Archive for November, 2012

On sourcing + in-house production

Friday, November 30th, 2012

While sourcing and making things from scratch seem to be hot topics these days (as they should be!), they’ve always been extremely important to me and been an integral part of what we do here at nicks.  It was instilled in me at an early stage in my training that if I wanted to make great things, I had to start with the best possible raw materials I could get my hands on.  Taken one stage further, to fully understand the materials I was searching for and working with I had to appreciate where and who they came from and how they were grown, raised, cultivated, foraged, hunted, developed and/or produced.

It’s an exciting time to be a cook.  People are excited about food and reconnecting to deep level of satisfaction that even the simplest of meals can bring.  There’s a tremendous focus on what we’re putting in our mouths, what’s been done to it and where it comes from.  From the lens of a cook this makes for an audience filled with excited and appreciative eaters eager to delve into the foods, drinks and services we are providing, and the story behind them.

People often like to put a lot of focus on defining themselves, their food, their restaurant, their opinions, their philosophy in a way that is total, absolute and definitive, i.e. this is what we do, we are 100% this or 100% that (organic, local, sustainable, international, classic, progressive, etc.).  For me I find it hard to describe what we do in such absolutes.  Overmore, what we do is in such a constant state of motion and flux, growing, changing, evolving, it’s not always easy or accurate to define it in that way, and it can be limiting to boot.   I take it more as a journey.  Everyday brings new adventures, opportunities, discoveries, and that is the driving force behind what keeps food and the restaurant so exciting.  The one thing I can say that is absolute, is that I cook from the heart. I put everything I am and have into the food, beverage and service, and try to inspire our team to do the same, both in the kitchen and in the dining room.  We try to source as carefully and conscientiously as possible, and attempt to support as many smaller and regionally local producers, growers, farmers, fisherman,etc. as we can.  We make almost everything from scratch in our restaurant and each day brings us new dishes, new methods and new ideas that bring us closer to that goal and keeps the creative fires burning bright….

 

Our guests often ask what are some of the things we make in-house and I’ve been kicking around the idea of putting a list together for them for some time now, so here’s a start:

fish + meats (while we don’t grow or catch our livestock or fish, we pride ourselves on building great relationships with our sources and butcher most animals + fish whole + in-house)

breads (all breads are made here from scratch )

bacon

barbecue sauce

buttermilk biscuits

bread puddings (sweet + savory)

cakes + cookies

chicharrones

chocalate syrup

coffee syrup

corned beef

creme fraiche

dried chiles

eggnog

english muffins

granola

hams

hamburgers (ground in house)

herbs (we grow seasonally)

hot sauce (green + red chile)

ice creams + sorbets

jellies + jams(blackberry, blueberry, strawberry, peach, rhubarb)

limeade

muffins

mustard

mayo

paprikas

pastas

pates (chicken, pork, beef, lamb)

peanut butter

pickles

salsas

sausages

soups + all sauces

vinegars (lemon, orange, red wine, white wine)

*these are just some of the many things that we make in house. some foods are made in house and also sourced