• Venue Spotlight: Great Lakes Culinary Center

     
    POSTED June 6, 2018
     

    Southfield venue adds a tasty twist to special events featuring food.

  • Venue Spotlight: Great Lakes Culinary Center

     
    POSTED June 6, 2018
     

    Southfield venue adds a tasty twist to special events featuring food.

When Marc Israel decided to move his then 80-year-old family business, Great Lakes Hotel Supply, from downtown Detroit to Southfield in 2013, he knew a different venue that paired the best of his two worlds would emerge.

As a distributor and installer of commercial kitchens, he opened the Great Lakes Culinary Center to give restaurant professionals a chance to personally cook on new equipment before making a purchase.

His culinary center has evolved into a welcoming venue for special events and appetizing food experiences by spotlighting the tools that bring a meal to life. As an event space, Great Lakes also hosts tours for those who want to see and try out the fully operational cooking equipment that Israel distributes.

“We have guided walk-throughs so visitors can step into our beautiful space, physically handle our equipment and learn how our innovative company produces what works,” says Reva Constantine, the culinary center’s executive chef.

“All of the equipment is stationed on rollers, so stoves can be moved around with ease, and staged at strategic spots to meet the needs of diverse audiences,” she adds. Team members from the culinary center frequently assist choosy chefs with a hands-on approach to equipment education.

The center’s chefs are culinary trained and even dabble in showmanship. Great Lakes conducts cooking competitions where chefs play the parts of judge and teacher for the participants wishing to compete.

Constantine says the center puts a different spin on hosting training programs, group activities and simply eating a meal. “We do out-of-the-box things like breakfast for dinner—at a wedding,” she explains. “That’s not a typical thing to do for our kind of professional meetings and events space.”

While individuals and groups can rent the space for special events, such as team-building meetings, company cooking classes, bar mitzvahs or showers, guests also, for example, can enjoy a dinner series called “Sunday Night at Grandmas.” She says it’s a great family event with amazing food. 

Catering is big business, too. “We average three to four weddings per month, and a hefty number of corporate meetings during the week,” says Constantine. “If you’re looking for a place that caters in roast beef, then you’ve come to the wrong place.” 

Nice Touch: In-The-Garden cares for Great Lake’s on-site organic garden and it produced more than 2,000 salads for events last year.

The center’s indoor space includes a large, open kitchen that is fully equipped with professional amenities. The open floor plan makes any event an interactive experience between guests and the chefs. There’s also an outdoor patio next to the garden that is nice for taking pictures.

With all this space, Constantine is just as sure as owner Israel that the Great Lakes Culinary Center was “destined to become the new, favorite food place to be.” 

Richmond, the capital of Virginia, is a city rich in history. It’s here, in 1775, that Patrick Henry famously declared “Give me liberty or give me death.” And while the extensively renovated Hilton Richmond Downtown can’t trace its roots back quite that far, it is housed in the historic former Miller & Rhoads department store, which dates back to the end of the 19th century. 

 

Every planner wants to create experiences that make meeting attendees feel they’re on top of the world. If you’re planning a meeting in northwest North Carolina, you can achieve that with a visit to Grandfather Mountain. Soaring 5,946 feet and estimated to be 300 million years old, with some rock formations dating back 1.2 billion years, the peak off the Blue Ridge Parkway near Blowing Rock, is accessible by vehicle and by a paved road.

 

Sheraton Dallas Hotel has introduced a new outdoor event space under its new event programming, Dare to Outdoors. The hotel’s catering team has partnered with Pacific Plaza Park, a 3.7-acre green space in Downtown Dallas. The park features a 31,950 square-foot lawn space and permanent seating, as well as night-sky friendly lights for star-watchers. Three food truck power outlets are available and standard outlets are located throughout the park.