With 37 years of cooking experience under his belt, Chef Michael Borges of Mill Creek Pub knows how to wine and dine his guests and give them a culinary treat they won’t soon forget. We are so excited and honored to have Michael and his team join us for a night of food, fun, and tasty memories!
Our #F2V guests will enjoy a menu created with fresh and local ingredients under the beautiful blue skies in Woodland, WA. With the beautiful views provided by Holland America Flowers, this is sure to be one of our most memorable dinners yet!
We recently chatted with our featured chef to talk about the F2V menu, where he draws inspiration from and how his love of sports helped fuel his passion for cooking.
Field to Vase: We are so excited to have you join us in Woodland as our featured Chef! To get us a little more excited about the dinner, what can we expect to see on the menu for our upcoming dinner? Any theme or surprises?
Chef Michael Borges: I’m so happy to be a part of this with Russell Brent and Mill Creek Pub and I feel very honored to have been asked to do this. We’ve done a few events with Holland America Flowers, so I’m familiar with the venue and as for what people can expect that day, it’s local produce from the Washington and Oregon area. The reception will include crostinis of pork belly, apple chutney, arugula and balsamic glaze. Then I’ll have another crostini with prosciutto, goat cheese from a local farm that we just sampled, fig jam, honey, and arugula. We’ll also have lamb popsicles with a salad of field greens, organic beets, chef cheese, candied walnuts, and pear. The main entrée will be prime rib with rosemary Au Ju peppercorn horseradish cream and I’m going to make a medley of starch and vegetables.
F2V: What is your story? How did you get started in this industry?
Borges: I’ve been in the industry for 37 years and what inspired me to get into the business was my love for sports and love of coaching. I pursued the culinary field because I found an opportunity to be a coach while also working with food and I picked up that passion for food along the way. I’m a self-taught chef. I have an electronics degree from the 80s sitting in the back of my closet somewhere because I thought I would go into that field. But at that crossroad, I decided to stay with cooking. I worked with some great chefs and really became passionate about that and also developed into being a coach and leader for my team.
F2V: What are you most excited about at this dinner?
Borges: I’m excited about this whole process. Obviously, there’s a lot of preparation that goes into making something special. When everyone sits down and they’re enjoying their meals, that’s the curtain call for me. That’s the reward and makes the whole process worth it.
F2V: If you can describe your work in one word, what would it be? Why?
Borges: Passionate. I love the reward that comes from my hard work, perseverance, and my determination to give people an experience that they may not have had before. Being a chef isn’t a glorious job, it’s a lot of hard work and long hours. But there has to be a passion for what you do, otherwise, you shouldn’t be doing it.
F2V: As a Chef, what inspires you?
Borges: People inspire me. I think in today’s day and age, it’s not always necessarily about what the chef wants, it’s about what the guest wants. That’s what inspires me because I talk a lot to my guests and to my cooks and servers. I get as much information as I can from them and that inspires me to get the creative juices flowing. The end result is all those involved feel a part of it and enjoy the rewards.
F2V: How important is if for you to use local ingredients in your menu?
Borges: Working with Russell Brent, it’s a top priority because we’re in a market where people appreciate that we do what we do as far as getting local items and utilize as much as we can. It’s important and we definitely do our best to keep our menu local.