Food Artisans: Brooklyn Bouillon
Rachael Mamane developed an interest in nose-to-tail cooking while she was working as a pastry chef and spending a lot of time in commercial kitchens. When she went on to work for Hudson Valley Duck Farm, she says she "noticed a gap at the markets. No one was selling these fundamental building blocks, stock and demi-glace."
Her company, Brooklyn Bouillon, fills that gap and has a two-fold mission: to educate consumers about the benefits of cooking with well-made stock and to work with responsible local farmers, providing an avenue they can depend on to sell parts of their animals for which there is uneven demand. The stocks are very concentrated, "a two-time reduction," Mamane says, "It takes longer, but it's a higher quality product."
The experience has given Mamane a very high opinion of New York's home cooks. "You really get a sense of how aware consumers are," she says, "We see a lot of very intelligent consumers." She adds that when she started the business, she expected that people would "get the culinary aspect more," but that they're very interested in being part of the discussion about economics and farming.
While many of the farmers she works with did or still do make bones available to customers at the markets, in many cases they weren't moving that quickly and the farmers were spending more time and energy transporting, refrigerating, and keeping track of them than it was really worth to them. "The management and logistics are challenging," Mamane explains, "and reduced the value of the product."
Brooklyn Bouillon is currently in pilot mode, available at greenmarkets and at Greene Grape, but will be more widely available in 4-6 weeks. When that happens, the product line will also move beyond chicken to include heirloom-breed pork, cage-free duck, lamb, grass-fed beef, local veggie stock, and cultivated mushroom stock. Keep an eye on the site for up-to-date information.
About the author: Stephanie Klose has more mustard than you. You can follow her on twitter at @sklose.