World-famous chef Mario Batali, and part-time Leelanau Peninsula resident, recently wrote a love letter to Traverse City for the Huffington Post. Here’s what makes the Iron Chef’s heart pitter-patter …
Dear Traverse City,
I first laid eyes on you over a decade ago. My wife, Susi, and I rented a house on a little beach for a week. The next year it was two weeks, the next year three, then four. I couldn’t resist. I was hooked.
I am madly in love with the Leelanau Peninsula and everything about it.
Somehow you’ve remained unknown, a relative secret. With Caribbean-blue waters and Sahara Desert dunes, you’re a gem hidden in the Midwest, far from the gaze of East Coasters.
Your summers boast a roster of festivals celebrating the bounty of your surroundings: cherries and filmmakers, local trout and whitefish, winemakers, craft ale brewers and even a couple of cider pubs. Joyfully you have become a modern gastro-paradise.
For long I’ve thought New York City was my one true love. But you’ve proven to be the perfect antidote to the bustle of the city; and she the perfect antidote to the stillness of Lake Michigan. I will spend all of my holidays with you but ssshhhhh … no one needs to know but us.
Until next summer.