On the evening of Thursday, November 17, a skilled storyteller will be coming to town. Emma Zimmerman will be sharing recipes, learnings, and life lessons from her new book The Miller’s Daughter at BAKE!. Alice Waters says the book is, “A true education for the senses—beautiful, thoughtful, and meaningful.” In the class, Emma will be sharing food for thought and showing you thoughtfully how to prepare three recipes out of the book: an appetizer of Rosa Farinata, a Farro Cherry Salad, and her much-loved Chocolate Polenta Pudding Cake.
Zimmerman is truly a miller’s daughter. Her dad, Jeff Zimmerman, grew up on a farm in North Dakota. Decades later, he decided to restart the family farm, It’s about 1200 miles to the south, outside his new hometown of Tempe, Arizona. As Emma describes him, Jeff is “full of wild ideas.” Sounds like our kind of guy. The Hayden Mills folks share:
In the Grimms fairytale, Rumpelstiltskin (1812), the miller’s daughter has to weave straw into gold because of her father’s overly enthusiastic claims. In a modern-day fairytale, Emma Zimmerman has taken her dad’s obsession for heritage grains and transformed it into an award-winning flour business. …her passion for historical restoration extends beyond grains; she and her husband restored a burned out one-hundred-year-old house in downtown Phoenix, where they now live with their three sweet children.
Great Grains in the Southwest
Sitting here in 2022, the idea of milling local grain in Arizona might sound a bit strange. But as ecologist Melissa Kruse-Peeples explains, back around the time Rumpelstiltskin was being written in the early 19th century, “Arizona, southern California, and the Mexican state of Sonora were one of the breadbaskets of America.” Wheat had been introduced to the region earlier by Spanish colonists. If you wanted the highest quality wheat in the years around the time the United States was being formally started up, you went to what is now the Southwest.
The mill itself was founded by Charles Hayden in 1874. Hayden was more prominently known for helping to found Arizona State University and the town of Tempe, too. In 2011, Jeff and Emma Zimmerman revived the mill. A little over a decade later, they have a nationally recognized Arizona culinary institution. It does for Tempe a bit of what the Bakehouse has done here in Ann Arbor! Book a seat soon before they sell out, come hear some good stories and taste just how good good grain can be!
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In 1982, Ari Weinzweig, along with his partner Paul Saginaw, founded Zingerman’s Delicatessen with a $20,000 bank loan, a Russian History degree from the University of Michigan, 4 years of experience washing dishes, cooking and managing in restaurant kitchens and chutzpah from his hometown of Chicago. They opened the doors with 2 employees and a small selection of specialty foods and exceptional sandwiches.
Today, Zingerman’s Delicatessen is a nationally renowned food icon and the Zingerman’s Community of Businesses has grown to 10 businesses with over 750 employees and over $55 million in annual revenue. Aside from the Delicatessen, these businesses include Zingerman’s Bakehouse, Coffee Company, Creamery, Roadhouse, Mail Order, ZingTrain, Candy Manufactory, Cornman Farms and a Korean restaurant that is scheduled to open in 2016. No two businesses in the Zingerman’s Community of Businesses are alike but they all share the same Vision and Guiding Principles and deliver “The Zingerman’s Experience” with passion and commitment.
Besides being the Co-Founding Partner and being actively engaged in some aspect of the day-to-day operations and governance of nearly every business in the Zingerman’s Community, Ari Weinzweig is also a prolific writer. His most recent publications are the first 4 of his 6 book series Zingerman’s Guide to Good Leading Series: A Lapsed Anarchist’s Approach to Building a Great Business (Part 1), Being a Better Leader (Part 2), Managing Ourselves (Part 3) and the newly-released Part 4, The Power of Beliefs in Business. Earlier books include the Zingerman’s Guides to Giving Great Service, Better Bacon, Good Eating, Good Olive Oil, Good Vinegar and Good Parmigiano-Reggiano.
Ari regularly travels across the country (and world) on behalf of ZingTrain, teaching organizations and businesses about Zingerman’s approach to business. He is a sought-after Keynote speaker, having delivered keynotes for Inc. 500, Microsoft Expo Spring Conference, Great Game of Business Gathering of Games, Positive Business Conference at the University of Michigan Ross School of Business, American Society for Quality (ASQ), and the American Cheese Society. Most recently, Ari and Paul Saginaw were invited to address an audience of 50,000 for the University of Michigan 2015 Spring Commencement.
One of Zingerman’s Guiding Principles is being an active part of the community and in 1988, Zingerman’s was instrumental in the founding of Food Gatherers, a food rescue program that delivers over 5 million pounds of food each year to the hungry residents of Washtenaw county. Every year Zingerman’s donates 10% of its previous years profits to local community organizations and non-profits. Ari has served on the board of The Ark, the longest continuously operating folk music venue in America.
Over the decades, the Zingerman’s founding partners have consistently been the recipients of public recognition from a variety of diverse organizations. In April 1995, Ari and Paul were awarded the Jewish Federation of Washtenaw County’s first Humanitarian Award. In 2006, Ari was recognized as one of the “Who’s Who of Food & Beverage in America” by the James Beard Foundation. In 2007, Ari and Paul were presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award from Bon Appetit magazine for their work in the food industry. Ari was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award by the American Cheese Society in 2014. And Ari’s book, Building a Great Business was on Inc. magazine’s list of Best Books for Business Leaders.
Notwithstanding the awards, being engaged on a daily basis in the work of 10 businesses and 21 partners, writing books on business and in-depth articles on food for the Zingerman’s newsletter, Ari finds time to be a voracious reader. He acquires and reads more books than he can find room for. Ari might soon find himself the owner of the largest collection of Anarchist books in Ann Arbor outside the Labadie collection at the University of Michigan library!