The 19th hole has become a lot more appetizing at Garland Lodge and Resort in the Gaylord Golf Mecca. GeneralManger Glenn Miesch recently appointed husband-and-wife-team Jesse and Jessica Ziobron as director of food and beverage and executive chef, respectively, at the northern Michigan resort.
The couple most recently held those positions at the Otsego Club & Resort in nearby Gaylord, where they chopped and diced their way up the culinary ladder during the past 12 years.
The Ziobrons’ background working at a membership-based resort with some 300 family memberships is extremely important, says Miesch. “Their extensive experience and passion for perfection is critical for our resort to create and maintain culinary excellence,” adds Miesch. “Their goal for Garland is to create an incredible ‘Up North’ dining experience.”
Jessica Ziobron, a winner of the "Best Food" category in the “Taste ofGaylord” 2011 and 2010 competitions,has cooked for members of the 2010 International Olympic snowboarding team. “I like to focus on exceptionally fresh ingredients, outstanding flavors and incredible presentations,” she says.
Jesse Ziobron, who studied in Northern Michigan University’s culinary program, has a deep understanding of pairing food with appropriate wines and brews. He comes to Garland with an intense knowledge of farms,breweries and vineyards and plans to bring an assortment of great Michigan-grown products to Garland.
“One of my favorite Michigan food experiences is picking wild raspberries from the woods near our family farmhouse in the Upper Peninsula,” he says. “They are incredibly delicious — sweet and tart at once. I judge all of our produce by that experience.”
Currently, the cooking duo is planning Garland’s menus and tweaking signature dishes. They are most excited about serving up a special twist on all-time favorite burgers and steaks
“You have to try our 14-ounce bone-in filet,” says Jesse. “We’re using a Shimmin Canyon Cabernet reduction that makes the dish sing.”
Shimmin Canyon wines from California are under the auspices of winemaker Chris Cameron, whose favorite varieties include black cherry, sandalwood, white peach and fresh ginger subtleties.
Cameron has been making wine in the Paso Robles wine growing area for the last four vintages and is excited about sharing his varieties with the Garland chefs and guests on everything from Bordeaux to Rhone varietals. He has significant crush and winemaking experience in Australia, Italy, France and Turkey, and achieved international success by winning “The Best Merlot Worldwide” at the International Wine and Spirit Competition in London.
Also new at Garland is Tannins Wine & Coffee Bar. Located in the former gift-shop space off the resort’s main lobby, the rustic-themed Tannins features casual seating for 20 along with a variety of Shimmin Canyon wines and coffees.
Garland Lodge and Resort features Shimmin Canyon wines because
the same Illinois-based company owns both properties. Set apart by unique climate and geography, the Paso Robles Wine Country of California provides prime-growing conditions for more than 40 varietals planted over 26,000 acres of vineyards. The fruit, the wines and the distinct environment have quickly made Paso Robles
California's third largest and fastest-growing wine region.
“The Shimmin Canyons Quadrant is exceptional,” notes Jesse.“It’s a light-bodied red-and-white blend of Grenache, Shiraz, petite Shiraz and Viognier, all blended into one wine. I’m a big fan of that and can’t wait to share this special wine with our guests. It’s not often you find both red and white grapes in one wine. It goes with just about anything.”
Built in 1985 out of 15-inch Engelmann spruce logs from BritishColumbia, Garland gleams with rustic appeal at every turn. Take the soaring lobby, for example. It welcomes with comfortable furnishings in front of a huge fireplace, a game table, old snow¬shoe adornments, stunning stained-glass windows and more.