Keen skills, creative style, cutting-edge execution and exceptional talent. At this time of year, those descriptions would find their way into the bio of a running back or wide receiver. But those adjectives are not just reserved for the athletic standouts. They can easily summarize the talents of those culinary geniuses and enthusiasts in the Genesee County area.
The local food movement, which is one of the most exciting social and economic developments in recent years in our area, has many notables who possess a competitive edge in the kitchen. They stand apart from the typical title of “cook” and proudly land as VIPs in their field. One VIP is Sean Gartland, owner and chef, Feast Gourmet Kitchen Shop in Fenton.
He found inspiration at a young age from summers spent in northern Michigan at his grandparents’ orchard, where cooking was a family affair. Gartland also watched “Frugal Gourmet” hosted by Jeff Smith, a staple on the PBS channel. It spawned his interest and had him poised and ready once the Food Network made its debut. Honing his skills in Rhode Island at Johnson & Wales University is something that inspired him to share his knowledge later. With a variety of styles and techniques flashing across screens now, a chef in the making could find it tough to carve out a unique style. Gartland is one of those culinary artists who let personal style evolve in the moment, it seems.
“I LOVE THE WAY TOASTED
SPICES AND A VARIETY
OF PEPPERS CAN TURN A
SIMPLE INGREDIENT LIKE
PORK SHOULDER INTO A
BOLDLY FLAVORED DISH. ”
– SEAN GARTLAND
“It’s hard to nail down any one style that I would classify myself in,” Gartland says. “Lately I find myself drawn to Latin flavors. I love the way toasted spices and a variety of peppers can turn a simple ingredient like pork shoulder into a boldly flavored dish.”
Even with such a cultivated palette, when asked his favorite thing to eat, he replies, “Cereal. But I also love any form of fresh seafood.”
The love of his art and gratitude to those who helped him arrive at the culinary level he finds himself today are the driving forces behind his Feast Gourmet Kitchen Shop. Not only has he gathered the finest in cooking tools, ingredients and gadgets, but he also offers the opportunity to share his passion with a variety of cooking classes. From autumn soups and stews to Spanish tapas, students can navigate their way through some of the most delicious seasonal and everyday dishes. He also offers classes on basic kitchen skills, such as Hands-On Knife Skills – Chop! Chop! and offers up the perfect venue for private party events. His joy is found in bringing his knowledge he obtained over the years from others to those looking to learn and create.
Even today he looks for inspiration in the likes of chefs like Anthony Bourdain and David Chang. “They are a huge influence on my cooking. These days I’m more drawn to shows that explore the culture of food,” Gartland says.
A teacher who’s always learning – sounds like a perfect recipe.
FEAST GOURMET KITCHEN SHOP HAS AWESOME GIFT RESOURCES FOR INDIVIDUAL OR CORPORATION GIFTS. GARTLAND AND HIS TEAM ARE ON HAND TO HELP YOU CREATE A UNIQUE GIFT THAT PEOPLE WILL SURELY REMEMBER AND USE FOR YEARS TO COME.