Le Cordon Bleu trained chef and local summer resident, Jim Voltz, is launching his second cookbook, Brunch on the Porch, Sunday, May 30 with a book signing at Crystal Crate and Cargo in Beulah from noon to 3:00 p.m.
If you miss Voltz’s book signing in Beulah, he’ll also be at McLean & Eakin Booksellers in Petoskey on Saturday, June 12 from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
"Brunch on the Porch" contains twelve of Chef Voltz’s favorite brunch menus with detailed recipes for each item on the menu, shopping lists, beverage recommendations and tips for successful entertaining. “When you are ready to do something a little different then the usual dinner party with those endless summer guests, I recommend having a brunch,” says Voltz.
He goes on to explain, “Brunch to me is anything you prepare and serve between morning coffee and afternoon cocktails. This leaves a wide open option for just about whatever you want to eat and makes for very flexible entertaining. You can do anything from a mid-morning menu consisting of more breakfast type items or move the party to the afternoon and make it a late lunch. This flexibility is one of the main reasons I enjoy hosting a brunch periodically as an alternative to my dinner parties. Guests seem to enjoy the change as well, especially if you can serve brunch on the porch on a warm summer day by the lake.”
Chef Voltz should know. He’s hosted numerous dinner and brunch parties on the front porch of Sunny Shores, the little Crystal Lake cottage he shares with good friend Nancy Myers. Sunny Shores is over 100 years old and less than 800 square feet but that doesn’t keep Voltz from entertaining parties of six to sixteen guests every week throughout the summer. In fact the parties are so popular with his guests that they encouraged him to start teaching and write a cookbook. This summer will be the third season of Voltz’s very popular Dinner on the Porch Cooking Classes and Brunch on the Porch is his second cookbook, the first being, Dinner on the Porch, which was published last spring and is now in its second printing.
According to Voltz, there are two things he always does that help him ensure all those parties are a success. The first is to plan the menu a week or two in advance so he has plenty of time to read through all the recipes at least twice, making sure he understands the time, tools and ingredients required. The second is mise en place. Mise en place, literally translated as “put in place,” is the practice of getting all ingredients measured and set out along with the kitchen utensils and pans you need to prepare a dish before you start cooking. This saves you from hunting for that special tool during preparation or worse yet, discovering you are short one egg in the middle of making that delicate soufflé.
Brunch on the Porch, like Voltz’s first cookbook, also contains beautiful original drawings by local artist Chris Patterson and more delightful stories about some of the people who have been guests on Voltz’s and Myers’ porch. For more information on Chef Jim Voltz, Dinner on the Porch Cooking Classes, and the two cookbooks, visit Voltz’s website at: dinnerontheporch.com.