More and more restaurants and commercial kitchens are now preserving foods in their own facilities. Methods which include canning, smoking, pickling, and fermenting are becoming more commonplace within the culinary community. One of this year’s breakout session will focus on preserving. Moderator Kim O’Donnel will lead the panel in what should be a lively discussion regarding preserving foods that are served at the restaurant, and also creating value-added products that are available to home cooks. Kim is a chef, educator, author, founder of the ‘Canning Across America’ movement, and is on the Journalism Committee of the James Beard Foundation.
Members of the panel will include chefs and restaurant owners currently doing their own preserving, as well as value added businesses who are producing products available in the retail marketplace. Kim will be joined by Chefs Zoi Antonitsas and Bryan Jarr, partners in Little Fish (and the soon to open Jarr Bar) who have taken the canning, pickling, and smoking of seafood to new culinary heights; Julie O’Brien, the owner of Seattle based Firefly Kitchens, producing wonderful fermented products, including krauts, kimchi, carrots, and a new product line of salts. Julie, along with Firefly co-founder Richard Climenhage, have published a fermentation cookbook, ‘Fresh and Fermented’. Antonio Lovett & Melynda Hart of Grimm Brothers Foods, an urban pepper farm will also be joining the panel. Though they grow many varieties, they focus on growing the three hottest peppers: Ghost, Trinidad Moruga Scorpion, and the Carolina Reaper. They use those peppers along with ingredients sourced from other local Washington farms to make their hot sauces and condiments.
From the increasing number of kitchens doing their own preserving, it seems that this aspect of food preparation will continue to grow, with no letting up in sight.