 Lake Avenue
Traverse City, MI 49684
(231) 941-4422
Rebecca Tranchell

Colleen Smiley, mom of two, started the Om Café 26 years ago with the simple motivation of love for people and food. She was a pioneer of her time in a meat and potato country, waging a war of vegetables against meat, antibiotics, growth hormones and processed food. She and the Om have always celebrated organic food and the heroism of local farmers.

Colleen’s eldest son Jason, stopped home for a visit from his travels and saw the same customers at the Om from when he was bussing tables twenty-five years ago. That became a pivotal moment that changed his life path for good. He decided to get back into the family business to support the community that had supported his family for so long. Colleen retired and Jason took over the family business.

A year later, Jason partnered with his best friend, Ryan MacManus, to fulfill their dream of bringing the Om Cafe to another great community, Traverse City. They continue the commitment to attentive service, tasty healthy food and most of all an overall enjoyable dinning experience.

Chef Rebecca Tranchell is originally from Owosso, MI graduating from NMC’s Great Lakes Culinary Institute in 2008. Her career path took her to San Francisco working under Alice Waters and Annie Sommerville. Chef Rebecca was next a personal chef in New York City. Her focus is on healthy, local ingredients from farm to table. Visit om café, good healthy food for everyone.

Bistro Foufou
310 Cass. St.
Traverse City, MI 49686
Adam McMarlin

Bistro Foufou’s Chef de Cuisine, opened the restaurant with owner and Executive Chef Guillaume Hazael-Massieux, and General Manager Josh Rollo in August of 2012. Originally from Detroit, Adam has worked in many different capacities of the food service industry since the age of 14, but it was not until moving to California in 2005 that he realized the kitchen was his true calling. Working under Chef Olivier Bioteau in San Diego, Adam was trained in the French style of cooking while developing his simple yet elegant style of rustic cuisine. Adam has also brought back with him a passion for utilizing seasonal, local, wholesome ingredients and is proud to showcase on his menu what Northern Michigan has to offer.

Bistro Foufou is the realization of owner Guillaume Hazael-Massieux’s long time vision of a true, classic bistro in Traverse City. Foufou is a cafe style restaurant that offers several daily specials in addition to a small menu based on seasonality. Foufou features an extensive list of French and Michigan wines as well as traditional French cocktails.