Confession: as much as I adore an amazing meal out, I derive a deeply soul-satisfying pleasure in creating restaurant-style dishes at my own stove.

Or at least trying!

I know I am not alone. Comrades, make your way to Grand Traverse Bay for Traverse City’s three-day Epicurean Classic ( September 11–13 and learn the secrets to fresher, livelier and more accomplished cooking from renowned chefs near and far. This year’s all-day passes to the Great Lakes Culinary Institute’s demo stages let you dabble to your heart’s content ($129 single day; $229 two day).

Do Not Miss…

These eye-opening and palate-pleasing events on the edge of Grand Traverse Bay open and close the Epicurean Classic. Tickets and passes available at

  • Great Lakes Mise en Place Opening Reception Celebrate the Midwest’s freshest and finest with original dishes prepared by renowned chefs from around the Great Lakes. Michigan’s acclaimed wines, beers and spirits flow. Traverse, Northern Michigan’s Magazine is thrilled to sponsor, we would love to see you there and taste alongside you that evening! 6 p.m., Thursday, September 11, $45.
  • The Grand Reception Stroll the shore for bite-sized dishes created by the incoming chefs and sample any of the hundreds of international wines. 7 p.m., Saturday, September 13, $85.

Culinary Luminary

Epicurean Classic’s new single-day or two-day passes grant you access to more than 20 cooking demos from international chefs on four concurrent stages each day. Here are a few chefs on our short list:

  • Danyel Couet, executive chef at Michelin-starred restaurant Fredsgatan 12 in Stockholm, Sweden, creates from The Paris Neighborhood Cookbook: Danyel Couet’s Guide to the City’s Ethnic Cuisines.
  • Matthew Kenney, chef and author of Everyday Raw: Recipes to Get the Glow, uses his classical French skills and love of Mediterranean flavors to make raw food easy and simply delicious. Bonus mingle session at Oryana on Friday.
  • Diane Morgan, the self-named 20-pound-charcoal-bag-haulin’ ma’am, the backyard grill party gal, and the smokin’ Thanksgiving-turkey-on-the-grill queen, shares tips with us from her new book, Grill Every Day: 125 Fast-Track Recipes for Weeknights at the Grill.
  • Wendy Rahamut comes to T.C. from Trinidad to debut her new cookbook, Modern Caribbean Cuisine.
  • Raghavan Iyer, the James Beard and IACP award-winning author, reveals a few secrets to the elusive curry from his new book, 660 Curries: The Gateway to Indian Cooking.
  • Joey Altman shows the way to big flavors with demos from Without Reservations: Bold, Creative, Flavorful Food at Home.

Epicurean Ticket Giveaways! is giving you the chance to experience the Epicurean Classic gratis! Sign up until September 9, 2008, email us your name, phone number and email address to enter. Winners will be chosen and notified on September 10, 2008.

Prizes include:

  • 3 pairs of Day Passes for Friday
  • 3 pairs of Day Passes for Saturday
  • 2 pairs of tickets to the Great Lakes Mise en Place Opening Reception held on Thursday, September 11th
  • 2 pairs of tickets to The Grand Reception held on Saturday, September 13th

Note: all events are held at Northern Michigan College’s Hagerty Center

Day Passes grant you access into all four cooking demo stages and the Tasting Pavilion. In other words, your Day Pass offers TOTAL ACCESS to every cooking demo taking place on Friday or Saturday. Please note, Receptions and Tasting Classes sold separately.

Photo(s) by Epicurean Classic