Cook like a Local (Chef)

Thanks to our location near the Great Lakes, this part of Michigan is blessed with an abundance of fresh produce. Literally dozens of farms grow everything from asparagus to apples and blueberries within half a day’s drive.

As if that’s not enough, some of the country’s finest chefs also call this area home, using their considerable skills to deliver amazing dishes from the farm to our tables. (Some people have all the luck!)

To give you a taste of our local harvest, we asked three chefs from Saugatuck, Douglas, and Fennville to share their recipes for one of our most famous crops: blueberries. Pick up some fresh or frozen berries next time you’re here, and give these recipes a whirl. Bon appetit!

Chef Mindy Trafman

J. Paul’s at The Kirby

Smoked Trout and Blueberry Salad

(serves 2-4)

Serve as appetizer, or dinner salad with a Blueberry Mojito, of course.

  • 6 oz local arugula or your favorite heirloom greens
  • 6 oz Michigan trout (can be fresh and cooked or smoked)
  • 6 oz fresh local blueberries
  • 3 oz good olive oil
  • 1.5 oz balsamic vinegar
  • 2 oz fresh chopped garden parsley or mint
  • .5 lemon
  • Sea salt and Fresh ground pepper
  • Vinaigrette

Blend oil, vinegar, .25oz blueberry juice, and a squeeze of lemon juice. Add salt and pepper to taste and set aside.

Toss arugula, large, torn pieces of smoked trout, parsley, and remainder of blueberries together.

Add vinaigrette to your liking and toss.

Zest half lemon rind over the top and add cracked black pepper.

If you like crunchy vegetables, fingerling potatoes, pickled red onion, goat cheese, or macadamia nuts, toss into your salad. You can make this dish as layered as you like.

Blueberry Mojito

  • 10 mint leaves
  • 2 oz fresh blueberries
  • 2 oz white rum (Go Michigan or go home.)
  • 1 lime
  • 2 oz club soda
  • .5 oz sugar

Lightly muddle 6 mint leaves, .5 lime, sugar, and 1 oz fresh blueberry.

Pour in shaker. Add rum and shake lightly.

Fill tall glass with ice cubes and pour contents for shaker.

Top off with 2 oz of club soda.

Garnish with mint sprig, lime slice, and 1 oz whole fresh blueberries.

Eat, drink, and smile!

Salt of the Earth

Blueberry Whole Wheat Oatmeal Pancakes


  • 9 oz. Organic Whole Wheat Flour
  • 1 c. Rolled Oats
  • ¼ tsp. Kosher Salt
  • ¼ tsp. Cinnamon, ground
  • 2 ea. Eggs, whole
  • 2 c. Milk
  • 2 oz. Brown Sugar
  • 1 c. Yogurt
  • 2 tsp. Vanilla
  • 1 c. Blueberries, fresh
  • 1 Tbsp. Butter

Compound Butter:

  • ¼ c. Butter, soft.
  • ¼ c. Blueberries, fresh
  • 1 tsp. Honey
  • ½ tsp. Granulated Honey

For the butter, in a food processor add all ingredients and mix until well combined. Remove and place mixture onto plastic wrap in a larger straight line. Begin to roll up plastic wrap to create a log of soft butter and place mixture into the cooler until set. When the butter is set remove plastic from the log and cut slices. Reserve cold.

For the batter, combine all ingredients, except for the blueberries and butter, into a large bowl and mix thoroughly. Adjust the thickness of batter to desired consistency with more milk if needed. Heat a large skillet to medium heat and add butter to coat well. Add pancake batter in quarter cup portions onto the skillet and add blueberries on top. Once golden brown flip pancake over and continue cooking. Remove pancake from the pan and add blueberry compound butter, fresh blue berries, and Michigan maple syrup. Serve warm.

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