Blog: Farm-to-Table Sauces A Cooking Workshop with Saucy By Nature
I‘m not sure if you know this already, but I adore condiments! Give me loads of ketchup for my eggs or dressing for my salad and you will find a happy man. These grocery store purchased add-ons may taste great and do a ton to kick up food, but they are unfortunately rife with preservatives thus making the meal an unhealthy outing for your body. Enter “Saucy By Nature,” a Brooklyn based company founded by Przemek Adolf and Monika Luczak, two hardworking and driven foodies with the goal of creating condiments that are produced from only the freshest local ingredients. Make your way to the Brooklyn Flea or to one of the various specialty shops around town that carry their products and you can taste the difference. On Wednesday night (which also happened to be, “Food Day 2012″), the LocalBozo.com food crew headed to The Horticultural Society of New York, for a sauce based cooking workshop led by Saucy By Nature’s Przemek Adolf.
This was our team’s first foray inside the doors of “The Hort,” and may we say that it is quite an impressive space right in the heart of midtown. Their mission is to sustain the vital connection between people and plants. Each and every day they work tirelessly to produce social programs that educate and inspire, growing a community that values horticulture for the many benefits that it brings our lives. The fact that this is being done in the middle of an urban jungle for over a hundred years, makes their focus even more impressive. After taking some time to stroll through the open space, viewing pictures and getting a sense for the outstanding work being done, it was finally time to head to the back and join Mr. Adolf and the guests who would be participating in the cooking workshop.
As stated previously, the participants would work side by side at tables to create either sauces or full meals. The head table was devoted to the creation of “Saucy’s” much talked about “Cilantro Lime” and “Tomato Apple Chutney.” The pungent fragrance of cilantro virtually transported me to my greatest Mexican restaurant memories. Now, since the company’s recipes are trade secrets, I won’t deep dive too far into what comprises them, but I can honestly tell you that each taste provided a virtual bouquet of the aforementioned greens, fresh olive oil, and a truckload of just picked Jalapenos. The clean and cold cilantro start to each bite was quickly matched with some truly awesome heat. Meanwhile the “Chutney” was on a slow cook for most of the event, so like any good former student from science class, I remembered to waft in the smell to avoid getting too close to a steaming, bubbling pot. Mr. Adolf informed us that these were New Jersey tomatoes, which also puts a smile on this Garden State boy’s face.
When it came to cooking the actual meals, it must be said that these guests were revved up and ready to go and with the help of Mr. Adolf and the fantastic “Hort” staff, this large group of local food lovers worked with like minded attendees to create such dishes as a “Fried Green Tomato BLT with Tomato Apple Chutney”, a “Southeast Asian Butternut Squash Soup with Cilantro Lime Sauce”, and finally the ever popular and healthy, “Quinoa Salad.” Once the cooking was far underway, some of the attendees even got to pour, bottle, and label some of the sauce identically to the way Mr. Adolf and his team did as they began their company. It is a tricky process to make the labels lay right, but with his assistance they were assembling them in no time. The smells, the teamwork, and the general vibe of this event made it a pleasure to cover. Many of these attendees came as strangers but after a few minutes of chopping and cooking they appeared to be longtime chums. It just goes to show you that food, especially fresh local fare can really bring people together. Be sure to check out “The Hort’s” schedule for all upcoming events!
- Jay Rubin