Sunday, October 3, 2010
A little Back Story (we love a good story)
The DP Chutney Collective began with the now familiar story of getting laid off during the economic downturn . After too many weeks spent in faux-speakeasies, Drake Page decided to start a micro-business hawking the chutneys he'd been making for years as gifts for close friends and family. It’s called a collective because he makes more than chutney and because as he says, "I am fortunate to have a wide network of supportive taste testers and helpers with very creative suggestions and strong opinions".
The D P Chutney Collective is an ever-expanding line of exotic condiments produced in Greenpoint. On a very small scale Drake is introducing chutneys to people who don’t typically eat them or else relegate them to Indian take-out meals only. Or conversely, provide them for diners with a taste for big, bold flavors who can’t find a decent chutney selection elsewhere. Drake would like to think of The Collective’s chutneys as culinary exclamation points to any meal and filling a void in the market (albeit a quirky, niche one), brightening charcuterie/cheese boards and backyard bbqs, and dinner tables everywhere.
Drake grew up in the the South where the pickle/relish/condiment tray is a staple at most meals. 20 years ago he moved to NYC and fell in love with the vast range of Indian/Indonesian/South Asian food available and began cooking it at home. Chutneys, sambals and sauces quickly became the favorite things for him to make. After a brief stint cooking in a restaurant in London, Drake gained deeper knowledge but realized he'd rather cook and sell his own product than deal with kitchen egos.
As much as possible Drake sources his ingredients from local, sustainable farms and small businesses. His cider vinegar comes from an orchard in Greene County, NY, the honey from a tiny, family-run apiary in the Finger Lakes region, the jars from Roebling Street! He is constantly building new relationships with many NY and NJ farmers so roughly 75% of his produce is sourced from within a 90 mile radius this summer. In addition, The Collective uses 20+ different spices in full range of products purchased from Mountain Rose, an amazing online source for traceable Fair Trade products.
According to Drake, "Chutneys marry well with most cheeses, roast chicken and other poultry, rice and beans, burgers of all types . . . almost anything, anytime you need a sweet/spicy contrast to a savory dish. Chutney never met a pork or lamb chop it didn’t love. Some are better with specific partners; for example, Blueberry Chutney has a natural affinity for venison and wild game and strong, aged dry Gouda or ultra creamy Brie and Camembert. Other than cheese I would not suggest chutney with dessert. Oops! Some have told us they love the Kerala Pineapple Chutney on vanilla ice cream." That's good news for us, because we have some vanilla ice cream in house. Maybe we'll try that at the sampling on October 3rd!
Here's a recipe we hope you will enjoy, using DP Chutney:
CURRIED PEACH WHEAT BERRY SALAD
1 cup soft wheat berries
Toasted sesame oil
3-4 scallions, chopped, white and green parts
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped finely
Salt to taste
2 T. Curried Peach Chutney
Cilantro, chopped (optional)
If you can, try to soak the wheat berries in warm water for a couple of hours. If you don't soak them, increase the cooking time until berries are chewy-tender.
After soaking, drain the wheat berries and place in a saucepan with 3-4 cups of water. Bring to a boil and cook, uncovered, over a medium-high flame for 70 minutes or until tender to the bite. they will remain pleasantly chewy so do not overcook further.
Drain wheat berries very well and mix with the remaining ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Season to your tastes with the salt, soy sauce and sesame oil.
Chill and serve cold or at room temperature, garnished (or not) with chopped cilantro. Enjoy!
The DP Chutney Collective is:
Fresh: Drake sources his ingredients from local, sustainable farms and small businesses.
Friendly: Drake has made himself available to his clients at all times, we can vouch for that! He's a pleasure to have in store and we invite you to meet him, yourself.