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From GRCC to your table: alumna's culinary expertise provides a hassle-free Thanksgiving

If you love the eating part of Thanksgiving more than the preparing part, GRCC alumna Brittany Essenmacher has the key to a stress-free holiday.

Essenmacher, who graduated from the Secchia Institute for Culinary Education this year, operates Provisions Chef Services. She’s teaming up with fellow alumna Lauren Greer, of Joyful Forks, and Ashley Morgan, of Ashley Morgan Kitchen, to offer “Everything But the Turkey.”

Holiday hosts who want to concentrate on just the bird can select from an array of side dishes, designed to be heated in the oven and ready to serve. The menu includes vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free items; most serve four to six people. Order at the Joyful Forks website by Nov. 17 and pick up your Thanksgiving meal from 4-7 p.m. Nov. 22 at Mayflower Congregational Church, 2345 Robinson Road SE.

Essenmacher started Provisions Chef Services in 2022 while attending GRCC. She had always enjoyed cooking and decided to follow that passion after more than 10 years in administrative roles. Essenmacher, who earned a bachelor’s degree in community relations from Michigan State University, said scholarship support from the Grand Rapids Community College Foundation made her career change possible.

“I would not be where I am now without the help of generous donors who support GRCC students or my professors who invested in my culinary education,” she said.

“I am so thankful for each of my professors who imparted the core principles of how I cook and run my business. For instance, chef Audrey Heckwolf was foundational in understanding entrepreneurship; chef Wilfredo Barajas was excellent at efficiency and technique, and chef (Bob) Schultz gave me my appreciation for incorporating international flavors into my menus.”

Media Contact
Erin Van Egmond

Erin Van Egmond

Vice President of College Advancement and Executive Director of the GRCC Foundation
(616) 234-3931