Q&A: New Executive Chef at Rare Bird in Traverse City

Rare Bird Brewpub in Traverse City recently brought on a new Executive Chef that is mixing things up in the kitchen. Lindsey Seabolt started in the middle of April 2015 and has been hard at work since then, familiarizing herself with the restaurant, kitchen life and amping up the menu. MyNorth’s Eliza Foster checked in with the top dog in the kitchen to get a peek into what exciting culinary changes will be coming to Rare Bird this summer.


How has Rare Bird been different compared to some of your past jobs?

I have had kitchen management experience before in a brewpub setting but have never been the “highest in command” in the kitchen. Rare Bird is giving me an opportunity to creatively express myself with the responsibilities that I have had before.

What is your role there? Can you walk me through a typical day on the job?

I am the Executive Chef and the leader of all things kitchen. Normally I am the person who opens the kitchen. I receive the truck and put away orders, set up the line and dish tank for service and then begin prepping. On certain days I create the specials, make the soup du jour and brainstorm new menu ideas. Creativity is a huge part of my job. Once we are open the rest of the staff comes in and depending on how busy we are one or both of us works the line through dinner service. Executive Chef is a great title and the creativity outweighs all of the admin/paperwork the comes with it… which is a lot!

You have a leadership role on a team that has a female head brewer and a female bar manager. Pretty awesome!

There are three powerful women in the mix and it’s not often that you find a head brewer, executive chef and bar manager that are all female. It’s a pretty awesome mix and Nate definitely gives us balance.

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Now that you’ve had a few weeks to get your feet wet… Any big changes in the works?

As of right now I have the summer menu planned and we will be rolling it out within the next week!  Lots of big changes, lots of fresh and local focus!

Is there a particular food/food combo that you just can’t get enough of?

I am a cilantro lover! Oh and pork belly! I literally have to look away when the pork belly comes out of the oven…. crispy, salty, melty goodness.

What are some new menu items? What will you be keeping on the menu?

Well the menu has a lot of great foundations, but just for summer I want to liven up the menu and make it more fresh and light. Some new menu items will include a solely beet focused salad, a farmers market salad (which I’m having fun with because I love going to the farmers market and chatting with the farmers), a really light and yummy shrimp ceviche and lots more!

I’ll be keeping the base items, like the nachos and appetizers but freshening them up a little!  I’m very excited to be a part of Rare Bird and can’t wait to get some reviews on the new menu!

Find out more about Rare Bird online and on Facebook.

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