To Market, To Market: Jamming With Stefano
Whatever happened to Stefano Frigerio? Well, the former right-hand toque to Fabio Trabocchi at Maestro may have been absent from Washington-area restaurants since his departure from Mio nine months ago, but that doesn't mean he's stopped cooking. When he left behind those 16-hour days to spend more time with his young children, Frigerio, 36, kept patronizing the farms that had supplied his restaurants. He bought up their surplus produce and started turning it into jams, tomato sauces and vinegars. (To Frigerio, in-home preserving is the most natural thing in the world; it was a must in his family when he was growing up in northern Italy.)
He kept buying, and he kept canning. When the stockpile reached 500 jars and threatened to take over the children's playroom, his wife, PR maven Dusty Lockhart, suggested that he start selling them. Actually, "suggested" is too mild. "I demanded," she said. The Copper Pot Food Co. was born.
Appropriately enough, Frigerio will sell his products at six area farmers markets, starting with my favorite, the fabulous 14th and U Market, which opens for the season tomorrow. On the product list: four savory sauces, five jams, a dipping oil, two vinegars, eight fresh pastas and three dried pastas, all of them handcrafted. I haven't had the chance to taste any of these yet, but given Frigerio's great work at Mio and Maestro, I'll go out on a limb here and predict greatness. Besides, the names alone make me envision the dinner party possibilities: Roasted shallot and Barolo sauce over braised rabbit ravioli, anyone?
As a committed jam maker myself, though, it's those that have me most excited. Concord grape and grappa? Bring it on. I'm always looking for interesting combinations that don't suffer from what, in my book, has to be the most common jam problem there is: cloying sweetness. (I'm talking about you, Stonewall Kitchen.) I promise that once I taste Stefano's jams, if I love them, I'll do my best to rope the chef into joining me for a jam session, the results of which I'll put here or in the print section. Recipes included, naturally.
-- Joe Yonan
May 1, 2009; 2:30 PM ET
Categories: Sustainable Food , To Market, To Market | Tags: farmers markets, jam
Save & Share: Previous: Time to Ramp It Up
Next: Groundwork: Rocketship Launched
Posted by: cristianC2V | May 1, 2009 3:34 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: FairlingtonBlade | May 1, 2009 8:04 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: Joe Yonan | May 1, 2009 9:34 PM | Report abuse
Posted by: AJones4 | May 4, 2009 11:04 PM | Report abuse
The comments to this entry are closed.