There's a treasure tucked away in the tiny town of Fennville, Michigan. It's called Salt of the Earth, and it's a regional destination restaurant. I got a chance to hit the road and check it out, as there's only so much enthusiastic talk of how wonderful the food is that I can stand without having to try it myself. The drive to the restaurant is a dreamy, rolling landscape of farm after farm. You know the food you're about to enjoy started with these farms, quite literally, and you can't help but feel good about your place in the cycle of things.
That is precisely the experience that Chef Matthew Pietsch wants to create. I dare say we've all had moments when we wanted to slow down the chaos of life…to delay the momentum. The James Beard Foundation-nominated chef found himself in the quaint town of Fennville, stepping away from a successful career in Detroit, to do just that. Salt of the Earth is synonymous with rustic, seasonal, local food. With every plate, the aim of honoring the quality ingredients is evident. The entire restaurant focuses on showcasing the local farms, creameries, orchards and artisans that inspire them. Each table is adorned with ceramic vases from a local artist, Michigan beer and wine is served at the bar, and the vast majority of musicians that pass through their small stage are local as well.
Dining here feels comfortable and honest, and is a true sensory experience. You're eating well, and that's what really matters.
01. Emily Kastner