• Q&A: Michael Cerrie, Executive Chef, Grand Hotel

    POSTED June 25, 2020

These interviews are part of a series that highlights new hires within the industry. Have you recently started a new role or do you know someone who has? Submit your ideas to lauren.pahmeier@tigeroak.com

Michael Cerrie was recently named the Executive Chef for Mackinac Island’s Grand Hotel.  

1. What are you looking forward to most in your new role? 

Most importantly I’m looking forward to discovering Michigan, partnering with the many artisans, farmers, and producers. Then taking their product and showcasing it on our menus here at the Grand. What I have found thus far is some absolutely stunning product.  Local jams, fisheries, produce, and livestock–that have already been introduced to the restaurants here at the Grand Hotel.

2. How do you think past experiences have prepared you for this role? 

My experience is diverse. I have had the opportunity to work at small freestanding restaurants, resorts, city clubs, corporate level positions, and a multitude of hotels. I have been privileged to work in concepts that range from very casual to very refined and well thought out. This diversity in my past experience is a strength that I know will help navigate this amazing and diverse hotel here on Mackinac Island.

3. How did you get into this industry? 

I have always been interested in cooking. Even as a young boy, many of my peers were out playing ball in the yard or exploring the outdoors on the Great Lakes.  I spent my childhood in the kitchen with my nana, my mother, and my aunts cooking for family.  At 14 I took a leap of faith–my first job at a local restaurant as a dishwasher.  I quickly fell in love with the kitchen life, and later hospitality.  I have been very fortunate, my journey has taken me to many of the states here in America as well as other countries. 

4. What are you hoping to achieve in your new role? 

My personal and my team's goal is to keep the traditions, customs, & quality that the Grand has been known for, for generations, while implementing more of Michigan’s and the region's products into the menus.

5. What do you enjoy most about the industry? 

Hands down it's people. I am a people person. I love the fact that I have the opportunity to work with a team of highly skilled professionals. I cherish the time that I get to spend with guests. And I love meeting new artisans, producers, and partners. Each of us has our own story, our own journey. 

Ken Hayward has spent nearly his entire career serving at one hotel. But when you start your career at one of the most iconic and historic hotels in Michigan— even the nation—it’s hard to see yourself anywhere else. Hayward, executive vice president and managing director of Grand Hotel on Mackinac Island, was recently named Hotelier of the Year by Historic Hotels of America. This honor comes decades after Hayward was given an unexpected opportunity.


Sales Director Annie Farrell celebrates 22 exciting years promoting one of Mackinac Island’s most iconic gems.


Tenure has its rewards. Ten-year employee Andrew Reh moved into the chief operating offi cer and general manager role at Shanty Creek Resorts in Bellaire last fall. He worked through the ranks as director of food and beverage, executive chef and vice president of resort services before taking over the top spot.