I had the honor of meeting Chef Myles Anton, part owner and Chef of Trattoria Stella in Traverse City, MI, at The Asparagus Festival in Empire, MI this past weekend. Their special offering for the festival was an Asparagus Bruschetta – which is very similar to the Heirloom Tomato Bruschetta they will feature at this year’s Garden Party.
Chef Myles started by slicing Trattoria Stella’s homemade focaccia, which is topped with Italian herbs. (They also freshly bake sourdough and ciabatta at the restaurant, as well) The bread was brushed with olive oil and grilled.
Norconk Farms in Empire, MI, supplied the asparagus for Trattoria Stella’s bruschetta.
The asparagus, after being blanched and shocked, was chopped and tossed with spinach.
Once the sliced focaccia was perfectly grilled, it was topped with stracchino (which means ‘torn’ in Italian). They make this cheese by tearing fresh mozzarella (which they make at the restaurant) and mixing it with heavy whipping cream, olive oil, salt and pepper.
The asparagus and spinach were tossed with lemon juice, garlic and olive oil.
Voila – the most delicious asparagus bruschetta I’ve ever tasted!!!!
Now let’s talk about the Heirloom Tomato Bruschetta that Trattoria Stella will be serving at The Garden Party. There is a pretty amazing story behind the heirloom tomatoes and the 250 pounds that the restaurant goes through in a week. Stella has been partnering with Golden Rule Farm, which is located in Kaleva, MI, for the last five years. Golden Rule Farm grow their tomatoes from seedlings and utilize hoop houses to produce hundreds of pounds of heirloom tomatoes. (We chatted more about all of the amazing tools the farm utilizes to produce their variety of produce and Chef mentioned that they offer tours which are definitely worth checking into!)
The Heirloom Tomato Bruschetta will feature Trattoria Stella’s grilled focaccia and will be topped with stracchino and heirloom tomatoes which have been tossed in olive oil and garlic.
Trattoria Stella is celebrating its 8th year in business and Chef Myles Anton is a twice nominated James Beard Semi-Finalist for Best Chef Great Lakes. After speaking with him and watching him work it’s apparent the amount of passion he has for his restaurant, the food he prepares and his dedication to supporting local businesses!