If you were to create a Venn diagram of the New York City artisan food scene and Donald Trump, the only man standing between you and two lonely, freestanding circles is Twisted Fork's Jeff Holmes.*
*I mean, I'm guessing. For all I know, Trump demands local jam on his morning caviar and stashes gluten-free Brooklyn-made jerky in his hair for snacks. if I can get access to his pantry and/or snack drawer, I'll happily report back. Call me, The Donald!
Holmes was a chef at a Trump Tower restaurant, making sauces from scratch for special dishes. When the restaurant closed, he decided to start selling them.
Combining elements of Texas, where he's from, and his new hometown of Brooklyn, Holmes put together a line of sauces that includes his Brooklyn BBQ Sauce, which is made with Bear Mountain coffee and local chocolate, and Manhattan Chili Sauce, which he says is for "people who don't like Tabasco," since it's made without vinegar. He describes the chili sauce as having a "nice kind of Cajun kick to it," that comes from the fact that Holmes smokes all of the onions and peppers that go into it himself.
"I love the idea of smokiness," he explains, "but I don't like liquid smoke."
Other Twisted Fork sauces include Devil Girl Hot Sauce, which uses eight kinds of peppers; Smith & Court marinara, which uses sundried tomatoes to intensify the tomato flavor; and Haywire Mustard Sauce, which is slow cooked using both brown and yellow mustard seeds. The newest addition to the line is his Iron Mary Milwaukee-style Blood Mary mix, which uses olive juice and dehydrated bleu cheese to add flavor.
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