Pickled Beet and Goat Cheese Gateau

Crystal Mountain Resort's Executive Chef Darren Hawley made Smoked Pheasant and Morel Galantine with Pickled Beet and Goat Cheese Gateaux for's Chef Showdown: Local Foods., the online home of Traverse, Northern Michigan’s Magazine, challenged Northern Michigan chefs to prepare a dish that is made with 95 percent Michigan products. We call it the Chef Showdown: Local Foods. Northern Michigan’s chefs, including Crystal Mountain Resort's Darren Hawley, responded with gusto.

The rules? Prepare a dish of your choice, savory or sweet, but 90 percent of the ingredients must be either raised, grown or foraged in Northern Michigan and an additional 5 percent must be raised, grown or foraged somewhere in Michigan. Additionally, the chefs agreed to provide our readers with their recipes and list of local ingredients—so the MyNorth audience could shop local and prepare the dishes themselves at home.

With so much goodness coming from so many restaurant kitchens we sent MyNorth Media videographer Kris Riley to capture the action in high-definition video. Click to watch Chef Hawley prepare this dish. To watch the other videos in this series go to and type “Chef Showdown: Local Foods” into the search bar.


  • 3  each large beets, Victory Farms, Hudsonville
  • 1.5 cups spicy vinegar, recipe follows
  • 2 tablespoons goat cheese, Halpin's Land of Goshen, Kaleva
  • 1/2  cup mizuna lettuce, Werp Farms, Karlin
Spicy vinegar
  • 10 each red chili peppers, locally grown
  • 1 each wild leeks, locally foraged
  • 2 cups carrots, sliced, Victory Farms, Hudsonville
  • 2 tablespoons black peppercorns
  • 5 each cloves
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • Rice wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup olive oil


  1. Place all the spices and vegetables in a glass gallon jar, and add boiling vinegar to jar. Allow vinegar to infuse for at least 1 week under refrigeration.
  2. Peel and slice the beets into ¼” rounds, boil until tender and cover with strained and re-boiled spicy vinegar, allow to pickle for at least 1 week under refrigeration.
  3.  Layer the finished pickled beet rounds with goat cheese to form the gateau. Serve the gateau atop the lettuce.
Serve with Darren Hawley's recipe for Smoked Pheasant and Morel Galantine.