• Megan Newman Photo

The Origins of Epicure

Established in 2003, the origins of Epicure Culinary were of a small catering company helmed by two cooks who returned to northern Michigan for their love of the farms, fields, and waters of Leelanau County. It first began as a dream between friends, imagined when Cammie Buehler and Andy Schudlich met in 1997, while working at a Leelanau County restaurant. Every night after work, the kitchen staff would have a few beers and go skinny-dipping, washing away the kitchen grime while stargazing from the velvety black waters they had known since childhood. 

Sitting on the dock on those warm summer nights, the two would ramble on about ideas, dreams, and future travels, becoming fast friends. Some years later, after both Andy and Cammie felt the pull to put down roots in northern Michigan, they decided to take their global experiences and cultivate what they had learned back at home. 

When they started Epicure Catering in 2003, they aimed to showcase the best food and culinary talent northern Michigan offers. Andy and Cammie began working as private chefs, traveling with corporate clients and their guests, and catering intimate parties in clients’ homes. 

Being front and center at these small gatherings gave them incredible insight into the experience they were creating, an intimacy unavailable when cooking behind a line at a restaurant. 

As the company grew, they strove to maintain an intimate vibe and atmosphere at larger events. In 2005, they acquired a run-down farm in Leelanau County and over the years, they meticulously restored it. It slowly evolved into a successful and award-winning event venue. They had simply intended to build a place to cook, but ended up creating so much more. While renovating the historic Cherry Basket Farm (now listed on the National Register of Historic Places), the team worked tirelessly to showcase artisanally-produced food, while building a team of incredibly talented and skilled individuals. They believe that acting as stewards of the farm and sharing it with others is their greatest achievement to date.

As a dynamic and sought-after duo, Epicure Catering tirelessly worked to elevate the experience of fine dining and contemporary cuisine by sourcing local ingredients and sustainable practices. They were at the forefront of introducing this ethos to northern Michigan. In their time as Epicure Catering and managing partners at Cherry Basket Farm, they were able to participate in an array of exciting business experiences, from catering, to personal cheffing, traveling cheffing, fundraising event hosting, cookbook production, and television appearances.

To adjust the tempo of their lives, they sold the venue in 2020. Andy is now focused on other pursuits, while Cammie continues to be devoted to hospitality. She is carrying forth the core values of Epicure, now under the name Epicure Culinary, focusing on delicious local cuisine with mindful hospitality.

Thanks to Megan Newman for this photo.