May 27, 2010 At the end of last summer, Eccolo in Berkeley, CA, closed much to the sorrow of the owner/chefs, and to the clientele also. They cooked for flavor, using ingredients that were locally grown and raised. The results were thoroughly enjoyed by many.
Fast forward to now: The two chefs – Chris Lee and Samin Nosrat – have started a new way to get some of their (and others) favorite artisan products to market: the Pop-up General Store.
“Starting at 5 p.m. on a recent Wednesday, more than 200 shoppers descended on a red-painted building in an otherwise unremarkable Oakland neighborhood and left with some pretty fancy dinner fixings in their reusable grocery bags.
Some carried pounds of boudin blanc sausages from former Eccolo chef-owner Chris Lee, bronze-cut rigatoni from his ex-sous chef Samin Nosrat, or chicken confit from Soul Food Farm. Others took home heat-and-serve potato-chard gratin from Mary Jo Thoresen and Curt Clingman of the recently closed Jojo, or frozen heritage pork gyoza from Sylvan Brackett, who worked in Alice Waters’ office before starting his new Peko Peko catering business.
By 7 p.m., the shoppers were gone, and the Pop-Up General Store closed down for two or three weeks, leaving local fridges and freezers well stocked with restaurant-quality foods to cook at home.”
This looks to be another great way to build a local food system and economy. And, another way to get to know the people behind our food. Is something like this going on in your community? If it exists in the PDX area, please let me know!
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