COOKING CLASSES with
Originally a caterer and personal chef, Sue later became Culinary Coordinator for D&W Food Centers where she designed and operated the first recreational cooking school in Western Michigan, as well as running in-store demo programs for seven locations.
Over the years, Sue continued her passion for good food by producing and hosting the television show Get Fresh With Sue Chef, a farm-to-table cooking show that aired on every public television station in Michigan. A successful bottled spice line and cookbook soon followed.
Sue is married to another chef, of course. Together they own and operate four restaurants: Ottawa Beach Inn in Holland, The Mermaid Bar and Grill and Baldy’s Smoked Meats in Saugatuck, and Matchbox Diner and Drinks in Grand Rapids.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, for the time being, all cooking classes are demonstration-style. Sit back and watch Sue Chef, and other local celebrity guest chefs, prepare and educate while you sip on a glass of perfectly paired wine, beer or cocktail. Come hungry, because there will be hearty samples of each dish! Leave with a full belly and a packet of recipes you can try at home. In order for you to see and participate easily, classes are limited to 12 people only.
All classes are held at Isabel’s Market + Eatery
310 Blue Star Highway • Douglas, Michigan 49406
310 Blue Star Highway • Douglas, Michigan 49406
September 2020 – November 2020
September marks the height of the growing season here in Michigan and that means there is a treasure trove of fresh local produce ready for your tables. Watch as Sue demonstrates how to use these fresh ample ingredients to make delectable dishes such as apple-baked pork chops with a honey glaze, parsnip and pear bisque, French onion tart, rustic berry tart.
Traditional German food is the ultimate comfort food. Often times, people think of sausages, pretzels, and beer — but there is so much more than that! There are classics such as rinderroulade (often bacon, onions, mustard and pickles wrapped and rolled in thinly sliced beef), spatzle, pickled red cabbage and potato dumplings. Sue Chef will demonstrate these dishes as well as some sweet treats. Mindy Trafman, partner and sommelier at Cost 236 Restaurant & Bar, will also pair some German beers and wines to go with each dish.
Sheet Pan Cooking
During busy weeknights, there is nothing better than cooking an entire meal in one fell swoop! Sheet pan dinners contain everything you need: meat, veggie, and starch — all baked together in the oven, coming out hot and ready to eat. Some examples of the dinners Sue Chef will prepare are:
- Lemon chicken with asparagus and leeks
- Miso salmon with peas and red peppers
- Maple-mustard pork tenderloin with apples & acorn squash.
Everyday Plant-based Cooking
Plant-based diets are on the rise — and data that supports that it is not only sustainable, but good for our bodies and our planet! October in Michigan is the month to start your new plant-based way of life. There are so many great, fresh, local farm-raised vegetables that are just coming into season. Sue Chef will demonstrate several of her favorite dishes, with ample samples to make your evening a night out.
Growing up in Maine, Sue Chef was used to getting the freshest seafood straight off the boat and into the local markets. Her palate hasn’t changed, and she will share how to select the freshest seafood from right here in Michigan. What to look for, what to stay away from, and how to determine if it's really fresh. Plus, she will cook up a storm of delicious plates for you to sample:
- Salt-baked red snapper
- Mussels provencal
- Cedar-planked salmon
Everyone loves a good pizza! They key to great pizza is in the dough: Sue Chef will share her secrets on what makes the best dough, and offer a comparison on several frozen, pre-made doughs, as well as a vegan cauliflower crust. We will give our new Chicago Brick Oven a test, and you get to be the happy recipient of many great samples!
Eat ∙ Pray ∙ Love
Live vicariously through Sue Chef and her recent travels to Tuscany. The Italian countryside is home to some of the best foods that are grown and raised fresh in local orchards and farms. Recently returning from Italy, where Sue learned from the locals, she will demonstrate everything from fresh pasta with shaved truffle, to fried sage leaves, and anise biscotti — plus more!
November 2020 – January 2021
The Best of Grow Bistro and Café
Grow is a popular restaurant in the heart of Saugatuck with a true artisan scratch kitchen. Chef Lindsay, and her husband, Alec, are a dynamic duo serving up creative dishes utilizing the most seasonal and local ingredients found. Join Alec, and Lindsay as they prepare pozole (a hearty soup with hominy and pork), kale‑brussel winter salad tossed in a sweet jalapeño dressing, chicken tacos in a southwest spice blend, black bean ragoût (a main-dish stew), and lastly, horchata bread pudding. You will leave full, and this class will make you long for summer when grow is serving again!
Jim Case, from Pebble Creek Produce, has been growing and selling his gourmet mushrooms since 2014. After many years in the corporate world, Jim decided to follow his passion in growing and providing gourmet mushrooms and garlic to chefs. Jim will unravel the mystery behind these mysterious fungi while Sue Chef will demonstrate several dishes utilizing the many different varieties, like Asian fried oyster mushrooms, chestnut mushroom pasta, cream of wild mushroom soup, mushroom bruschetta and king trumpet yakitori.
Braising is a cooking method that uses both wet and dry heat to tenderize tough cuts of meat to melt‑in-your-mouth perfection. Chef Eric Chaitin is the owner of several restaurants in the area, including the Mermaid Bar and Grill and Baldy’s Smoked Meats — and he knows a thing or two about braising meats! Eric will demonstrate traditional osso buco, brisket, and Asian-style braised short ribs. These will be paired with all the yummy sides you might expect.
Soups + Stews I cancelled
What’s not to love about a warm bowl of soup or hearty stew as the weather gets colder in Michigan? Sue Chef will share a plethora of her favorite recipes with you. These meals are quick, easy, and affordable — but, most of all, darn right delicious! For your learning and sampling pleasure, Sue Chef will offer: New England clam chowder, coconut curry & chicken soup, French onion soup, and beef stew.
Wine + Food Pairing cancelled
Mindy Trafman has spent years in the food and beverage business. She climbed up the ladder in Chicago with lettuce entertain you enterprises, and continued on with multiple other notable food and beverage concepts, including The Goddess and Grocer and Lush Wine Bar. Mindy moved to Saugatuck in 2014 to open the Kirby House and now is a partner and general manager at Coast 236 Restaurant & Bar, as well as a partner at Isabel’s Market + Eatery. She brings with her decades of experience in food, wine, teaching, restaurants, catering, retail, and sales. As a trained sommelier, Mindy will explain the nuances of pairing wine with food as well as share some basic food preparations with you.
Asian Hand-pulled Noodles cancelled
Elizabeth Schuler is founder and creator of Haochi US that makes handmade dumplings. She is part of the well known multi-generational fine dining business, Win Schulers. We guess you could say that good food is in her blood. In this class, Elizabeth will not only demonstrate pulled noodles, but a few of her signature dishes such as tomato egg drop soup, sesame honey slaw, spicy pork hand-pulled noodles, and Chinese custard tarts.
Today's Cocktail Renaissance cancelled
Joshua Peterson (JP) Smith is a homegrown Holland guy who recently relocated here after years of success in the restaurant bar industry. His accomplishments and experience are too vast to describe here. In short, he has become known throughout San Francisco, and the states of Colorado + Montana as an expert in the craft cocktails and mixology movement. Currently JP heads up Holland’s newest cocktail bar, Obstacle No.1. This class will take our guests through a brief history of the cocktail, pre-Prohibition, Prohibition, repeal days, the tiki craze, vodka's immersion of the '50s, complacency of the '60s and '70s, bring on the sugar from the '80s and '90s, the flavored vodka explosion of the early 2000s, into the reintroduction of lost classics, muddle infusions, custom creations and the chef behind the bar. All of these stories will include samples to be experienced during class with small nibbles in between.
Holiday Appetizers cancelled
If you’ve been to holiday gatherings, you know holidays are a time when appetizers and hors d’œuvres are most popular. Sue Chef will share a few of her favorites that are easy to make, yet impressive enough to wow your guests. Expect treats like French onion dip, fire-roasted red pepper shooters with spicy shrimp, Italian torte, and maple-bacon pineapple tree. All appetizers will be served with a perfectly selected wine or cocktail by our in-house sommelier, Mindy Trafman.
Everyday Plant-based Cooking II cancelled
Back by popular demand, Sue Chef will bring on a whole-new lineup of delicious plant-based meals that are easy to make, and easy-to-find ingredients for. Even if you are not committed to a 100% plant-based diet, you will find these dishes to be filling and satisfying for any day. Expect five different recipes, with wines and beers perfectly paired.
Out of India cancelled
Explore the unique flavors from the different regions of India! There is more to this cuisine than just curries. Sue Chef will demonstrate such dishes as papadums (thin, crisp, round flatbread) with mango chutney, lamb tikka masala, vada pav (Indian veggie burgers), coconut chicken curry in a hurry, and pan-fried banana cakes!
Sheet Pan Cooking II cancelled
Our first Sheet Pan Cooking class was so popular that Sue Chef added a new arsenal of these easy-to-prepare and -serve dishes. You can expect harissa chicken with chickpeas and eggplant, or how about teriyaki salmon with baby bok choy? Plus more!
Soups + Stews II cancelled
If you didn’t get enough of Sue Chef’s Soups and Stews I cooking class, try out a whole new array of recipes from her collection! During this second series of the class, Sue Chef will be whipping up miso soba soup, New Orleans-style gumbo, meatball soup, potato soup, and more! In addition, you will be offered a sampling of the wonderful wood-fired breads from Field and Fire that we sell here at Isabel’s Market + Eatery!
You may cancel your registration up to two weeks prior to class for a full refund. No refunds can be issued after the two-week window, however you may transfer your ticket to another party at any time prior to class. The Culinary School at Isabel's and Sue Chef may cancel class at any time, for reasons unknown (such as weather, illness, mechanical issues, etc.) You will be personally notified via text or email and a full refund will be issued or class will be rescheduled at an agreed upon date.