This is your source for information on premium, unrefined, gourmet salt. Here you will find an ever-changing smorgasbord of entries by
our staff and guest authors about their experiences and love for gourmet salt, references to salt in the news and on the web, and salt application and tasting ideas.
Posts Tagged ‘Traverse City’
Posted September 2nd, 2009 by Chris
Filed under: Boathouse, news, Salt Chef, Traverse City
Beyond the Shaker was referred to in the Cook’s Corner Section of the Traverse City Record Eagle, and we are just so darn happy. Traverse City is incredibly important to us and our vision and our salt and so it is a great honor to be noticed by this fantastic northern Michigan publication. Our Salt Chef, Eric Nittolo, works out of Traverse City at the Boathouse Restaurant with owner Doug Kosch, who is a great friend of Beyond the Shaker. We are excited about the attention that is being generated by our line of salt blends and the approach we are taking toward salt in general.
Posted August 20th, 2009 by Chris
Filed under: Traverse City, wholesale
Black Star Farms
More great news! You can now find Beyond the Shaker salts and premium blends at Black Star Farms, one of our favorite locations in northern MIchigan with an amazing selection of wine and fine food products.
We are excited to add another wonderful location to the growing list of retail spots where you can purchase our salts.
So get out there, enjoy the rest of the summer (as the weather starts to finally remember it IS summer), drink some wine, and visit Black Star Farms (and geez, don’t forget the salt)!
Posted August 11th, 2009 by Chris
Filed under: Traverse City, wholesale
We are pleased to announce that Beyond the Shaker gourmet blended salts are now available at Bower’s Harbor Vineyards in Traverse City, Michigan. Bower’s Harbor has always been one of our favorite spots to visit in northwestern Michigan, with its family run winery looking onto Lake Michigan. Bower’s offers award winning Pinot Grigio, Riesling and Chardonnay wines, and you now obtain your fill of Beyond the Shaker salts as well!
There is still lots of time left in summer, so if you can swing it, get yourself up to Bower’s Harbor Vineyards as soon as possible, and tell them the folks at Beyond the Shaker say, “THANKS!”
Posted July 12th, 2009 by Chris
Filed under: Boathouse, Citrus Basil, Fleur de Sel, French Herb, Hickory Maple, steak, Traverse City
While eating at The Boathouse in Traverse City (the home of our Salt Chef), I was treated to one of the most delicate and delightful cuts of meat I have had in years. Of course the name “Waygu Kobe beef” is enough to send excited shivers down a dinner guest’s spine and make the wallet tremble in fear. Since I had not been to Traverse City nearly as much as I wanted this summer, I thought recession be damned, and boldly placed my order! I was certain Executive Chef Eric, wouldn’t dare mess around with something sculpted with culinary purpose out of nature by the master Japanese cattle farmers, and so I went “all-in” with the 5 ounce filet.
And indeed, I was rewarded when my plate arrived at our table. We already had a marvelous meal up to this point, but nothing makes such a grand entrance as a perfectly cooked piece of some of the finest steak known. Tender and bursting with flavor, I couldn’t wait to carve into this lovely cut of meat.
A rare sneak peek at the Beyond the Shaker resealable, foil-lined, sample pack (coming soon…we know you are excited)…
We were given knives that would normally have a difficult time carving through a properly seared scallop, let alone beef, but of course the playful point was made. This was no ordinary steak, and the typical cutlery would be unnecessary to enjoy the remarkably tender filet. Chef Eric lightly seasoned the meat with the queen of the unrefined world of salt, fleur de sel, as we wanted to play with different combinations from our Beyond Blends collection. Of course, only the finest salt would do for this premium steak experience, and so we brought Hickory Maple, French Herb, and Citrus Basil out of flavor arsenal (tucked in resealable sample packs, of course).
We knew each of these blends was amazingly scrumptious as a finishing salt on steak we had grilled at home, but the question was if the flavors and textures would match well on one of the world’s finest cuts of beef… and the answer? Well it can be summed up by the fact that over a week later I am still dreaming (and writing) about this dining experience. For the Waygu virgin, this is a very special breed of cattle that is known for its flavor and subtle texture. The meat is heavily marbled which adds to its juicy tenderness. The ‘Kobe’ part of the name is a reference to the area in Japan where the cattle was raised. Waygu ranchers are known for the special care used to raise these incredible animals.
Anyway, all three of the Beyond Blends we tried on our steaks finished them beautifully, highlighting the unmistakable flavor and texture of the Waygu beef. The favorite of the table was Hickory Maple, with Citrus Basil and French Herb not far behind. Regardless, you can’t go wrong with this cut of meat (if your bank account can handle the sizable blow), especially when in the hands of a master artist in the kitchen, like our Salt Chef. Cooked right, Waygu filets are some of the finest culinary experiences around (just don’t forget to pair your steak, or any grilled beef for that matter, with an equally premium gourmet salt)…
Posted July 11th, 2009 by Chris
Filed under: Boathouse, local, organic, sustainable, Traverse City
Chris and our Salt Chef point to one of our awesome jars at Boathouse (from the look of it, some wine might have been involved).
As everyone knows that reads the SaltScribe (and who the heck doesn’t read this blog?!?), I am a huge fan of the Beyond the Shaker Salt Chef, Eric Nittolo from The Boathouse restaurant in Traverse City, Michigan. Even coming from an amazing food city like Chicago, it is hard to beat the dishes crafted by Executive Chef Nittolo. The key of course is local/sustainable/organic ingredients, and of course a touch of panache added to each plate by Eric himself. This guy doesn’t mess around when he is in the kitchen. In fact, I got a rare view of the ‘magic’ over fourth of July weekend, when I dined at the Boathouse. We can save that for a future blog post…
While in northern Michigan, I found a great new magazine focused on Traverse City food and dining called the “45th” (no, not named after President Lyndon Johnson). In the 45th’s most recent edition, there is a feature focused on the Boathouse and Executive Chef Nittolo. The photos and recipes in this article are great, and they really highlight the amazing attention to detail found in every dish Chef Nittolo produces. This is part of the reason that he made the perfect Salt Chef for Beyond the Shaker. It was clear from the beginning he knew his stuff, and he wouldn’t stop until he had devised a superior product for us (even if it meant countless revisions).
Anyway, congrats to the Boathouse, Executive Chef Nittolo and the 45th. Lots of wonderful culinary things are happening in Traverse City, and we are darn pleased to be part of it!
Posted July 9th, 2009 by Chris
Filed under: Boathouse, local, organic, sustainable, Traverse City
Traverse City Sunset Over Lake Michigan
Having just come back from an amazing 4th of July weekend in Traverse City, Michigan, I was pleased to see that the region’s amazing culture of food is obtaining national press coverage as a premium dining destination. Over the long weekend (I cheated a bit a took Monday, July 6th off), I had the opportunity to not only eat a fantastic home grilled meal (more on that in a later post), but I also dined at two of my favorite restaurants in the area – The Boathouse (home to our Salt Chef) and Trattoria Stella.
Both restaurants take advantage of the small farms and local food producers in and around Traverse City. It is no doubt that the ingredients used by these restaurants are as fresh and flavorful as possible, since the distance from the field to the fryer is equivalent to a drive across town. Indeed, this is the philosophy that Beyond the Shaker has adopted for its gourmet blended salts, using the finest ingredients available to create incredible, almost ‘fresh’ flavor. Of course, partnering with Executive Chef Eric Nittolo of The Boathouse, to craft our blended salts was a logical way of extending our local/fresh/organic/sustainable philosophy into our products.
We are glad Traverse City is obtaining the attention it deserves as an up and coming foodie hot spot, since we have known for years that there was something special stirring in this culinary region.
Posted July 4th, 2009 by Chris
Filed under: Chanterelle Vanilla, recipe, scallops, seafood, Sel Gris, Traverse City
Last night we had dinner at one of my favorite restaurants in the Traverse City area – Trattoria Stella, and the star appetizer (and perhaps the overall favorite of the evening), were these perfectly seared bay scallops. Prior to them being devoured by the hungry diners, I snapped a picture of them with my iPhone. Putting aside that the camera on the phone really does not do these delectable little morsels justice, hopefully the incredible seared tops of each scallop can be seen.
The trick, to the flavor and marvelous color was apparent from the first bite – salt. Specifically, my guess was the use of a mineral rich flake salt, like our Sel Gris, and then searing on one side with lots of butter. What we all enjoyed the most was the salty crust that formed on the seared top of the scallop. The trend in cooking scallops seems to be to undercook them, which most likely stems from a fear of overcooking them into rubbery little pucks.
However, the chef found absolutely the ideal sear – a delicate crispy crust of salty-buttery goodness. When we cook scallops at home, we usually flip them over halfway through the cooking process, but that is more a reflection of our amateur chef status than the ideal cook method. The scallops at Stella’s restaurant were only seared on one side, which really made for the ideal crust.
We have tried, with our Salt Chef, using the Truffle Wet Salt and the Chanterelle Vanilla on seared scallops with tremendous success. The flavor profiles of these salts matches well with the briny seafood taste. In terms of usage, we found that the the Truffle Wet can be applied prior to searing the scallops, but the Chanterelle Vanilla is better as a finishing salt added to the tops of the scallops just prior to serving. Either way, we encourage everyone to give scallops a shot in your own kitchen – since they really are not that hard to prepare, especially when you use the right salts!