The Fed Executive Chef Jakobi Voorheis takes SEEN into his Clarkston kitchen and shows how to make his wild mushroom ragout recipe.
BY Dorothy Hernandez
Photography by Viviana Pernot
As a kid, Jakobi Voorheis developed an early love of cooking. “(My parents) were both at home a lot at night, and we always had family dinners,” Voorheis says. “I remember eating blackened catfish in Béarnaise sauce and asparagus (around age 5). My family has always been big with food. We always cooked a lot and ate a lot and just enjoyed the time with each other, and that’s what really brought it all together.”
Originally from Davison, Michigan, Voorheis and his family moved around a lot. His dad worked for General Motors, and the job took the family to Mexico. That eye-opening experience can be seen in the Latin flavors he brings to the table at The Fed, specializing in eclectic new American fare. Voorheis, who lives in Grand Blanc, honed his craft working at country clubs and restaurants in Commerce and Milford as well as the popular Mulefoot Gastropub in Imlay City.
While he has a lot of culinary experience and admires culinary legends such as Rene Redzepi of Noma fame and Magnus Nilsson from Sweden, Voorheis is down-to-earth when it comes to his favorite foods.
“All the bad things,” he says with a laugh. “Processed cheese, pizza, tacos — half the time, I have four kids, I’m eating leftovers off my kids’ plates.”
He joined The Fed in Clarkston thanks to a friend who opened the restaurant. The day his fourth son was born, he got a phone call for a job interview, and the rest is history.
With a vast menu featuring sushi and tacos as well as globally inspired dishes such as lamb kofta skewers and hearty entrees such as Argentine steak with chimichurri sauce, Voorheis’ personal and professional experiences can be seen on the plate. Some of the most popular dishes are fish (they bring in fresh fish two to three times a week) as well as truffle fries.
The menu changes regularly with weekly specials and is driven by product availability and what’s in season. It’s also hyperlocal, as people will come to the back door selling squash. The results are dishes based on the greatest ingredients that come to The Fed.
The scenery is also an important ingredient. The Fed is beautifully appointed with throws, pillows and couches interspersed with the tables and leather banquettes. The sophisticated and stylish dining room is light and airy, with a predominantly white color scheme punctuated with pops of bright colors. The vibe is vintage and boho, melding old and new sensibilities.
Owned by James and Sarah Schneider, The Fed opened last July. The 5,600-square-foot restaurant is spread over two floors, including a lower level bar and lounge made out of a vintage Airstream trailer. Formerly a 100-year-old bank, the restaurant features two dining rooms with old bank vaults.
“(The space) is beautiful,” Voorheis says. “It makes our jobs easy.”
15 S. Main St., Clarkston
Wild Mushroom Ragout
7 oz. fresh or dry pasta
1 oz. olive oil
1 oz. minced shallot
1 oz. garlic
6 oz. roasted wild mushrooms (cremini, shitake, hen of the woods, chanterelle)
4 oz. dry sherry
4 oz. heavy cream
4 oz. SarVecchio cheese
2 oz. fresh herb mix (parsley, thyme, oregano)
Salt and pepper to taste
Bring a pot of water to a boil. Drop the pasta in the water and cook to al dente 4-5 minutes (fresh pasta will cook faster than dry).
Heat a sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add olive oil, shallots and garlic to the pan. Sweat until translucent, up to 1 minute. Add the mushrooms and cook until browned, about 5 minutes. Deglaze the pan with the dry sherry and add heavy cream. Add 2 ounces of SarVecchio cheese, and reserve the other 2 ounces for garnish. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Toss the pasta with cream sauce, plate and garnish with remaining SarVecchio and fresh herbs.
Watch a SEEN in the Kitchen video to see how to make the recipe: