In October 2021, Executive Chef Steven Manall of the Coosaw Creek Country Club and Jillian Self from LB Sweets and Treats got married—and, after their beautiful and loving ceremony, they headed to the Culinary Vegetable Institute and The Chef’s Garden for a one-of-a-kind agri-culinary honeymoon.
You might wonder what that means, exactly—and, for this newly married couple, they wanted to experience everything they could at the farm and CVI with a willingness to get their hands dirty. Other people may want something different. Fortunately, we can flexibly design agri-culinary getaways to fit your unique vision.
Itinerary for Steven and Jillian
They arrived during the early evening hours of Tuesday, October 12 where they were warmly greeted by the CVI team and then left alone to enjoy the beautiful Executive Chef’s Suite. Here’s a description of the suite and surrounding grounds:
“Crafted from the oak, walnut and sycamore forests that surround our farm on the Huron River, you will marvel at our rustic-yet-modern lodgings.
As the sole lodger you will have access to our gardens and grounds. The suite is outfitted with a full bathroom and additional jacuzzi tub, king sized bed, and pullout sofa bed. Vegetables harvested from the property the morning of your stay await your arrival and a Farmhouse Breakfast Basket is provided to enjoy at your leisure in the morning.”
Steven and Jillian didn’t have much leisure, though, having signed up to work in the fields with the farm team all morning! After enjoying a delicious lunch at noon, they spent the afternoon in the packing and shipping area and the winter production greenhouses.
Evenings were theirs to enjoy. When asked about her experiences, here is what Jillian had to say: “I was absolutely blown away. I knew it was going to be amazing, but our ongoing joke is that this experience was, for me, like going to Disney World for the very first time. I feel like my face is still sore from smiling so much and it’s really hard to find the right words to say because I’m still processing most of it. It was like a fairy tale for me.”
The next morning was spent in the CVI greenhouses followed by a return to the packing rooms and winter production greenhouses where they continued to learn more from hands-on team members.
On Friday, Jillian and Steven explored the world of bees at the CVI. Honeybees are the hardest working members of the farm and became an integral part of our operations after Chef Jamie Simpson and Farmer Lee Jones cleaned out the horse barn and found a “monster stack of old beehives, piles of boxes” from the past.
Saturday, they came to the farm market where they met even more people before exploring local antique shops.
After a day of rest on Sunday, the couple headed back home. When asked what was next for them, Jillian said that they’re already trying to figure out when they can come back—and, when they do, all of us at the Culinary Vegetable Institute and The Chef’s Garden will be ready to welcome them again. As Steven says, once you’re part of our family, you stay that way.