Meet & Eat: Caroline Dorn & Loryn Lopes, Butter Queen of Brooklyn

Meet and Eat: NY

Conversations with chefs and food personalities in New York City.


Left, Loryn; right, Caroline. [Photograph: Butter Queen of Brooklyn]

As a child, Caroline Dorn earned the nickname "Butter Queen" as her love for butter was so strong, she often ate it right from the stick. As an adult, she took her obsession in a healthier direction, launching Butter Queen of Brooklyn in 2010 with Loryn Lopes—creating flavored butters and hoping to spread her enthusiasm for the creamy concoctions to serious eaters throughout the city.

Name: Caroline Dorn, Loryn Lopes
Occupation: Founders, Butter Queen of Brooklyn
Location: South Brooklyn

How did you come up with the idea for Butter Queen of Brooklyn? It born out of the idea that not all butters are created equal. We became tired of the "boring bread basket accompaniment" and wanted to create a product that could be enjoyed by itself as well as an enhancement to every meal.

Why are you using cream from Hudson Valley Fresh? It's very important to our team that we are able to create a high-quality product. Throughout our search for purveyors, we found that Hudson Valley Fresh not only had the freshest, cleanest tasting cream, but also was committed to maintaining the livelihood and heritage New York's strong lineage of dairy farmers.

Can you walk us through the process of making it? Since we enjoy the clean taste of sweet cream butter over other methods, we do not use any "ripening" methods in our churning process. We just use heavy cream and our trusty old-fashioned butter hand-churn to create our product. After putting in some serious arm-churning-work, the buttermilk begins to separate from the butter solids. The the flavoring process begins.

Where do you get your other ingredients? We source all of our fresh produce organically when possible and from NYC's many farmers markets. We are also constantly searching through gourmet markets for new and interesting flavors to pair and enhance our butters.

Your butters are named after American first ladies. How did that come to be and how do you pair the ladies with their flavor? As dedicated history buffs, we wanted to pay homage to our much-overlooked First Ladies. And as butter lovers, we thought that this would be a perfect marriage of my two loves. We try to draw inspiration from our First Ladies' personalities, their triumphs and tragedies, and honor their legacy in a playful, delicious way.

How do you come up with new flavors? Any new ones in the works for 2011? Creating new flavor concoctions is our labor of love. Our team spends a lot of time at the Grand Army Plaza farmers' market scouring for inspiration for new butters. We try to focus on one seasonal ingredient and build a unique flavor profile from there. We're so looking forward to launching our Obama Butter (Chili-Chocolate) and Laura Bush (Blood Orange-Maple), as well as a few others, this spring!

Can you give Serious Eaters some ideas of how to serve your butter and cook with it? At BQB headquarters, we tend to follow the French tradition and eat our butter with a spoon and a bit of hot, crusty baguette, however; there are many ways to enjoy our butter. Sweet butters are the perfect complement to any french toast, pancake or waffles on your brunch plate, but equally enjoyable when added to a favorite scone or muffin recipe. Martha Washington (slow-roasted garlic, tarragon and chive), on the other hand, is scrumptious when served over a beautiful cut of steak or pasta dish.

Where can we buy it? We are looking forward to being stocked in select Brooklyn grocery markets and the Brooklyn Flea by early Spring 2011.

If you named a butter after Michelle Obama, what flavor would it be? We're so delighted to create our Michelle Obama butter! We've been working through some flavor concepts in the past few weeks, and have settled upon Chili-Chocolate. Michelle has such style and pizazz, that we think a sweet, saucy, fiery butter would suit her well.