What happens when MBBA innkeepers are culinary-trained chefs?

Stuffed French Toast with berries
Stuffed French Toast from Kalamazoo House

Breakfast is considered the most important meal of the day, and at MBBA Bed and Breakfasts across the beautiful state of  Michigan, it’s also the most celebrated!  All of our member inns have unique features: We have many inns near lighthouses and popular biking trails. And many are romantic and the perfect destination for your honeymoon.  Several of our inns are vineyards, too, or are located close to one. Or, and the subject of this blog, several are foodie havens and include delicious breakfasts and afternoon treats prepared by culinary-trained chefs.

And to answer the question above

What happens when an MBBA Innkeeper is a culinary-trained chef?

You have an extraordinary Michigan Bed and Breakfast stay!

Four MBBA innkeepers are a culinary-trained chefs

Four of our Quality Assured MBBA members are formally trained chefs, each with a fun story highlighted below. We have included a sixth inn in this culinary category and while the innkeeper did not have formal training, she is so talented that she has taught many chef classes. Whether you enjoy savory or sweet breakfast, these innkeepers have the formal training to create a bed and breakfast foodie experience like non-other. So follow along and book a stay at your favorite. We’ve presented each inn that has a culinary-trained chef alphabetically to show no favorites.


#1 Featured Inn with culinary-trained chefs  

Diane from Green Leaf Manor Bed and Breakfast

Diane at Greenleaf Manor
Diane and her breakfast delights at Greenleaf Manor

Diane is a graduate of Le Cordon Bleu and studied culinary arts in France and Italy. She also taught culinary arts at four universities in China. After experiencing Diane’s pastries, you’ll be transported to a country B&B in France. The manor includes gardens and orchards to make this bed and breakfast a true farm-to-table experience that is a feast for the eyes and the palette.  Some of the guest favorites include baked French Toast Cups with Pure Michigan Maple Syrup, blueberry waffles with pure maple syrup, homemade Cottage Dill Bread paired with hard salami, provolone cheese, and garlic aioli, Limoncello breakfast cakes, Egg Benedict, and a Spinach, Ham, and Dill Curd Quiche with a side of roasted red skin potatoes.

A little sampling of the thought that goes into Diane’s breakfasts and quoted from Diane from a Facebook post-

“Rose Petal and Mango Scones” is So decadent and flavorful????
Roses have their own language… The Victorians loved flowers: they often used them in their cooking, garnishing, and decorating. Together with the rise of a sugar plantation in British colonies, the Victorians candied flowers and embellished flower-encrusted sweets and pastries.????” 


#2 Featured Inn with culinary-trained chefs  

Amy from Hotel Saugatuck

Chef Amy from Hotel Saugatuck
Chef Amy from Hotel Saugatuck

Chef Amy’s breakfast plates and afternoon treats at the Hotel Saugatuck are extraordinary and gourmet! Some of the guest’s favorites include Huevos Rancheros, a delicate choux pastry filled with a mascarpone whipped cream, fresh berries, and a rich chocolate ganache, banana split parfait with tropical fruit and berries, and tropical smoothie bowls, and avocado toast.

Amy highlights her experience and memories of winning culinary contests-

“In high school, I enrolled in a four-year culinary program which offered competitions you could enter for cooking or for baking. I entered the baking competitions and placed specifically during a gingerbread competition, submitting a winter-themed lighthouse on the coast with an open log cabin home, complete with a scene inside, a Christmas tree, and Santa’s boots coming out of a chimney.”

For more information and to book your stay at Hotel Saugatuck

#3 Featured Inn with culinary-trained chefs  

Amy from Kalamazoo House Bed and Breakfast

Food from Kalamazoo House made by a professionally trained chef
Chef Amy & Jeff from Kalamazoo House


When the online publication Eat This, Not That! published a survey entitled “The Best Bed and Breakfast” in every state; for Michigan, Kalamazoo House won the prestigious spot. Amy’s bio is quoted below,

“I was in my early 40s when I realized food is fun to eat and fun and gratifying to produce. A believer in “it’s never too late,” I made the decision to enroll in culinary school at the Art Institute of Cincinnati, Ohio in 2012. We lived in Columbus, OH, at the time, so a friend, also going to the same school, graciously invited me to stay with his family while I aggressively pursued an associate’s degree in less time. I proudly graduated Magna Cum Laude in late 2013 with a degree. I did some training as a Pastry Chef at Muirfield Country Club and New Albany Country Club in Ohio then worked as a baker/decorator for a few different bakeries, which led me to become a bakery manager. Again, “it’s never too late” Jeff and I decided to turn in our corporate life for a much better life. We collaborated on our resumes and became Innkeepers, managing an investor’s property out East for three years before purchasing The Kalamazoo House. We have owned and operated our B&B for a year and a half. My primary function is being the chef and everything that goes along with it. My Chef Instructors always told me that savory suits me better than sweet while I was in school. However, being an owner and chef of a B&B allows me the best of both. “

For more information and to book your stay at Kalamazoo House

#4 Featured Inn with culinary-trained chef  

Allison from Newton of Ypsilanti Bed and Breakfast

Breakfast from Newton of Ypsilanti, made by a professionally trained chef
Allison and her breakfast from Newton of Ypsilanti

Allison recently purchased Newton of Ypsilanti with a dream to share her love of food with her guests. She is professionally trained in the nationally renowned culinary arts program at Schoolcraft College. And as quoted from Allision, “it was literally a dream come true. A culinary arts degree provided me with the tools to dream, plan, and execute what has been simmering for a long time”

After completing the program some years ago, she stayed on as an employee, spending time as head sous chef, doing R&D for culinary competitions & ultimately, the Master Chef exam of the American Culinary Foundation. Elements of this flavor development and intense research can be found in what she does every day.

Breakfasts at Newton of Ypsilanti are always fresh and thoughtful, using ingredients from local farmers and forgers. And directs from Allision, “I’ve had an instinct for food for my whole life, an obsession with high quality, a passion for experimenting with ingredients, and devotion to deep, complex, and global flavors.”

For more information and to book your stay at Newton of Ypsilanti

Last but not least and while the innkeeper and master of all things at Glen Arbor Bed and Breakfast is not formally trained, we had to include this one too. It’s a perfect testament to all 61 of our member inns who might not be formally trained but are accomplished in the inn’s breakfast kitchens.

Collection of breakfast Food
Innkeeper Laura (center in the cooking class) from Glen Arbor Bed and Breakfast

#5 Featured Inn with culinary experience

Laura from Glen Abor Bed and Breakfast

Innkeeper Laura has quite a bio, and while she is not formally trained, I think we’ll all agree after reading the reviews about the food at Glen Arbor Bed and Breakfast that Laura should be featured in this blog. Laura’s thoughts on her background and what she loves about preparing breakfasts for the Glen Arbor guests are highlighted below.

“With a rich background in cooking professionally and then specializing as a Ship’s Cook on traditionally rigged sailing vessels (Tall Ships) for about ten years, I returned to the Traverse City area and was continuing doing recipe development and marketing and also teaching cooking classes. It was at a Rustic French cooking class I was teaching that I met Patricia Widmayer, past president of MBBA and co-owner of Glen Arbor Bed & Breakfast. She scouted me out and urged me to throw my hat in the ring. Personality, organization, excellent executive functioning; an Innkeeper needs all these. My mad kitchen skills continue to be a highlight for our guests, but also make my role as Innkeeper enjoyable. The quiet early morning magic of making my sparkling kitchen into a delicious mess, yes! This is absolutely my favorite part of the day. Fixing toilets, untangling cable connections, giving mini-nature talks, emails, laundry, and glasses of wine with my super-cool guests; all command the better part of the day and probably a higher level of professionality. This said, starting the day with my first love of cooking is pure joy”

For more information and to book your stay at Glen Arbor B&B


Let us know your favorite breakfast at our renowned #MichBnB inns that have culinary-trained chefs.