About the cooks' house.
Patterson and Blakeslee worked together in Las Vegas, where they had been cooking in Michelin-starred kitchens, namely under iconic French chef André Rochat and hatched an idea to open a small restaurant in Blakeslee’s native Traverse City built on the bounty of locally grown and foraged foods. “We take most of our focus from the actual ingredients themselves,” Patterson explains. “My food is a bit simpler, whereas Jen likes to work with more complex flavors from her travels in India, Mexico and Southeast Asia.” Patterson and Blakeslee supplement their busy year-round dinner service with cooking classes that explore regional cuisines and improvised seasonal cooking from local farmers markets.
The eponymous retrofitted address on Wellington Street speaks to the inspired minimalism of farm-to-fork cuisine that has established The Cooks’ House as one of the Midwest’s cultiest eateries. The white, well-lit, 26-seat dining room is hung with modern paintings from local artists, and tables are set with white linens and quality crystal, but the restaurant emphasizes a comfortable come-as-you-are approach to enlightened local eating. (The dress code is simply “clothes.”) The Cooks’ House retains a high staff-to-guest ratio so that diners are never wanting for comfort, and atmosphere is relaxed and social with tables trading conversation.