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A taste of Fox Run

Go behind the scenes with Chef Mike Bootz

Created date

June 8th, 2015
dill pickle soup
dill pickle soup

The food served at Fox Run, an Erickson Living community in Novi, Mich., consistently gets rave reviews from residents and visitors alike. One of the people who orchestrates the preparation of the hundreds of delicious meals that come out of Fox Run’s kitchens each day is Chef Mike Bootz.

Prior to joining Fox Run’s dining services staff, Bootz worked at an Irish pub in Plymouth, Mich., called Sean O’Callaghan’s. He came to Fox Run about 11 years ago, and over the years he has worked his way up through the ranks.

“I started as a prep cook working for Chef Terry, and from there I worked my way up to line cook, lead cook, café supervisor, and my current position as chef de cuisine for Fox Run’s Signatures Restaurant,” Bootz says. “During my early years at Fox Run, I attended Schoolcraft College for culinary and became a trained chef.”

Three principles of great food

Bootz says his approach to food and cooking is simple: “Don’t skimp on quality, always use fresh ingredients, and always understand that the customer is right.” 

He says the residents at Fox Run let him know whether or not they like the food that is served—and he takes that feedback seriously in an effort to continuously improve the dining experience at Signatures Restaurant.

“I will always share the good or bad with the staff but explain to them that we need to take the constructive criticism and build on that to make it right next time,” Bootz says. “I think the residents appreciate that we work to solve problems, and we listen to their concerns.”

He says residents particularly enjoy the themed dinners at the Signatures Restaurant, like Polish night or Italian night. 

At home, Bootz most enjoys cooking Polish food. “I really enjoy having friends over to make pierogies from scratch,” he says. “It’s fun to get everyone involved in the process.”

Bootz also brings his passion for Polish cuisine to the kitchen at Fox Run. He says his dill pickle soup is a favorite among diners at Signatures Restaurant, and it keeps residents coming back for more. You can get a taste of Bootz’s authentic Polish cooking by whipping up a batch of his dill pickle soup using the recipe here.


Dill pickle soup

Serves 8


1 quart chicken stock or broth

1 quart heavy cream

4 Idaho potatoes peeled and diced

2 cups diced onion

1 cup diced celery

1 cup diced carrot

2 cups shredded or minced dill pickle

1/2 cup sour cream

1 bunch fresh dill, chopped lightly

Salt and pepper to taste


1. Sauté the onion, celery, and carrot in olive or vegetable oil. 

2. Add the chicken stock and heavy cream. Add potatoes and pickles. 

3. Season with salt and pepper but keep in mind that the pickles are already salty. 

4. Let soup simmer on low until the potatoes are tender. 

5. Right before service, whisk in the sour cream and fold in the fresh dill.