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Arts & Life

Chef Alex Young shares some seasonal Michigan favorites

Roots are one of Chef Young's favorite offerings this time of year
flickr user Ruth Hartnup
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Alex Young is the James Beard Award-winning chef at Zingerman’s Roadhouse in Ann Arbor and the founder of Cornman Farms in Dexter.

He’s cooked all over the world, and really loves fall and early winter in Michigan.

“There’s so many beautiful things to play with. All the roots and the wild rice just got harvested, and it’s duck season. I like to make duck gumbo,” he says. “It’s a great time of year.”

Young loves cooking this time of year because “it’s when everything kind of happens,” explaining that historically, this is when you’d be “putting up foods to get through the winter.”

Young has a few suggestions for those looking to cook up a nice, seasonal meal using local ingredients:

“I would do something warm and cuddly and comfortable, like roasting some celery root, roasting some carrots. Maybe cook some nice organic rice, a little fresh apples, Michigan apple season, cook them down, nothing makes me feel more comfortable than that.”

He talks more about Michigan’s seasonal offerings and gives us some additional suggestions in our conversation above.

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