- 18600 Haggerty Rd., Livonia, MI, 48152
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Do you ever wonder where great restaurant food comes from? Not the ingredients, but the meal? Its preparation, the design, taste -- the whole package? It all starts with the chef.
It’s clear that we have come into an era of the white coat-wearing, professional chef. And whether you believe a good chef is born or made, there is a distinction attached to those with accreditation from the best culinary schools about – the C.I.A. (Culinary Institute of America), Le Cordon Bleu, the French Culinary Institute, and Livonia’s own Schoolcraft College. With its faculty of four certified master chefs and four executive chefs, and its glamorous $27 million dollar facility, Schoolcraft has been the breeding ground for some of the best culinary experts around.
For countless hours each week, students are taught and practice traditional and contemporary cooking methods within a multitude of ethnicities, styles and genres. And nothing is wasted. What isn’t used by one class goes on to another, and in the end, everything finds its way to the American Harvest Restaurant.
Located within Schoolcraft’s VisTaTech Center, the American Harvest is the most practical proving ground for tomorrow’s star executive chef. Split within a three-dimensioned philosophy: What starts off as a learning module ends up as a gourmet breakfast buffet, lunch and dinner service.
The variety is astonishing. The product quality is the highest available. The cost – marginal!
Ok, let’s start with breakfast. You know how you look at a menu and have trouble deciding what to order? The American Harvest’s breakfast buffet solves that problem. Set up right within the production kitchen itself, there is everything. The morning baking class provides fresh danishes, donuts and biscuits. Of course, with biscuits there has to be gravy, and there is – sausage gravy cooked from scratch, as with everything else in the kitchen, like fresh cheesy grits and oatmeal.
Fast-forward to lunch at the American Harvest, one of the more popular spots for lunch dining in the region. Reservations are always recommended for the three offered seatings: 11:45 am, noon and 12:15 pm.
It’s admittedly hard to choose what to eat for lunch – the entrees are considerably more elegant and refined than the average restaurant fare. The flavors and tastes can be described as American Contemporary and are quite distinct and discernable presented in a fine dining style. Each bite takes your palette off to a different avenue of cooking, though within the French and European arena. The portions are generous, and enough to satiate most.
The American Harvest dinner service follows an international theme with a different region featured weekly. Entrees and appetizers are offered ala carte except on Fridays where dinner is presented buffet-style.
Rotating regions are: American, European, South American, Asian, Middle Eastern and a student-chef choice varietal.
Dinner pastries often coincide with the weekly theme, and (as with breakfast and lunch pastries) are made from scratch daily.
Our Metromix dinner experience was during the South American rotation. Some of the concepts presented were tortilla soup, a red mole chicken enchilada, a crab and potato causa (layer of crab, tomato avocado, potato, garnished with pickled onion relish, and a quail egg), a red snapper ceviche, sopas (done three ways), and a duck and smoked sausage cassoulet (a duck confit of leg and thigh, with a cassoulet of beans, smoked sausage, topped with sautéed spinach and garlic.
All three dimensions of service (breakfast, lunch and dinner) fall within the school’s culinary courses so call for dining schedules and hours.
Too many chefs in the kitchen? Not at the American Harvest Restaurant.