The New York Times published a fantastic article yesterday about a new culinary movement brewing in Brooklyn. Attracted by cheap rent (as opposed to Manhattan) and the experimental nature of the borough, there has been a surge in artisan chefs resurrecting traditional methods and emphasizing old school craftsmanship.
These Brooklynites, most in their 20s and 30s, are hand-making pickles, cheeses and chocolates the way others form bands and artists’ collectives. They have a sense of community and an appreciation for traditional methods and flavors. They also share an aesthetic that’s equal parts 19th and 21st century, with a taste for bold graphics, salvaged wood and, for the men, scruffy beards.
More than a just culinary movement, this shift to pre-industrial techniques has established a tight knit community where collaborations are commonplace.
Two weeks ago Sixpoint Craft Ales, in Red Hook, introduced Dubbel Trubbel, an ale made with cacao nibs from Mast Brothers Chocolate. Sixpoint Craft Ales already brews Gorilla Warfare, an American porter made with Ethiopian Yirgacheffe from Gorilla Coffee, the Park Slope cafe and roaster. At Wheelhouse Pickles, based in Park Slope, Jon Orren uses wort, a byproduct of brewing from Sixpoint Craft Ales, to flavor his Ploughman’s pickle, a mild, earthy relish made with Greenmarket root vegetables.
Because finding a class that teaches you how to butcher an entire pig or make a chocolate bar from scratch is next to impossible, the do-it-yourself ethos is a mainstay within this community of culinary go-getters. Most are self-taught and many began their trade selling out of the back of a truck. And while there is an undeniable entrepreneurial spirtit amongst these artisans, the vibe is remains staunchly anticorporate.
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Inspiring a New Generation of Farmers