Katherine Hug lives in the "gourmet ghetto of Oakland," Temescal. Kate, the owner of Studebaker Pickles, has been recognized by, Michael Pollan, author of The Omnivore's Dilemma and In Defense of Food, for her sustainable and local pickling practices. However, she is not just a famed community pickler. She is also a theologian and library scientist.
Kate learned to pickle in college and practiced her craft over the years due to the demands of family and friends. She also learned to letterpress and utilizes this talent in her production process for every jar.
Pickling is what really makes her happy and relaxed. She admits that her business is micro-scaled and her small batches are limited to what she can produce on her own in between thesis papers. As a hobby and business, she will spend a whole day pickling the finest ingredients that are in season and messing with different flavors. Kate will not pickle anything she won't eat herself. Her pickle varieties are infinite. See the list at her website, www.studebakerpickles.com
These Uncommon Pickles, owners Christian and John, spend their Sunday Mornings at the Temescal farmers market scouring the tables for the best looking and tasting seasonal vegetables to bring home. They love to take advantage of the Bay's bounty while making friends and sharing their creations with their happy local farmers. Inspired by the small scale vendors at underground markets just under a year ago, they debuted their tasty product line at the New Taste Marketplace in the East Bay's Foodie scene.
While they still enjoy the traditional cucumber pickles, they have embraced the untraditional in their kitchen. They love to mix it up using interesting, unordinary ingredients and flavors. Their cauliflower Masala, fennel with orange, green beans with ginger and cherry rosemary have so many uses besides the classic charcuterie, like bloody Mary mixers, stew enhancers and the perfect acidic topic to a boring sandwich or salad. Taste them out at www.theuncommonpickle.tumbler.com
Chelsea Fadda has been managing the kitchen at The Trappist for about a year, and it's there that her pickling experiments come to life. She also teaches the occasional pickling class at Rock Paper Scissors Collective and has been know to bring a mean foraged mushroom conserva to potlucks. She works with local farmers to get the freshest vegetables on those charcuterie plates. Her spring line of snap peas and asparagus are truly Bitchin'.
Emmy makes her organic pickles and jams in Inna Kitchen with her partner Jonah. She loves working closely with her farmer friends from River Dog Farms and other small farmers nearby to preserve the beauty of the season. She used to work in produce for a market in the Mission, where tons of fresh fruit and vegetables would be wasted, never sold or eaten. She was heartbroken and would salvage these ripe fruits and vegetables like a foster parent and in turn make the most flavorful jam and vibrant pickles for seasons to come. With lots of great feedback on her recipes, she started selling her pickles and jam in small batches at farmers markets and now at some small independent stores.
2201 Shoreline Drive, PO BOX 6064, Alameda, CA 94501 | (510) 463-4BOX (4269) | LittleShopArtisanBox@gmail.com
Read on to find out more about these artisans.
Bitchin' Pickle, Oakland
Emmy's Pickles and Preserves, Emmeryville
The Uncommon Pickle, Oakland
Studebaker Pickles, Temescal (Oakland)
Epicurean Exchange was founded in 1999 by Chef Charles Vollmar. Chef Vollmar is a popular chef, cooking instructor, foods and wellness consultant, writer, lifestyle coach and owner of Epicurean Exchange.
An honors graduate of the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco, he trained at Chez Panisse and Wente and has been practicing Chef Instructor and Foods Educator for over 12 years, he is currently on staff at the French Culinary Institute in the South Bay, teaches privately in his Orinda home school and at leading cooking schools. As a foods and lifestyle consultant, he educates about and encourages positive lifestyle choices and proper foods selection. His clients include private families, schools, health clubs, hospitals and clinics, and assisted living facilities. He has also produced and conducted countless Interactive Cooking Programs for businesses throughout the U.S. He is a featured writer for the Lamorinda Weekly, and the Orinda News with his column, Cooking Well.
His most beloved recipe that he gives away is his preserved lemon. Find this recipe and others at his website.
Epicurean Exchange, Orinda