With its laidback atmosphere and close proximity to the shoreline, Frankfort is one of my favorite Lake Michigan beach towns. The locals and tourists alike all seem to gather each evening near the shore to watch the sunset beneath the waves. It helps that the beach is at the end of Main Street (just look for the lighthouse and start walking towards it). A block away, the Betsie Bay Inn welcomes overnight guests, but also has a restaurant whose menu is inspired both by co-owner Lesley Perkins’ Scottish heritage and her chef, Scott Grant’s, classic culinary training.
Crumbs asked Chef Grant to share a little bit more about his favorite ingredients and dishes, along with passing along a recipe. For a sample of what Betsie Bay Inn Restaurant, Pub & Wine Cellar has to offer, try making their Creme Brulee French Toast at home.
What three ingredients do you always keep stocked in your pantry?
Butter, good olive oil, fresh herbs. I also like to have chocolate around so that I can make English toffee when the urge strikes.
Your favorite meal to make or serve?
Fried egg sandwich at home. To serve, anything tableside – as long as it has a lot of flames (for some meals, the chef finishes off the dish tableside).
We all have a favorite indulgence; for a chef like you it must be something spectacular?
Wild game. We have local sources for game here in Northern Michigan, and I like to make pheasant strudel and serve it with a morel mushroom sauce.
What’s one of your worst cooking mistakes?
I once set off the fire exhaust system in the kitchen when I accidentally banged it with a baking sheet (he’s quick to point out this was not at Betsie Bay!). The whole place was coated (the exhaust system is to prevent grease fires and puts out something akin to what comes out of a fire extinguisher).
There are so many great Michigan-made food products, what is your pick?
I have so many. Here are just a few: morels and wild leeks; jams and preserves from Food for Thought Honor; Organic fair-trade coffee by Higher Grounds Traverse City; and gooseberry ice cream from Hilltop Ice Cream Shop in Benzonia.
What do you suggest for first-timers to Betsie Bay Inn? What menu item should they make sure to try?
Either the creme brulee French toast or the Salmon Wellington – which is a filet of salmon surrounded by shallots, Basmati rice and spinach, wrapped in a puff pasty.