Traverse, Northern Michigan’s Magazine and MyNorth Media have announced the 2022 Traverse Tastemakers of the Year. Learn which six individuals were selected due to their innovation, talent and outstanding impact on the Northern Michigan food and beverage industry.

Traverse, Northern Michigan’s Magazine, announced today the six winners of its inaugural Tastemakers of the Year Awards. Featured in the April 2022 issue of Traverse Magazine, the winners are located across the region and known for excellency in their craft, innovative skills, community-mindedness and for moving the food and drink conversation forward in Northern Michigan.

“This year’s winning Tastemakers are going above and beyond. Not only are they excellent at their core craft as a chef or a farmer, they are also doing something that is raising Northern Michigan’s culinary bar,” says Stacey Brugeman, a longtime food writer, editor and Culinary Columnist for Traverse Magazine. “They are absolutely making exquisite bread or beer or cheese but—more than that—together, our 2022 winners are changing the way hospitality professionals are compensated, working to make organic produce more affordable, addressing Native food sovereignty, and more.”

“I can’t wait for readers to dive into the many reasons for each win in our April issue.”

2022 Traverse Magazine Tastemaker Winners

Here are the six winners in alphabetical order by name:

Brian Bates | Bear Creek Organic Farm, Petoskey
Dave Omar | Saltless Sea Creamery, Falmouth
Jason Gollan | Common Good Bakery, Traverse City
Jennifer Blakeslee | The Cooks’ House, Traverse City
Nick VanCourt | Barrel + Beam, Marquette
Rosebud Bear Schneider | Minogin, Mackinaw City

Photo by Michael Poehlman

“From Falmouth near Cadillac all the way up to Marquette and the Keweenaw, we left no research stone unturned in bringing readers an impressive bunch of 2022 Tastemakers,” says Brugeman, who served as research editor for Food & Wine, a title that is well known for its Best New Chefs awards program.

The Tastemakers of the Year began in 2021 when the Traverse Magazine editorial team asked those within the food and beverage industry whose work they respect, who is innovative, and who is moving the Northern Michigan food and beverage conversation forward. In the weeks that followed, we received more than 150 nominees! We narrowed it down to 18 finalists in December after extensive research by the Traverse editorial team, and ultimately selected 6 winners in early 2022.

“It was such a testament to the talent in this region to receive more than 150 peer-approved nominations for our inaugural installment of this awards program—and an honor to research each and every one of the baristas, chocolatiers, distillers, grocers, and maître we considered in working towards 18 finalists and, ultimately, the half-dozen winners we feature in our annual food issue,” says Brugeman.

View the full Tastemakers of the Year feature, including profiles on all six winners, photos from the group shoot and more. Looking to get into contact with our team regarding the 2022 Traverse Magazine Tastemakers of the Year program? Contact Marketing Director Erin Lutke at 231-941-5976 or by emailing

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To stay up to date with Tastemakers of the Year, find local restaurants and explore our recipe collection, visit our Northern Michigan Food & Drink page, preview and purchase our digital issues or subscribe and get Traverse, Northern Michigan’s Magazine delivered to your door each month.

Photo(s) by Traverse Magazine