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« Hunky carpenter Eric Stromer on trucks and northern Michigan | Main | An intern takes on Detroit & he can't wait to return »

Behind the scenes with GMC Trade Secrets & my interview with Carter Oosterhouse

Two weeks ago I headed up to Traverse City to go on the set of GMC Trade Secrets featuring Carter Oosterhouse, Eric Stromer and Sam Talbot. As a DIY, design and cooking show junkie this was like winning the lottery.

It was a whirlwind trip lasting just over 24 hours. We left Monday morning and I was a bit apprehensive. Spending four hours in a car with strangers isn’t always easy. The team from GMC, Joe LaMuraglia and Lisa Gilpin, were fabulous. They made me feel comfortable by the time we hit I-75. For the record—they took safe and appropriate care of me.

And once we got to Traverse City the GMC Trade Secrets team took great care of us. Yes, a Meijer run at 11pm may have happened.

Also joining us on the trip was Chris Gardner of ManMadeDIY and He’s one smart cookie and I felt like a novice next to him.

GMC Trade Secrets features videos on home repair, décor and cooking with the good looking men I mentioned above as hosts.

Carter Oosterhouse—who you might remember from Trading Spaces, Carter Can and Red Hot & Green—is a born and bred Traverse City boy. His love of northern Michigan is very apparent and besides owning a home up here, he and his older brother have started Oosterhouse Vineyards not far from his home on Old Mission Peninsula.

Carter Oosterhouse. Photo credit: GMC Trade Secrets

Carter Oosterhouse chatting with us on his porch in Traverse City, Michigan.

Eric Stromer—host of the HGTV show Over Your Head and starred on TLC’s Clean Sweep—also owns a home in northern Michigan on Higgins Lake.

Eric Stromer. Photo credit: GMC Trade Secrets

Eric Stromer showing us his fabulous smile and personality.

Sam Talbot placed third on season 2 of Top Chef. He is the Executive Chef at Imperial #9, a sustainable seafood restaurant in New York City and also at Surf Lodge in Montauk, NY.

Sam Talbot. Photo credit: GMC Trade Secrets

Chef Sam Talbot sitting on the steps of the property owned by Carter Oosterhouse.

GMC Trade Secrets is usually shot in California but this time they opted to film at Carter’s sprawling home in Traverse City. Oddly enough, the three men had never all been in the same place at the same time until this shoot.

Yes, all three of them are very handsome men who are in the spotlight. But you know what? They were some of the most down-to-earth, friendliest guys that I've ever met.

Eric regaled us with stories and we were laughing so hard that we had to be shushed by a production assistant many times because they were rolling film on the other side of the barn. He was generally interested in who we were and getting to know us.

Carter went out of his way and took Joe, Lisa and I on a private tour of his new vineyard. He drove over the fields and took us out to the future tasting room of the winery and explained the layout. Right now they are growing Chardonnay, Riesling and Pinot Noir.

We only had a little bit of time to spend with Sam as he didn’t arrive until Tuesday—but again—what an outstanding guy! He explained his “integrative kitchen” movement to our perked up ears.

Check out my interview with Carter where he talks about northern Michigan, Detroit and his design style.


Check out my interview with Eric Stromer. I also took my own personal photowalk on the grounds of Carter’s home so stay tuned for those photos too.

Finally, if you’re looking for DIY, design, home repair or cooking advice be sure to take a look at the GMC Trade Secrets channel.

Full disclosure: GMC and GMC Trade Secrets sponsored the trip to Traverse City. All of my expenses for the trip were provided. The opinions and words expressed here are my own. _

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    Behind the scenes with GMC Trade Secrets & my interview with Carter Oosterhouse - Detroit Moxie -
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    Well that was a nice visit to Traverse City, and really guess you had spent the best time even with strangers. It's all because of their goodness and also your flexibility. Good share and i truly enjoyed each of the picture above. And thanks for the video.
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Reader Comments (9)

Tough way to spend a couple of weekdays during your last week before The Change . . .

. . . to becoming a FT online community engagement doyenne, that is.

Great snaps and vid, seriously.

August 29, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAlan Stamm

I love how he says northern Michigan is like a slice of Americana...that's the exact reason why I love it too, I've just never put it in those words. Carter is such a hottie...glad he's a fellow Chippewa like myself ;) Can't wait to see the pics from your photowalk!

August 30, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLauren Weber

Great post, Becks! I am so glad I'm headed up north this weekend because reading this made me want to go - BAD. I'm proud to be a native Michigander after reading/seeing this. I knew you were in good hands with Joe and Lisa but didn't want to spoil the surprise! Well done - thanks for your enthusiasm. Good luck with the new gig!

August 30, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterConnie Burke

Wow... Those are fantastic pictures and that is so awesome you got to go there and meet and hang out with Carter. I am an HGTV and Food Network junkie and when I started watching HGTV and found out he was from Traverse City. I loved him more plus well he is a hottie!!!

August 30, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJamie Favreau

Thanks—that means a lot coming from you!

There's no doubt about it, Carter loves northern Michigan.

Thanks Connie!
Have a great time up north! And I've got to say, Joe & Lisa are fabulous.

August 30, 2011 | Registered CommenterBecks Davis

Very cool, Becks! Great photos and looks like you had a blast!

September 15, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterChad Wiebesick

Thanks Chad! It was a great time—I certainly can't complain.

September 15, 2011 | Registered CommenterBecks Davis

I LOVE the photos, you can really see the natural beauty that Michigan has to offer.

May 20, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRon

The photos you were tagged here is good. I like it well

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