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Lena Sareini is a Food & Wine Best New Chef

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Lena Sareini - Best New Chefs 2020

On one hand, the throes of a global pandemic is a strange time to focus on awards.

On the other, what better time to celebrate happy moments? And we’ve got a big one to share: Pastry Chef Lena Sareini has just been featured in the Food & Wine annual Best New Chefs issue alongside some other great national talent.

From article: ‘I know a lot of times when people go out for dessert, it’s just an indulgence,” she says. Some might take just one or two bites before being overwhelmed with sugar. “I want to see empty plates come back.” To do this, Sareini, the pastry chef at Detroit’s Selden Standard, works savory elements—often unexpected ones—into each of her recipes.

If you’d like to take up Lena’s clean plate challenge, you can make (and eat) her Labneh Panna Cotta.

Anyhow, it’s hard for us to think of Lena as “new” since she’ll have been a part of our family for five years at the end of May, but it’s not hard for us to think of her as the best because, well, she is. Congrats to a great pastry chef and an even better person on another well-earned honor. Cheers (from six feet away) to Lena!

Two James Beard Semi-Finalists

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The 2020 James Beard Foundation semi-finalists were announced today. A heartfelt congratulations to our beloved Chef Andy Hollyday and Pastry Chef Lena Sareini on their respective Best Chef Great Lakes and Rising Star nods!

And of course, congrats to all our other friends in southeast Michigan for another impressive showing: Sister Pie, Mabel Gray, Marrow, The Sugar House, ima, Miss Kim, Zingerman’s Roadhouse, Saffron de Twah, and the Eid family. It’s an honor and a delight to a part of this evolving food and dining scene with you all.

Nothing Says Thanks Like Brussels Sprouts

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Every so often, especially around the holiday season, we like to share a recipe or two that you can use at your own table. With Thanksgiving fast approaching, we thought we’d offer up a Brussels sprouts dish.

Ingredients (serves ~4)


Preheat oven to 400 F. Coat a baking sheet with the quarter cup of olive oil. Place the sprouts cut side down in an even layer. Place in the oven and roast for about 30-45 minutes. Check every fifteen minutes. Be sure the cut sides are golden brown and the sprouts are just tender. 

While sprouts are roasting, mix together the vinegar, shallot, garlic, mustard, honey and remaining half cup of oil. Season the vinaigrette with salt and pepper and set aside. When the sprouts are done roasting, place them in a large mixing bowl with the walnuts and blue cheese. Season with salt and pepper and dress with as much of the vinaigrette as you like. Reserve any remaining vinaigrette for another use.

This recipe lends itself to modification, so feel free to play around by substituting different nuts, cheeses, or vinaigrettes. Add a seasonal fruit to change things up. Sliced apples or pears, sliced dates, or dried figs all work well here.

For other Thanksgiving recipes, check some of our past posts.

Ashes & Diamonds

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While Ashes & Diamonds is a relatively new producer, owner Kashy Khaledi is a familiar face in Napa. His parents own the acclaimed estate Darioush, and after a successful career away from wine, Kashy has returned home with his own project.

Collaborating with legendary winemakers like Dan Petroski (Larkmead, Massican), Diana Snowden Seysses (Snowden, Dujac), and Steve Matthiasson (Matthiasson, Stags Leap), he has put forth an array of classic Napa cabs, Bordeaux blends, and creative reds that have immediately garnered critical and commercial success.

We’ve proudly served their “Grand Vin” in the past, so we’re ecstatic to bring Kashy Khaledi to Selden for a five-course pairing dinner. Among the wines we’ll serve in his company is the Ashes & Diamonds Atlas Peak cabernet, essentially their tete de cuvée, which will debut in Michigan at the event.

Wednesday, November 13
$200/person, which includes tax and gratuity


(When reserving seats, please choose the number of guests, then scroll down to the red “Napa Dinner” button to make your reservation.)

Chef Andy’s been looking forward to working with some more luxurious proteins for this dinner and has drafted the menu in advance:

Lobster Salad
Beet, avocado, fennel, citrus

Black Bass
Mushroom broth, freekeh, brown butter

Duck Confit
Brandied figs, chestnut purée

Lamb Loin
Parmesan risotto, au poivre

Yogurt Panna cotta
Pomegranate, meringue

Please note that we’re always happy to accommodate any dietary restrictions and allergies. Please just kindly let us know in advance. Tickets are first come, first served, and are available online only.

A Wine Tour of Southern France

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Specialization can be an indicator of a wine importer’s commitment to presenting a thoughtful selection. In Patrick Allen’s case, that specialty is southern France. After moving there in 2002, he developed a rich portfolio of French wines from producers that span the underappreciated to the truly legendary.

Allen will join us for a dinner that will take guests all across southern France. From crisp coastal whites to bold, old vine reds to the classic dessert wines from Rivesaltes, he’ll teach us about these venerable French producers, from the underappreciated old-vine reds of Clos del Rey to the now legendary Provencal wine from Domaine de Trevallon.

Date: Thursday, October 24, 2019
Time: 6:30pm
Cost: $95/person, which includes tax and gratuity
What: 5 course dinner with 5 wines


(Please be sure to select the red “Wine Dinner” button rather than a dining room seat when making your reservation. Tickets are non-refundable and are only available online.)


We’re also hosting a sherry dinner with esteemed producer Valdespino on Wednesday, October 30th. Read more and buy tickets here.

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