Meet Tim Tebeau, the man who will be writing the wine department in Traverse every month and the dining department every other month (alternating with longtime contributor Patty LaNoue Stearns). Tim has a master’s degree in poetry from the University of Michigan and, since leaving college, has managed the gourmet food and wine shop Esperance, in Charlevoix, for the past 4.5 years. He recently left that position to piece together a living that combines writing with working as a wine importer. He lives in Petoskey with his wife and daughter.
A. Well, it’s really been a lifelong thing. My parents were running restaurants and my mother ran a catering business out of our home. She had me peeling potatoes on the back steps at an early age. She also taught me knife skills—how to chop herbs, garlic, onions—and really made a point of having food be a hands on experience.
A. I guess when I was in college and living with roommates and we’d talk about what we ate at home, and it started to gel that my experience was different from most people’s.
A. I would make Thai style curries a lot. It was something they had not had much exposure to before and was something I loved to make. I love Asian cooking. They also asked for my mother’s herb roasted chicken.
A. I worked in a Jewish deli in high school. They let me eat all I wanted. I remember he made a great corned beef. And he got this incredible Jewish rye bread from some secret Jewish bakery around Detroit somewhere, whose location he would never disclose.
A. We always have really good olives. My wife and I both love olives. And fresh herbs from the farmers market. We do a lot of Middle Eastern cooking.
A. My wife bought me Arabesque. It’s a cookbook-cultural essay collection of pieces from Morocco, Turkey and Lebanon. It’s a beautiful book. And I really like Hemingway’s Movable Feast.
A. For everyday drinking, I like wines from Spain and southern Italy—there’s a lot of value there.