Inside The Kitchen at Birch and Maple in Frankfort
“Aren’t many places where the beach and the lake kind of meets the town at the end, so that’s something really special,” said Natalie Crawford, co-owner and executive chef and Birch and Maple in Frankfort.
They change the menu seasonally.
The tempura style calamari is a favorite back this season.
“We have gotten emails about it so we had to make it happen,” Natalie said.
But the sweet pea and burrata salad is a new one.
Farmer Chad Vantool owns Cold Creek Farm just down the road.
That’s where a lot of the produce comes from at Birch and Maple.
Chad met Natalie and her husband, Nick, when he visited for lunch one day.
“I started talking about the farm, they were looking for a farmer, so by the end of the conversation we had a handshake deal on a partnership,” Chad said.
Chef Natalie asks Farmer Chad to grow certain items.
And Farmer Chad tells Natalie what he has available.
“Natalie can call me, I can run to the farm and cut something, and literally an hour after she calls me, a customer can be eating it, it can be that fresh,” he said.
Making that fresh flavor burst in any dish.
“I would say it’s kind of American comfort food, maybe a little bit elevated,” said Natalie.
All these dishes Chef Natalie is making today will have to pass one more test before they get to you.
“Today we are doing a tasting with our staff where all our front of the house and kitchen staff comes in they see how we cook the dishes, they taste the dishes,” she explained.
Mary Pitcher is a server at Birch and Maple.
“I work here because I believe in the product,” Mary said. “Oh my god it’s so good!”
Hoping that you’ll agree when you get to test it now for yourself.
“The locals, knowing that customer base, knowing your local people your summer people, recognizing those faces it means something,” said Natalie.
You can find Birch and Maple at 727 Main Street in Frankfort, or call them at 231-399-0399.