It’s rare to find a restaurant or café where passion for good food is missing. Typically, those in the food service industry are not in it for the optimal hours or to make a quick buck. Rather, restauranteurs and chefs seem to be driven by the need to fill people’s bellies and create the community that only happens around a table laden with delicious food. This was certainly true for Chef Patrick Mixis when he opened the doors to Feed the World Café. However, it is so much more to him.
Chef Patrick grew up in Kalamazoo and graduated from Mattawan Public Schools. While studying for his degree in Food Service Administration at Western Michigan University, Chef Patrick learned that one in five children are food insecure, which means that they don’t know where they will get their next meal. Disturbed by this terrible statistic, and committed to being a part of the solution, Chef Patrick set to work developing and refining a business plan that could help alleviate hunger in the Kalamazoo area…and hopefully beyond. When the opportunity arose for Chef Patrick (and his parents) to purchase a coffee shop in their current location at 7000 Stadium Drive, they jumped at it.
The only problem? There was no kitchen on the premises. Not to be dissuaded, Chef Patrick designed and built a kitchen and, with the addition of a beer and wine license, Feed the World Café was soon ready for business. The ambiance can best be described as worldly cuisine in a casual fine dining setting. The menu changes with the seasons and is created with fresh, local ingredients whenever possible. Chef Patrick is also deeply concerned about sustainability and works to be as close to zero-waste as possible. All of this, while admirable in its own right, is not the best part of eating at Feed the World Café.
The best part is knowing that , for every meal you purchase and enjoy, Feed the World will provide at least one meal to someone in need through their partnership with local charities such as Feeding America and the Food Bank of South Central Michigan. Chef Patrick, who takes great pride in the food he lovingly and carefully creates for his diners, is even prouder to say that Feed the World has provided over 100,000 meals to food insecure people in the area since he opened the doors in May of 2016.
The menu is full of seasonal, inspired creations like Spinach and Mushroom Bruschetta, Piri Piri Chicken, Pecan Crunch Salmon and Feed the World Roasted Ratatouille that will ensure that everyone in your party, from vegetarians to meat-lovers, will be happy. Even those with more mundane palates will be pleased with selections like their Steak Burger, Pulled Pork Sandwich and Bourbon Chicken. Desserts include Key Lime Pie, Peanut Butter Pie and DeepFried PB&J…so be sure to leave a little room.
Because Chef Patrick lives by a code of generosity, he has agreed to share with our readers his recipe for Summer Salad with Lemon Pepper Vinaigrette. It’s perfect for a light dinner or picnic.
- 1 lb. favorite mixed greens
- 15 heirloom cherry or grape tomatoes, halved
- ½ red onion, very thinly sliced
- ½ cup pecans
- 10 strawberries, quartered
- ¼ cup dried cranberries
- 1 cup blueberries
- ½ cucumber, quartered & sliced
- ¼ cup pistachios, shelled
- 4 radishes, sliced thin
- 2 lemons, zested and juiced
- 1 cup lemon juice
- ½ tsp. black pepper
- ¼ tsp. kosher or sea salt
- 2/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 T. apple cider vinegar
Toss all ingredients in a large bowl; refrigerate for 1-2 hrs, then serve cold.
Erica Shier is a married mother of four who loves reading, scrapbooking & thrift stores. When she’s not driving her small pack of children around, she spends her time volunteering, writing & trying to keep on top of the laundry.