Traverse City Record-Eagle

Life

May 18, 2009

Local food gets a boost

SUTTONS BAY -- Martha Ryan sometimes doesn't have to look very far for local food to serve in her Suttons Bay restaurant, Martha's Leelanau Table.

"There's a guy out there at table 11 who says he'll have asparagus for you next week," said waitress Kathleen Versnyder as she zipped through the kitchen during a recent lunch rush.

Ryan's commitment to using as much local food as possible makes for creative moments in the kitchen, lots of talking to farmers and some thumbing through the Taste the Local Difference guide, newly published and expanded for 2009.

While Ryan is feeding 50 people in her restaurant -- with room for 30 more on the just-opened deck -- Ted Cizma doesn't really know how many people he feeds each day at the Grand Traverse Resort & Spa. There are three-full service restaurants, various pubs and 89,000 square feet of banquet seating, plus a hotel with room service.

But he knows -- whenever possible -- the food hasn't traveled very far.

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