Featured, Food, Food Artisans

Why I Love Central Provisions

An appreciation

For those of you Ann Arborites who haven’t heard of Central Provisions yet, take note. Founded by my co-worker Steve Hall and his crazy talented girlfriend Abby Olitzky of Sweet Heather Anne, Central Provisions is what Steve and Abby call a “working larder” which includes part restaurant, part market, and part kitchen. Together they host dinners, cater events, and sell a plethora of homemade items like jams, pickles, and baked goods all with an emphasis on clean, simple flavors and locally sourced ingredients. I’ve had the good fortune of eating a number of meals with this dynamic duo and can say wholeheartedly that it is some of the most exciting food in Ann Arbor right now.

Since a picture is worth a thousand words—especially when it comes to pictures of food—I thought I’d let some of Steve and Abby’s Instagram account do the talking. So, without further ado, here are 10 reasons why I love Central Provisions and why I know you will, too.

10. They know how to put together a dinner party in style.

10. They know how to put together a dinner party in style.


9. They have a keen eye for the little details that make a dish extraordinary.

9. They have a keen eye for the little details that make a dish extraordinary.


8. They make you want to eat dessert before dinner.

8. They make you want to eat dessert before dinner.


7. They (sometimes) deliver catering orders in wagons. Adorable!

7. They (sometimes) deliver catering orders in wagons. Adorable!


6. They make vegetables look like works of art.

6. They make vegetables look like works of art.


5. They host educational events around the city with other local businesses like Literati and Everyday Wines.

5. They host educational events around the city with other local businesses like Literati and Everyday Wines.


4. All of their menus and event posters feature beautiful vintage photographs.

4. All of their menus and event posters feature beautiful vintage photographs.


3. They give you creative ideas for all of your farmer’s market purchases.

3. They give you creative ideas for all of your farmer’s market purchases.


2. They take biscuits very seriously.

2. They take biscuits very seriously.

and finally…

1. They are two of the coolest people I know, with incredible culinary skills to boot.

1. They are two of the coolest people I know, with incredible culinary skills to boot!

Don’t miss our upcoming Summer Dinner with Central Provisions at Zingerman’s Deli!

Two seatings!

On Wednesday, July 30 Zingerman’s Delicatessen hosts another special evening with Central Provisions and guest chefs Abby Olitzky and Steve Hall. For this summer meal, they will delve into our unique pantry again to feature favorite American foods as well as the seasonal bounty of their favorite local farms. Each dish will be paired with wine that complements and elevates each bite. Please join us for this wonderful dinner celebrating summer flavors and great eating! Sign up now—these dinners sell out fast! (There will be a vegetarian option available, just let us know)

reserve a seat for 6:00pm seating

reserve a seat for 8:30pm seating

See you at the dinner! 

- Maddie

Food, Food Artisans

Inspiration from Tamar Adler

An Everlasting Impression

For as long as I can remember, I have been a fanatical cookbook collector. Based on my last count, I’m tallying about fifty-five titles and the number just keeps on growing. In the midst of books starring celebrity chefs like Alice Waters, Ina Garten, and Jacques Pepin is, in my opinion, the most important book of the bunch; a skinny burgundy volume entitled An Everlasting Meal by writer and chef Tamar Adler.

I first heard about Tamar’s book while browsing one of my favorite food blogs during my junior year of college. This particular blogger listed Tamar’s book on one of her “favorites” lists for the summer of 2011. Unfamiliar with the title or the author, I performed a quick Google search and was instantly floored by Tamar’s resume. Editor at Harper’s Magazine, cookbook author, chef at Chez Panisse and Prune restaurants. She was living my dream life! I was sold and promptly ordered myself a copy of her book. Two days later, I entered into a brief period of literary paradise where Tamar’s book did not leave my hand.

Using stunning prose and approachable cooking tricks, Tamar takes her readers on a journey through the kitchen by sharing easy tricks for crafting quick meals out of “nothing,” and finding joy in the simplest of foods. The book is broken up by various “how to” chapters with MFK Fischer-inspired titles, such as “How to Boil Water,” “How to Season a Salad,” “How to Fry the Littlest Fish,” and shows readers how to get the most out of their kitchens by looking at everyday ingredients and cooking techniques in new ways. In Tamar’s world,  a can of sardines holds as much allure as a tin of fine caviar, kale stems and carrot tops aren’t considered scraps but rather the base for a vegetable stock, and stale bread is no longer seen as disposable but as the star of an Italian bread salad or thickened soup. Her approach to food is simple and her voice pragmatic, providing anyone—novice or amateur—with the tools they need to become an artist in the kitchen.

Despite cooking with frequency and grocery shopping more times a week than I can count, my crazy foodie self still slips into some major culinary slumps from time to time. Just as I tend to do when looking at my closet,  I will often look into my pantry—well stocked mind you—and see nothing. Tamar’s book is helps appease such anxiety. In one of the later chapters, she reflects on this common sentiment and poses a question in response:

“How do you fall in love with [food], or if t has never made you truly happy, fall in love with it for the first time? My answer is to anchor food to somewhere deep inside you, or deep in your past, or deep in the wonders of what you love.”

Tamar’s approach to cooking and eating does exactly that by combining passion for food with an anchored sense of love and curiosity.  While reading An Everlasting Meal, Tamar seemed to take on the role of my foodie fairy godmother, watching over me and assuring me that no matter what happened in the kitchen, I had the power to create something beautiful. Since finishing the book, I feel a renewed sense of calm in my kitchen. The pantry no longer daunts me, but now presents an ever-changing array of possibilities. Humble dishes don’t feel like “settling” anymore, but rather have become some of my favorite food indulgences. I can honestly say that there are few dishes I find more satisfying than a soft boiled egg, a hardy pot of beans, or a whole tin of sardines atop toast.  Thank you Tamar for helping reshape my love for cooking and making my kitchen the best place to be.

— Maddie

Food, Food Artisans

Movie Night Review

Two thumbs up!

Last night, Zingerman’s Events on 4th hosted a screening of four films celebrating Southern food and culture to a nearly full house.

The event was a benefit for the Southern Foodways Alliance, an organization based at the University of Mississippi that documents, studies, and celebrates the diverse food cultures of the changing American South. “It’s my favorite food-based educational non-profit by a mile,” says Zingerman’s co-founder, Ari Weinzweig.

Deli Manager Marshall talks about the films and food.

Deli Manager Marshall talks about the films and food.

The films were created by Joe York, in-house filmmaker for the SFA. Film and video are a big part of the SFA documentation process. From their website:

“Each year, the SFA produces films with the University of Mississippi’s SouthDocs institute. We also work with filmmakers across the region through our Greenhouse Projects initiative. We have produced a range of short and long films, about everything from goat cheese to fried pies, from buttermilk to barbecue.”

Movie Night guests were treated to four different films by York, as well as several rounds of snacks celebrating the food and culture of the South.


Guests watch a film about traditional bacon producer Allan Benton.

The films screened included, “Cured,” about Allan Benton and his traditional ham and bacon curing business; “Carolina Grist,” in which Anson Mills founder Glenn Roberts talks about traditional rice cultivation in the Carolinas; “Sapelo,” a look at the Geechee Red Pea Project, an effort to preserve Geechee culture on Sapelo Island in the Georgia Sea Coast island chain; “Eggers,” about paddelfish roe-gathering on the Mississippi River; and “Saving Seeds,” a look at Kentucky heirloom bean and tomato farmer, Bill Best.

Throughout the screening, guests enjoyed samples of some of the foods mentioned in the films, including Benton’s ham and bacon, Carolina grits, Stoneground grits, and several kinds of rice from Anson Mills. And since no movie is complete without popcorn, guests enjoyed a batch of Anson Mills popcorn.

By all accounts, the event was a rousing success. As one attendee put it, “I’ve never eaten so well at the movies!”

See you soon! 


Food, Food Artisans

Renowned Chocolatier Comes to Zingerman’s for Two Events


askinosie-logoWe’re very happy to announce that founder and CEO of Askinosie Chocolate, Shawn Askinosie will visit two Zingerman’s businesses in mid-May to share his story and his chocolate!

Shawn Askinosie had a successful career as a criminal defense lawyer for nearly 20 years before he founded his Springfield, Missouri chocolate-making business. He was recently named by O, The Oprah Magazine as “One of 15 Guys Who Are Saving the World.” They said,

“Why we’re fans: The philanthropically-minded chocolate entrepreneur aims to get students thinking about business ethics in a way that could have ripple effects for generations.”

Askinosie Chocolate is a small-batch award-winning chocolate manufacturer with 15 full-time employees. Askinosie sources 100% of their beans directly from the farmers, and Shawn travels to regions of Ecuador, Honduras, the Philippines, and Tanzania to work directly with the farmers. This allows the chocolate to be traced to the source and labeled Authentic Single Origin Chocolate. It also enables Askinosie Chocolate to profit share with the farmers, giving them a Stake In the Outcome™. The Askinosie Chocolate mission is to serve their farmers, their neighborhood, their customers and each other; sharing the Askinosie Chocolate Experience by leaving the world a better place than they found it.

ZingTrain Speaker Series

On Wednesday, May 14, 7am, Shawn will take the reins at the ZingTrain Speaker Series to tell you his story, the story of how a criminal defense attorney became a chocolate maker. The story of how his business, Askinosie Chocolate, wins more awards for its chocolate than we can keep track of. The story of how his small 15-person business makes a huge positive impact on all it comes in contact with the world over. The story of how you can go about creating meaningful work, creating a business with a vocation.


Students and non-profit organizations will get a 50% discount for this event!

Tasting at Zingerman’s Deli

On Thursday, May 15, 630pm, Shawn will share his story at Zingerman’s Events on 4th, and lead us in a tasting of a selection of his amazing bean-to-bar chocolates. This event sells out fast so get your tickets today!


Bonus! If you register for both events, you’ll get three Askinosie Single Origin bars as our way of saying thanks!

Food, Food Artisans

Valentine’s Day Chocolates at Zingerman’s Next Door

Top Picks from Emily:


    • Pralus’ Chocolate Pyramids and Mini Pyramids — This pyramid of 75% chocolate, composed of some Pralus’ tropical origins, offers an exotic, chocolate-y vacation. Taste your way from toasty espresso Ecuador to jammy Madagascar. Break each tasting square of the Miniature Pyramids in half and you’ve got a romantic getaway for two!
    • Enric Rovira Spanish Drinking Chocolate — What better way to cozy up with your loved one than with an intoxicatingly thick & rich hot chocolate? – Available in sweet and smooth Traditional 55%; bittersweet and decadent Amargo 70 % dark chocolate.
    • Baking Chocolate — Looking to delight your sweetheart with a homemade indulgence? We recommend taking a simple recipe and seeking out the best ingredients you can find. Using these knock-out baking chocolates in your Valentine’s treats has been known to induce swooning. Choose from:Michel Cluizel Minigrams (chocolate drops) available in milk, 63%, 72%, 85%, or white. Askinosie Cocoa Powder. or Mindo Chocolate Maker’s Baking Disks.
    • Pralus’ Diabolical Bar —  One bite and you’ll understand; this is true love. Hazelnut & almond cream, dotted with whole Piedmont hazelnuts tucked inside milk chocolate.
    • Fran’s Salt Caramels —  A perennial favorite here at Zingerman’s, copper kettle cooked caramels, dipped in either dark and topped with grey salt or milk chocolate and smoked salt.
    • Chocolat Moderne Chocolate Covered Cherries —  Amarena Mon Amour! Joan specifically selects Italian Amarena cherries for their pleasantly tart flavor; they plump up beautifully during a bath of vodka syrup before being sealed up in a pearlescent dark chocolate shell. Available by the piece, as well as in ribboned 12-piece coral gift boxes.
    • Custom Box of Chocolates —  Our truffle case will be lovingly overflowing with confections of all kinds, ready to be for your sweetheart’s delight. Come visit us in the Next Door Chocolate Corner where we’ll craft your dream box!



  • Chocolate Dipped Strawberries —  Plump ripe strawberries dipped in fine chocolate, adorned with either white chocolate, toasted coconut or slivered almonds.

Pre-order Valentine’s Day Chocolate Dipped Strawberries and Chocolate Covered Marshmallows, call 734-663-3354. Only sold in the truffle case this time of year, a real treat! Available for pick up at Zingerman’s Next Door: 2/13 through 2/16.

Valentine’s Day Chocolate & Bourbon Cocktail Hour at Zingerman’s Events on 4th – TWO Seatings!

Join us on Valentine’s Day for a sample flight of bourbon hand-picked by our very own in-house aficionados, paired with chocolate and confections made by Joan Coukos of Chocolat Moderne. The perfect complement to a dinner with your sweetheart.

reserve your 6pm-7pm seat here

reserve your 8pm-9pm seat here

Chocolate and Cheese Tasting at Zingerman’s Creamery

Join us on Valentine’s Day at 6pm for a night of tasting delicious handpicked cheeses and freshly made chocolate. We welcome special guests from Zingermans Candy Manufactory to bring the worlds of sweet & salty together for a mind-blowing chocolate and cheese event of a lifetime. With cheeses ranging from nutty, hard-crystalized Goudas to fresh, buttery-soft ripened cheeses, and fresh chocolates made especially for the event! Don’t miss it!

reserve your seat here

Food, Food Artisans, ZingLife

Beat the Winter Blahs with Zingerman’s Events

Take a Class at BAKE!

BAKE! is our hands-on teaching bakery in Ann Arbor. At BAKE! we share our knowledge and love of baking with the home baker community, seeking to preserve baking traditions and inspire new ones. We offer dozens of different bread, pastry and cake classes in our very own teaching kitchens.

Check out the full schedule and register for classes here


9th Annual African American Foodways Dinner

Tuesday January 14, 7:00pm
Zingerman’s Roadhouse
The African American Cultural & Historical Museum of Washtenaw County presents: A Culinary Cultural Experience

Our community is rich with African American culture, history and knowledge and at our 9th Annual African American Dinner we will celebrate the African American Cultural and Historical Museum of Washtenaw County. The AACHM was established in 1993 to research, collect, preserve and exhibit cultural and historical materials about the life and work of Black Americans in Washtenaw County.
From recently filmed Living Oral History interviews, to the Underground Railroad Tour, discover what local African-Americans witnessed, experienced, and contributed to building the community we share today. Chef Alex has created a menu highlighting the journey of seven of our families, sharing their history through food.

Reserve your seat here

Ari-Full-Front-credit-Benjamin-WeatherstonBreakfast, Books and Business with Ari Weinzweig

Thursday, January 17, 7:30am-9am
Zingerman’s Roadhouse
Breakfast served at 7:30 am, Event is from 8:00 am to 9:00 am.

Zingerman’s Guide to Good Leading, Part 3, A Lapsed Anarchist’s Approach to Managing Ourselves includes Secrets #30-39 and will explore our belief that some of the most important work we do to build great organizations and lead rewarding lives is the work we need to do inside. The book includes essays on our approach to managing ourselves, mindfulness, leadership at the four levels of organizational growth, personal visioning, why the way the leader thinks will be manifested in the way the organization runs, creating a creative organization and more. You’ll also hear from Zingerman’s staff, we’ll be inviting employees from around the organization to engage Ari in a dialogue about Zingerman’s, building the business, being part of this organization and how you can apply Zingerman’s approaches to help strengthen your organization.

Reserve your seat here


Home Espresso Class

Sunday, January 19, 1-3pm
Zingerman’s Coffee Company

Get the most out of your home espresso machine. Learn more about what goes into making a café- quality espresso. We will start with an overview of the “4 Ms” of making espresso, followed by tasting, demonstrations and some hands-on practice. We will also cover some machine maintenance basics as time allows. This is a very interactive workshop and seating is limited to six people.

Reserve your seat here

USA-map-states-outlinedCheese from the “Flyover” States

Friday, January 17, 7:00pm
Zingerman’s Creamery

Did you know that cheese is made in Minnesota, Iowa, the Dakotas, Colorado, Oklahoma and Missouri Come taste some of the best cheese being made in the U.S. from the most unlikely places. We will taste 7 great American cheeses that you are unlikely to find anywhere else.

Reserve your seat here

american_spoon_sour_cherries_low-resThe Secret Life of Preserves: Featuring Noah Marshall-Rashid from American Spoon

Tuesday, February 4th, 630pm
Zingerman’s Events on Fourth

For over thirty years, the folks at American Spoon in Petoskey, have elevated preserves beyond the supermarket variety that sits for months on the refrigerator door. Noah and his family use only fresh fruit and craft their preserves by hand to preserve the maximum amount of flavor from early glow strawberries, damson plums, sour cherries and more. Spend a cozy winter evening with Noah to hear the American Spoon story and taste the spreads that have made American Spoon a Michigan icon.

Reserve your seat here


Valentine’s Day Chocolate & Bourbon Cocktail Hour – 2 seatings!

Friday, February 14, 6pm to 7pm OR 8pm to 9pm
Zingerman’s Events on Fourth

A sample flight of bourbon hand-picked by our very own in-house aficionados, paired with chocolate and confections made by Joan Coukos of Chocolat Moderne. The perfect complement to a dinner with your sweetheart.

Reserve your seat here:
1st seating at 6pm 2nd seating at 8pm


Brewing Methods

Sunday, February 16, 1-3pm
Zingerman’s Coffee Company

Learn the keys to successful 
coffee brewing using a wide
 variety of brewing methods from
filter drip to the syphon pot. We 
will take a single coffee and brew it 6
to 8 different ways, each producing a
unique taste. We’ll learn the proper
proportions and technique for each
and discuss the merits and differences of each style.

Reserve your seat here

the-fresh-honey-cookbookSingle Varietal Honeys: Featuring Author Laurey Masterton

Tuesday, February 18th, 6:30pm
Zingerman’s Events on Fourth

Single varietal honeys come from bees that eat the nectar of only one kind of flower. Laurey Masterton, author of The Fresh Honey Cookbook: 84 Recipes from a Beekeeper’s Kitchen, will guide us through tastes of her favorite single varietals, and we’ll experience the amazing differences in flavor that each delivers. She’ll also help us understand how each varietal can be used to create unique and tasty dishes. If you thought all honeys are pretty much the same, this is the tasting for you.

Reserve your seat here

the-fresh-honey-cookbookA Beekeeper’s Dinner Featuring Author Laurey Masterton

Wednesday, February 19, 7pm
Zingerman’s Roadhouse

Honey is honey, just that simple. But the life of a bee and making the honey is not. Did you know a hive of bees will fly over 55,000 miles to bring you one pound of honey? And that one pound of honey came from two million flowers? Considering one honeybee will only make about 1/12 of a teaspoon of honey in her entire lifetime, that is not a simple task.
Chef and spokesperson for The National Honey Board, Laurey Masterson, author of The Fresh Honey Cookbook, joins us to enthusiastically teach us the benefits of using and eating honey. We’ll be tasting different honey varietals, honey from different regions and of course, using honey to prepare many of Laurey’s vibrant recipes and delivering amazing dishes to the table.

Reserve your seat here

coffee-cupping-alan-j08Comparative Cupping

Sunday, February 23, 1-3pm
Zingerman’s Coffee Company

Sample coffees from the Africa, Central and South Americas, and the Asian Pacific. We will taste and evaluate these coffees with the techniques and tools used by professional tasters. This is an eye-opening introduction of the world of coffee.

Reserve your seat here