Meet the Chefs

Executive Chef Elton Mann oversees the menu creation and back of house kitchen operations at Plank's Tavern on the Water.  He is the inspiration behind what comes out of this scratch kitchen and has the credentials to stand on. Chef Mann received his formal culinary education from the Culinary Institute of America in New York, the world's premier culinary college.  He received his culinary chops however from years of real life experiences at local well known establishments such as Berrien Hills Country Club, La Cantina in Paw Paw, MI, Tabor Hill, and Pointe O'Woods Golf Club. The young aspiring chef began as a dishwasher at St Julian Winery where Chef Tony Gillies taught him the beginning of sauces and ignited his passion for the culinary arts. Chef Elton epitomizes the 'can-do' attitude and inspires daily creativity among his team. 

Executive Sous Chef Don Jennings hails from Coleman, ten minutes down the road from Midland. His love of the culinary world comes from growing up working and playing in restaurants and family kitchens.
At a young age, he became the Executive Chef at Michaywe Inn the Woods in Gaylord. He then attended Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts before being called back to his hometown to help open The Cafe Zinc inside The Hotel. Before bringing his culinary creativity to Plank’s Tavern on the Water, he honed his skills for seven years at a traditional French Bistro in Southwest Michigan. Chef Don enjoys transforming food from its original state while keeping it simple, fresh, and beautiful. He specializes in molecular gastronomy and plate presentation.