Thursday, August 28, 2008

Brian Polycn's New Place is Open

Brian Polycn's new restaurant in Michigan is open. He calls Forest Grill an American bistro and it's located in Birmingham. Lots of non-chef people probably don't know who he is. He is one of this country's foremost charcuterie experts. He has owned Five Lakes Grill in Milford, MI, for 13 years, is (or was) an instructor at the renowned Schoolcraft culinary school, and is the coauthor, along with Michael Ruhlman, of the book "Charcuterie", which came out about 2 years ago and is at the top of any chef's list of favorite professional cookbooks (though geared towards the home user).

Schoolcraft is an interesting culinary school because it's in Michigan, has less than ten instructors, but something like six or eight of them are certified master chefs (CMC), of which there are only something like 50 in the entire country.

In a previous book by Michael Ruhlman, "The Soul Of A Chef", Ruhlman follows the grueling ten-day exam to become a CMC at the CIA. Polycn is one of the star characters in the book, and certainly he and Ruhlman, who lives in Cleveland, formed a friendship over cooking and their Midwesterness. Incidentally, Polycn failed the test, which adds to the drama of the exceptional book. That was his second time taking test.

Maybe Polycn felt he needed to be a CMC to keep up with his peers at Schoolcraft. Ironically, he's the most professionally succesful chef in Michigan, and as far as chef's chefs go, in the country.

We've eaten at Five Lakes Grill and met the man, and he is definitely way cool. Good luck, Brian! Can't wait to try your new place when next back in Michigan.

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