Staking Your Claim in the Kitchen By Design

By Sean Kenniff

By

Sean Kenniff
Flags hang above the kitchen at Detroit's Mabel Gray
Flags hang above the kitchen at Detroit's Mabel Gray

James Rigato lets his Michigan flag fly: “During the financial collapse, the banks left, the auto industry almost went down, and the cooks … we were a band of brothers. If you stayed, you built this place. We’ll be the Republic of Michigan!” Rigato would have had the flag designed by a local Michigan artist to boot—just like he did for his cooks at Mabel Gray, each of whom has a triangular flag marking his or her kitchen station. The flags sport illustrations of the station owners’ faces drawn by artist Gregory Oberle (also our cover designer). It’s Rigato’s choice to not be the only face of his restaurant, as his band of brothers and sisters lock step into the future of Michigan cuisine.      

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