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Beacon Hills Chefs Table

The Premiere of our Chef’s Table

This May, following the earth-quenching rain, our Chefs eagerly anticipated the gifts of the garden and soil. Chef Maggie Thiel, Garden Café Manager, prepared our own gardens for a summer harvest, and Executive Chef Luke Theaker sought new ways to showcase fresh ingredients from our local purveyors.

“Spring is always such a fun time of year for cooks. We are all trying to shake off the dead of winter and eagerly searching for life in our surroundings. The vegetables that come up first are such a great sign of new life every year. Bright green Asparagus, Ramps, Fiddleheads and Peas are all spring staples in most kitchens. I love cooking this time of year. Doing a chef’s table is a great way to have focused offerings that really highlight these special ingredients,” says Chef Theaker.

Inspired by Spring in Michigan, Theaker and Thiel set off to create a thoughtful, adventurous 7-course dinner – Beacon Hill’s premiere Chef’s Table. The menu was prepared with a strong focus on seasonality, sustainability and flavor with the support of local farmers. And it wasn’t just for our residents; Theaker wanted to extend the invitation to anyone in the area that wanted to sample the flavors of the season.

“Part of our mission as a dining team at Beacon Hill is to serve our community through exceptional food and hospitality. That community is not only our residents, but our staff and neighbors as well.

The dinner unfolded like a well-paced story full of delights. Diners were introduced to starters that excited the palate, savored main-course dishes, and closed with a perfectly sweet honey dessert inspired by our local pollinators. Our dining room manager, Chelsea Moncion, crafted several non-alcoholic beverage pairings for each course.

“We were able to get incredible ingredients including Honey, Ramps, Swiss Chard, Kale and Mushrooms all locally from within 25 miles of Beacon Hill.”

Tepache, shrubs and other juices were created in-house for our non-alcoholic (NA) cocktails. Locally made NA spirits were utilized as well including a whiskey for a Midnight Manhattan, rum for a tepache mai thai, and brut champagne for our spritz. Freshly caught from the day before, Fjord Trout was flown in that morning for our dinner which we lightly smoked and served the same day.

Ramps were foraged locally and served multiple ways including pureed in a gazpacho, pickled in a salad and dried and turning into a finishing powder.

Locally cultivated honey was churned into ice cream, made into a tuile, and fermented for a tonic aperitif.

The next Chef’s Table is set for early September – keep your eyes open for more details later this summer!

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Beacon Hill at Eastgate is a distinctive, not-for-profit retirement community located in Grand Rapids’ desirable Eastgate neighborhood.

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