Chef buys Bonnie's Kitchen
For Chef Joan Melnick, there’s nothing quite like the
taste of fresh homemade meals. The 1990 graduate of the Culinary
Institute of America wanted to hone her craft at a restaurant that
shared that idea. She landed a position with Bonnie Fishman at Bonnie’s
Patisserie in Southfield in 1992, and immediately felt at home.
In March 2005, Fishman relocated the restaurant to 6527 Telegraph in Bloomfield and changed the name to Bonnie’s Kitchen. The new location features a small seating area, lunch counter and a large glass case of ready-to-eat meals. When Fishman decided to retire this year, Melnick knew this was an opportunity for her to purchase the 2,400-square-foot location and in the fall completed the purchase. Bonnie’s currently has eight full- and part-time employees.
“Bonnie is good friend and a good teacher,” says Melnick. “We have no plans to change any recipes and we will be increasing our selection of appetizers and hors d’ouevres just in time for the holiday season. My goal is to create a vibrant place for people to come and enjoy and learn about food. Our markets are filled with prepared and frozen foods filled with chemicals and preservatives, and it seems that we are creating a generation of children who hardly ever eat anything made from scratch.”
All of the food prepared at Bonnie’s Kitchen is prepared with a minimal amount of processed ingredients.
All desserts are made in-house and Melnick hopes to start making homemade breads soon using recipes created by her husband, David Balla, who is a pastry chef and currently a chef/instructor at the Art Institute in Novi.
While breakfast and lunch are busy at the popular eatery, many customers stop in near dinnertime to purchase a carry out meal to heat up at home. The restaurant also provides off-site catering for office meetings and parties of all kinds.
“Some of our customers’ favorite treats are muffins, scones, coffeecakes, deep-dish apple pie and our poppy seed torte with custard and strawberries,” says Melnick. “For meals, the favorites are lemon chicken, Thai noodles, lentil burritos, Israeli chopped salad, plus our panini sandwiches and homemade soups.”
Melnick has always had a passion for Michigan-made items and features a growing selection of items created by Michigan artisans.
She offers space to local artists who make unique tabletop items, jewelry, and wall art as well as manufacturers of local food products.