Grand Rapids Symphony Women’s Committee Unveils “Encore!”

Mon, 11/05/2012

The Grand Rapids Symphony Women’s Committee this week will unveil “Encore!” a beautiful new coffee table book celebrating the arts, life and food in Grand Rapids.

More than 18 months in the making, the 200-page book features fabulous color photos from some of West Michigan’s leading photographers, including Craig van der Lende, Terry Johnston and Dianne Caroll Burdick. “Encore!” captures Grand Rapids and its fine and performing arts, museums, festivals, architecture and more.

The book includes 175 recipes, from beverages and appetizers to breads and desserts. Many were submitted by musicians and supporters of the Symphony, which touches the lives of more than 170,000 area residents through 400+ concerts, education and community service programs each year.

Additionally, some of the leading chefs in Grand Rapids shared their restaurant’s favorites , including Matt Millar from Reserve and Patrick Wise from The Greenwell, Grove and Bistro Bella Vita. Longtime favorite recipes, including the famous Dover sole from the storied 1913 Room, stand alongside newcomers, such as the chocolate-dipped macaroons from Nantucket Bakery.

Proceeds from the sale of the book, which retails for $30, will support the Symphony and its educational programs.

“Our goal was to create a book that truly celebrates what makes our community so special,” said Leah Hooks, co-chair of “Encore!” “After the success of our last cookbook more than a decade ago, we knew we wanted to build on that format. The result lauds Grand Rapids and the wonderful arts organizations, restaurants and businesses that make our community such an excellent place to live and work.”

Co-chair Gina Paul noted: “We had a difficult time narrowing down recipes for the edition because we received so many wonderful offerings. We chose recipes that showcase fresh, local produce and products that are fun to make and to eat without being too challenging.

“The result is an exceptional collection that is as much coffee table book as it is cookbook. Whether you are recruiting new employees to our community or looking for a unique gift for a longtime resident, ‘Encore’ is the perfect choice.”

The chapters are focused around 11 themes, from Grand Rapids Acts! and Grand Rapids Celebrates! to Grand Rapids Sings! and Grand Rapids Inspires! Written by longtime Symphony supporter Rebecca Knack, brief vignettes illustrating each theme lead into each chapter.

In addition to exceptional photographs taken of the Grand Rapids Symphony and its performers, arts organizations are featured throughout the book, including the Grand Rapids Ballet, Opera Grand Rapids and St. Cecilia Music Center. The Grand Rapids Art Museum, Grand Rapids Children’s and Grand Rapids Public Museum and other public spaces are also highlighted.

Recipes are also grouped around 11 themes, featuring beverages, appetizers, soups, salads, sides, meats, poultry, seafood, vegetarian, breads and brunch and desserts. Each has been tested repeatedly and edited to ensure the directions were clear and easy to follow. “Encore!” also features a number of sample menus for special events.

The book includes a brief history of Grand Rapids, along with histories of the Grand Rapids Symphony and the Women’s Committee. The Women’s Committee was established in 1941 to both celebrate and raise money for the Symphony.

“Encore” will be available at local bookstores, grocery stores such as Meijer and D&W Fresh Market, and specialty retailers, including Schuler Books & Music, Art of the Table, Wealthy at Charles, Baker Books, the Grand Rapids Art Museum, Papers Plus, Martha’s Vineyard, LaFontsee Galleries and others. The book will also be sold at the Grand Rapids Symphony office at 300 Ottawa NW, Suite 100 in downtown Grand Rapids and at select concerts. Additionally, it will be available during the upcoming Wine, Beer & Food Festival in Grand Rapids Nov. 8-10.

For more information on the cookbook and where to purchase a copy please visit

About the Grand Rapids Symphony
The Grand Rapids Symphony was officially organized in 1930 and is nationally recognized for the quality of its concerts and educational programs. Nine concert series are presented, featuring a wide range of music and performance styles. More than 400 performances are presented each year, touching the lives of some 170,000. Nearly half of those who benefit are students, senior citizens and people with disabilities reached through extensive education and community service programs. The Symphony sponsors the Grand Rapids Symphony Chorus, Grand Rapids Youth Symphony and Classical Orchestra, Grand Rapids Symphony Youth Choruses, and also provides the orchestra for Opera Grand Rapids and the Grand Rapids Ballet Company.