About Taste

01

It All Began...

On a hot June afternoon in 2006, Joel, a Chef from Chicago, ordered a drink from a charming bartender, Heidi. This is where their love story began. As a couple, they enjoy dining out – sampling a variety of appetizers rather than a full dinner each. It was this love of trying various menu items that bred the small plates concept for Taste.

It has been Joel’s lifelong dream to own and operate his own restaurant. That dream also became Heidi’s when they fell in love and married in April 2012. Tanner Michael and Keaton Edward completed their family in 2015 and 2017.

Their love story continues, where it all began, right here at Taste. Chef Joel and Heidi Gesiakowski are enthusiastic to be sharing their dream with you.

01

It All Began...

On a hot June afternoon in 2006, Joel, a Chef from Chicago, ordered a drink from a charming bartender, Heidi. This is where their love story began. As a couple, they enjoy dining out – sampling a variety of appetizers rather than a full dinner each. It was this love of trying various menu items that bred the small plates concept for Taste.

It has been Joel’s lifelong dream to own and operate his own restaurant. That dream also became Heidi’s when they fell in love and married in April 2012. Tanner Michael and Keaton Edward completed their family in 2015 and 2017.

Their love story continues, where it all began, right here at Taste. Chef Joel and Heidi Gesiakowski are enthusiastic to be sharing their dream with you.

02

Convenient & Friendly

Taste is conveniently located in downtown South Haven, MI. Located just a few blocks from South Beach and the Marina at the corner of Phoenix and Kalamazoo, Taste is an easy to reach destination.

We employ an amazing staff that is knowledgeable, friendly and always willing to help. Whether you have a question about our menu, the area or just need a suggestion for an activity, they are always eager to answer any questions you have.

From Scratch

Chef Joel has spent years learning the trade and cultivating his own recipes. Everything we serve is made from scratch and prepared as fresh as possible. You are not going to find anything similar in the area.

Awards & Recognition

Michelle Beck

Floor Manager

Michelle joined the Taste team in 2017 after years in the hospitality industry. She has spent her time at Taste cultivating martinis and cocktails that outshine any in the area. You can often find her behind the bar entertaining guests with her witty sense of humor. She was voted Southwest Michigan’s Best Bartender in the Spring of 2022. Outside of the restaurant Michelle is a devoted mother to her five children, three of whom have worked alongside her at Taste. With two sons on their college wrestling team, Michelle is often traveling the state to attend meets. She loves animals and has rescued three dogs of her own. Her love for napa reds, old fashioneds  and innovative dishes has brought a modern touch to the Taste menu.

Emily Hannum

General Manager

Emily got a summer job hosting at Taste in June 2013 as a way to pay for college. She fell in love with guest service and made the decision to become a permanent member of the Taste team. Emily earned her Hospitality Management Degree from Lake Michigan College while working every position in the front of the house before she was made General Manager. She met her husband, Nick, while they were both working at Taste. They hit it off and were married in November 2019. Her and her husband decided to make South Haven their permanent residence and bought a home in town. They adopted two dogs and two cats, which keep them incredibly busy. When Emily is not providing quality service to the wonderful guests at Taste, she enjoys walking her dogs downtown, reading, and sampling unique food and drink at new restaurants.

Testimonials