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Celebrity Chef Tour Benefiting the James Beard Foundation, Detroit, November 4, 2010
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Forest Grill
735 Forest Avenue
Birmingham, MI 48009

November 4, 2010

6:00 PM

PRICE: $130 per person inclusive

Visa Signature® Price:  $120 per person inclusive

HOST VENUE - The Forest Grill

Nestled away in Birmingham, Michigan's triangle district the Forest Grill provides an intimate, American -bistro setting in which to enjoy Chef Brian Polcyn's cuisine.  It is a celebration of the continuation of American born European trained chefs. In the tradition of Chef Milos Cihelka, Chef Polcyn continues to provide a venue for young chefs to establish their place in the local community.

The menu showcases house made charcuterie, a raw bar, clay oven baked pizzas, and traditional bistro dishes.  They are inspired by French, Italian, and contemporary American cuisine with an emphasis on simplicity and flavor.  Chef Polcyn's vision for the Forest Grill is simple, an American bistro that uses quality local ingredients and is rooted in traditional cooking techniques.

The Forest Grill's extensive wine list includes a number of regional wines from boutique vintners, Michigan vineyards, and standard classics. Each server is well-versed on the Forest Grill menu and extensive list of wines and will happily share any information.  The bistro also features seasonal outdoor patio seating, an intimate dining room, open late on weekends, and the only community table in the city.  The Forest Grill is both a neighborhood restaurant and an inviting and exciting eatery. 

RESTAURANT - Morgans, Palm Desert CA

Spearheaded by celebrated chef and restaurateur Jimmy Schmidt and evoking the glamour, history and architecture of the original 1926 venue, Morgan's in the desert – a new restaurant and bar at the legendary La Quinta Resort & Club

A pioneer in America's culinary movement towards sustainable cooking and "farm to table" dining, Chef Schmidt is drawing inspiration from the bounty of the Coachella Valley and its environs to create the Contemporary American cuisine at Morgan's. He will source the best local products grown and raised responsibly, and focus on traditional cooking methods – such as open grilling, slow roasting, braising, pickling and curing – to offer deliciously simple, rustic and healthful dishes.

Schmidt has authored and co-authored several cookbooks including Cooking for all Seasons (MacMillan, 1991), Jimmy Schmidt's Cooking Class (Detroit Free Press, 1994), and Heart Healthy Cooking for all Seasons released in 1996. Schmidt writes a weekly column for the Detroit News/Gannett Wire Services appearing in 200 newspapers across the country. He was the founder of Chefs Collaborative and former board member of Share Our Strength. Schmidt and The Rattlesnake Club are annual participants in the American Chefs' Tribute to James Beard benefiting City Meals-on-Wheels in New York City and Wolfgang Puck's American Wine & Food Festival benefiting Meals-on-Wheels in Los Angeles.

While studying electrical engineering at the University of Illinois, Schmidt traveled to France to obtain foreign language credits toward his degree. He stayed to pursue a culinary and wine career, receiving Culinary Degrees from Luberon College and the French Institute Technique du Vin diploma from Maison du Vin in Avignon in 1974. In 1976, he received his Professional Chef's diploma Magna Cum Laude, graduating First in Class, from Modern Gourmet, Inc., Newton Centre, Massachusetts, under the direction of Madeleine Kamman. After serving as Senior Chef at Chez La Mere Madeleine, New Centre, Mass., he moved to Detroit in 1977 to become Executive Chef and Executive General Manager of the London Chop House. Schmidt attended Harvard Business School for 4 years with Young Presidents Organization (YPO).

RESTAURANT - The Forest Grill

Chef Brian Polcyn is an award-winning chef and charcuterie expert.  Chef Polcyn is nationally recognized for his creativity and culinary talents, and as the visionary behind some of Detroit's most acclaimed restaurants. While still in his 20s, Polcyn honed his skills at two of Michigan's most prestigious restaurants, The Golden Mushroom under Certified Master Chef Milos Cihelka and The Lark. He created four of Michigan's most prominent restaurants before opening the Forest Grill in Birmingham, Michigan.

In 1987, he debuted at Pike Street Restaurant in Pontiac, Michigan. Within weeks, food critics were heaping kudos on Chef Polcyn and his culinary team. In 1990, he premiered Chimayo, Michigan's first restaurant featuring authentic Southwestern cuisine. Three years later, he created Acadia, an area trendsetter specializing in foods cooked over various hard woods. Polcyn opened Five Lakes Grill in Milford in 1995 and it has been going strong for well over a decade.  His devotion to culinary excellence and supporting local purveyors has made him a culinary icon in Michigan and in the United States. 

In 2000 Chef Polcyn was prominently featured in Michael Ruhlman's widely read book, "The Soul of a Chef: The Journey Toward Perfection".  That takes the reader through Chef Polcyn's grueling weeklong Certified Master Chef practicum and exam at the Culinary Institute of America.  Chef Polcyn and Ruhlman teamed up in 2005 to publish "Charcuterie: The Craft of Salting, Smoking, and Curing."  "Charcuterie" was also nominated for a James Beard Award. With a growing demand for Chef Polcyn's gastronomical expertise and rumors of his return to the heart of Oakland County, mainly the Birmingham area; Chef Polcyn's pursuit of a second restaurant came to fruition in the summer of 2007. Forest Grill opened its doors in the summer of 2008.  The location was right, it was the right time, and now he has the right team for the Birmingham Forest Grill project.  The Forest Grill is an American bistro that provides fine food to its neighbors and guests.  It incorporates elements of traditional European cooking techniques, modern American cuisine, and exceptional ingredients. 

Chef Brian has been featured in local and national publications, including The New York Times, The Detroit News, Atlantic Monthly, Gourmet, Bon Appetit, Playboy, Detroit Hour Magazine, The Detroit Free Press and Wine Spectator. His numerous awards include three gold medals and a silver medal from The American Culinary Federation. The Hiram Walker Corporation recognized him as a "Rising Star in American Cuisine." In 1990, he was first runner-up in the semi-annual American Culinary Gold Cup Bocuse d'Or, which is a competition that seeks America's top native-born chefs. Five Lakes Grill won best restaurant in 2005.  Chef Polcyn was also nominated for Best Chef Midwest in 2006 by the James Beard Foundation.  He has cooked several times at the James Beard House in New York City, participates at the Traverse City Epicurean Classic, and the StarChefs International Chefs Congress. Chef Polcyn is also a faculty member at Schoolcraft College where he teaches charcuterie.  He is also involved with many local charities, such as Michigan Chefs Against Hunger, Share Our Strength, Children's Leukemia Foundation of Michigan, and National charities like the Taste of the NFL.  Giving back to the community means a lot to him. Chef Polcyn and his wife Julia, have five children.

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