Staunton has for good reason developed a reputation as not only a “foodie” town, but a “locavore” town. This means we in Staunton love food and we want it locally grown. Several of Staunton’s restaurants (Zynodoa and Mockingbird for instance) respond to this call for locally grown. I’d like to add a caterer, Mike Lund Food, to the list of locavore food providers.
Chef Mike Lund was trained at the Inn at Little Washington, and came to Staunton as the head chef to the popular gourmet restaurant Zynodoa. He later decided to start his own catering business. Located in a hole in the wall shop that used to be a hot dog stand on Central Avenue, Mike Lund Food now offers full catering services.
Our first introduction to Mike Lund and his food (besides enjoying his cooking at Zynodoa) was last November, when Mike biked over to our tasting room to ask if we’d hang a flyer offering Polyface turkeys, fully cooked and prepared in his special way – marinated in a honey brine and roasted – for the Thanksgiving table. We not only hung the sign, we bought two turkeys, and they were delicious! I highly recommend reserving one for this Thanksgiving.
Next, John surprised me with a Secret Supper. Now, I’ve got to tell you, this was the most wonderful evening of my life, and the surprise was total! John drove me around town before stopping in front of Chef Mike’s unassuming storefront. Inside, Mike said, “Welcome to your private restaurant for the evening.”
Mike’s shop is narrow and intimate. The walls are lined with cookbooks. The back half is Mike’s kitchen, which is fully opened to the front half, where Mike had set a rustic wooden table for our dinner. We were soon joined by two friends, and began four hours of eating, drinking, and chatting with Chef Mike while he prepared the most delicious dishes, made primarily from local, in-season foods. Here is the special menu he created just for us: Mike Lund Menu
As you can see, I had him autograph it for me. Check his website mikelundfood.com to learn how you can arrange your own Secret Supper.
Then, last summer, we surprised our teenage daughter, Harriet, with two cooking classes with Chef Mike in his shop. These were private classes, but Mike can also accommodate small groups. Harriet opted for a class on knife skills, where she learned to properly slice, dice, etc., and made many yummy things in the process. In her next class she prepared of a full meal. She opted for fish, and Chef Mike had a full red snapper waiting for her on the scheduled day. It hadn’t even been scaled yet! The classes were possibly Harriet’s favorite birthday gift ever.
Staunton has many great treasures, and one of them is definitely Chef Mike Lund!