Family roots planted in Kent County fruit farming 150 years ago In the restaurant industry, timing is everything. Just ask Reds on the River Executive Chef Glenn Forgie. Forgie recently announced that Lance Climie, CCM, will be joining Reds on August 9 as Reds’ front-of-the-house manager. Climie’s arrival could not be better timed. On August 11, Reds will celebrate its fifth anniversary. Climie’s more than 25 years of experience and management expertise “will take Reds to the next level ,” according to Forgie. “He knows food, wine, and how to deliver exceptional service. We are so excited to have him on board.” Climie will oversee front-of-the-house operations, ensuring the service and facilities exceed guests’ expectations. “To become a part of this exceptional restaurant with its sophisticated and casual welcoming style, wonderful ‘from scratch’ cuisine and one of the finest wine lists in Michigan—well, I can’t wait!” commented Climie. “To be able to partner with a Chef of Glenn Forgie’s caliber and work in the spectacular setting that is Reds on the River in downtown Rockford seems like a dream come true. West Michigan has always been home to me and I am so excited to be back.” Climie’s family traces its roots to the Rockford area back to the mid 1800s. The original Braman farm is now known as Robinette’s Apple House, built by Climie’s great great-grandfather Harvey Braman. Climie’s grandfather, Russell Braman, operated his fruit farm on the corner of Hoag and 4 Mile Road. His grandfather also helped found Northview Public Schools as an alternative to either Rockford—where his mother, Mary Braman, is an alumni—or Creston in the 1950s. Climie’s family is all in the Plainfield Township, Greenville, Belding and Metro Grand Rapids area and is proud to return to the area that his family has been part of for 150 years. He and his wife enjoy spending time with their two grown sons and volunteering with various organizations. He loves to ski, golf and fly fish on the Rogue River.
Every industry has its “Super Bowl” of sorts. For those involved in the culinary arts in West Michigan, the ultimate stage is the annual Grand Rapids Magazine Dining Awards, held this year on Wednesday, February 18, at the Grand Rapids Community College Secchia Institute for Culinary Education. This event honors the top restaurants in West Michigan, as well as acknowledges the accomplishments of the American Culinary Federation and the Greater Grand Rapids Chefs Association. Grand Rapids Magazine, underwriter of the event, presented awards in the following categories: Fine Dining; Casual Dining; Ethnic Dining: European; Ethnic Dining: Mexican; Central/South American; Ethnic Dining: Asian; and Restaurant of the Year. Reds on the River in Rockford, a relative newcomer, won its third award in three years. Honored as best new restaurant in 2006 and a 2007 Fine Dining Award winner, Reds again received honors with the fine dining award. Reds’ Executive Chef and General Manager Glenn Forgie accepted the award for his talented staff, noting he was “extremely honored to represent Reds.” Forgie credited the strength of his staff. “Our team takes a lot of pride in what they do, working hard every day to prepare and serve their best to Reds’ guests.” He also thanked Grand Rapids Magazine for hosting the event and recognizing the industry and all the efforts of the nominees. “We are proud to be nominated in the fine dining category, and to win our third award.” The fine dining category is defined by Grand Magazine as: “top quality ingredients, well presented, somewhat innovative – a complexity of flavors, using the highest quality product. Excellent service and knowledgeable staff.” The 1913 Room won top restaurant of the year. Forgie noted his congratulations to the 1913 staff, as well as the other award winners and nominees. “There is an incredible group of talent represented at this event, and it is an honor to be acknowledged along with them.”