Traverse City Record Eagle writer Marta Helper Drahos had sampled raclette dinners in France and Germany, so when she “learned that a local tasting room/bistro offers European-style raclette right here in Traverse City, I thought it would be a fun way to catch up with foodie friends we hadn’t seen in a while.”

You can read about her recent experience at TASTES.  To experience the dinner yourself, just gather a group of 2 to 18 friends, call 231.944.1349, and book your evening.  TASTES is closed on Monday and serves their Matterhorn Grill dinners Wednesday-Saturday.

P2270027The October issue of Cooking Light features its first-ever Taste Test Awards – “The Tasties.”  The editors tested 200 food products and came up with the best-tasting winners in 32 categories. Twenty-six of the categories feature grocery store products while six showcase artisanal standouts.  Our Leelanau Cheese Comapny’s Raclette topped the Artisinal Cheese list.

Cooking Light? Full-fat cow’s milk cheese?  They note: “Not all products are low fat. Some higher fat items are on the list because of their superior quality and taste.” Everything in moderation…and a glass of wine.

Under a grant from the US Department of Agriculture Rural Cooperative Development, eleven Michigan cheese makers have formed the Michigan Cheese Makers Cooperative to help market their artisan cheeses in Michigan.   Leelanau Cheese Co. is one of the founding members.  Owner Anne Hoyt says,

It’s hard to do things yourself; there’s more power as a team.  You want to know how you can help each other. We can share new ideas, new cheeses and recipes. We’ve never had anyone to share these with before. It’s very exciting.

Eat and enjoy Michigan cheese!


Pure Michigan is previewing their 2010 ad campaign this week.  Part of Fresh was filmed at Black Star Farms.  Can you spot us?

If you’re having trouble finding us, look below for a peek at just how much goes into making a 30 second ad.


If this sounds like a good idea for your business group, it would be.

Alison Beers, owner of Events North, a full-service event management agency, thinks so too.  Her weekend plan “to woo eight high powered business owners to relocate their families and businesses to Traverse City” is highlighted in the March issue of Traverse City Business News, and includes their staying at the Inn at Black Star Farms, as well as an on-site Raclette Dinner featuring Leelanau Cheese Company’s cheese and all the fixings.

The schedule is jam packed with “up north” experiences.   After all that, how could they not want to relocate their businesses here?

“A new state-wide initiative is underway to increase the amount of Michigan-made products offered at restaurants through the state. The Michigan Culinary Tourism Alliance will bring the state’s restaurant, food production and tourism interests together to promote the sale of locally produced goods ranging from wines and hand-crafted beers to specialty fruits and vegetables.”  Read more of this story by Record Eagle staff writers Art Bukowski and Bill O’Brien.

In a second article on the subject in the Detroit Free Press, Restaurant Critic Sylvia Rector quotes Linda Jones, Dirrector of the Michigan Grape and Wine Industry Council:

…the idea is “to bring people together … to promote more economic activity.” For example, restaurants will be encouraged to offer more Michigan wines; those that feature at least four labels will be listed and promoted on the wine council’s Web site and included in Michigan Culinary Tourism Alliance activities, she said.

To read her entire article, click here.

This will be a boon for all of Michigan agriculture,  including wineries, chefs and restaurateurs, and Michigan tourism.

We say, “it’s about time!”

The Gang of Pour stayed at the Inn at Black Star Farms and visited Anne and John at Leelanau Cheese Co.  Click here to read their nice comments in the Afterword to their Tasting Leelanau blog.

The Traverse City area is becoming one of the Midwest’s best food towns as reported in a recent issue of Midwest Living.  Our local wineries and terrific restaurants are making this the place to eat and drink delicious local products.

Black Star Farms in Suttons Bay will soon be a dinner destination, too.  Hearth & Vine will be opening to the public on January 14th serving dinner from 5-9, Wednesday through Sunday evenings.  We hope you’ll bring your friends, and come and taste our wood-fired fare in this intimate new setting.

Don’t forget that TASTES of Black Star Farms is serving up Matterhorn Grill Dinners for groups of 2 – 6  on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings at the Village at Grand Traverse Commons in Traverse City.  You’ll grill your dinner on the table-top Matterhorn Grill while Leelanau Cheese Co.’s Raclette cheese is slowly melting below.  You’ll then pour the melted cheese over your grilled food for a sensational European-style meal.  Wine selections are included with the meal, and your cost is only $50 for two.  Please call 231.944.1349 for reservations.  It’s the new fondue!

Another great review of Northern Michigan that also includes very nice comments about Black Star Farms.

“Black Star Farms on the Leelanau Peninsula celebrates northern Michigan’s agricultural bounty. In addition to its winery and tasting room, this extraordinary working farm includes a creamery creating European-style cheeses, a market featuring regional produce and a cafe serving oven-fresh pizza and pastries.”

Featured in an article in Country Living ( August, 2009) by Damaine Vonada