For northern Lower Michigan-based chef Bryon “Fig” Figueroa, cooking with fresh local ingredients isn’t just a preference; it’s a matter of principle.
Over the past two decades, Figueroa has made a name for himself in the local food scene cooking at local resorts, wineries, cafés and restaurants. At every place he’s worked, Figueroa has brought the philosophy that a restaurant menu shouldn’t be some fixed document, but rather something that evolves and shifts constantly depending on what local farmers have in-season. And because Figueroa lives in the part of Michigan known affectionately as “The Cherry Capital of the World,” it goes without saying that he knows a thing or two about cooking with cherries.
“With the stone fruits, it’s such a ‘get it now’ situation,” Figueroa says of the local adoration for cherries. “I dove into cherries when I moved to this area, but I’ve been a stone-fruit lover