• Renovations at Cornman Farms

    This redesigned country venue makes you feel right at home. 

     
    POSTED October 17, 2019
     

    The remodeled dining room and the upstairs lounge.

    The remodeled dining room and the upstairs lounge.
  • Renovations at Cornman Farms

    This redesigned country venue makes you feel right at home. 

     
    POSTED October 17, 2019
     

    The remodeled dining room and the upstairs lounge.

    The remodeled dining room and the upstairs lounge.

In 1834, a classic Greek Revival Farmhouse was built and three years later a gorgeous barn was constructed on the same property. That was the same year that Michigan became a state. Fastforward 185 years, and today the Dexter facility, called Zingerman’s Cornman Farms about 10 miles from downtown Ann Arbor, attracts meetings and special events throughout the year.

Recently, the quintessential farmhouse was given an interior makeover by former editor-in-chief of Domino magazine-turnedcreative-consultant Michelle Adams, and her design partner, Emily Schoen of The Maryn in Ann Arbor. Their mission was to take the farmhouse, which was basically a blank slate, and design purposeful rooms that made it feel like a home again.

Adams and Schoen redesigned seven rooms, including a cozy library that houses the owner’s cookbook collection. It’s just one of the many spaces that can accommodate members of an off-site meeting.

“The Farmhouse can accommodate 75 guests for a strolling event and 50 guests for a seated event,” says Jamie Gray, Zingerman’s Cornman Farms marketing and communications manager.

The end result of the redesign perfectly reflects the personality of the venue’s owner and executive chef, Kieron Hales, who hails from Devon, England. The eclectic interiors are representative of an English country estate, juxtaposing quirky antiques with sleek modern shapes.

Incidentally, in 2008, Hales joined food emporium Zingerman’s and became executive chef of Zingerman’s Roadhouse, then opened the current Zingerman’s Cornman Farms.

“The designers understood my personality and heritage and translated it into the design of the Farmhouse,” says Hales, whose career began in England at the age of 13, when he went to the Specialized Chefs School in Bournemouth. Upon graduating, he joined the Royal Academy of Culinary Arts at age 17 and embarked on a career that has taken him around the globe. Of note: The celebrated chef has cooked for the British Royal family and three U.S. presidents.

“Our venue hosts some very important events, and thus we wanted to keep the design very elegant and classy. Yet, I am often described as quite a quirky, energetic and sometimes nostalgic individual, and the designers wanted to reflect that. The end result is a quintessential English home with some wonderfully eccentric and whimsical accents,” Hales says.

Since the redesign, he adds, guests who’ve hosted or attended events here never want to leave.

"When you host an event at Cornman Farms, we want you to feel as if you are at the home of a family member,” Hales says, “a place that is always warm, welcoming and serving incredibly delicious food."

Napa Valley’s Meritage Resort & Spa recently debuted a new program designed to help groups gathering at the resort achieve more “Mindful Meetings.” The program, offered in partnership with Bare Health, can be custom tailored for groups and includes the following wellness-focused activities: meditation, yoga in the vineyard, sound healing, and the creation of juices, smoothies and morning elixirs at the resort’s brand-new Food & Wine Center.

 

After continually hearing that meeting planners were looking to infuse more health, wellness and sustainability into their agendas, Hilton Hotels & Resorts created Meet with Purpose in 2015. As it has evolved, the turnkey program—and its focus on Mindful Eating, Mindful Meeting and Mindful Being—has been increasingly customized to reflect each hotel and each meeting.

 

The Twin Cities’ culinary scene is more diverse than ever.