Chef Partners: Who Chooses Olli Salami?

Posted August 26, 2013

We don’t do a great deal of advertising for Olli Salumeria.  We’ve found that the best way to spread the word about an Olli Salami is to get folks to eat it.  Once they’ve had a taste, we generally have a dedicated customer, and they tell some friends, who then tell some friends….

We often find these salami-lovers at events like the Fancy Food Show, or by doing tours like the BunkyCooks visit.  And while we have select products in stores like Wegman’s and Williams-Sonoma (and even Costco!), and many specialty markets have been quick to pick up a line or two, one of the best vehicles for getting our cured meats in front of people is working with a restaurant.  When it comes to good food and quality ingredients, they are the professionals.

One such restaurant is 208 Garfield in Tacoma, Washington.  We know, a long way from Virginia, but they know good food and responsible practices, two things we’re passionate about.  They have a pretty impressive list of beer and wine, and everything on that portion of the menu comes from Washington State.  All of their beer and wine, in fact, travels less than 300 miles to get to 208 Garfield Street.  They go to great pains to source all of their fresh ingredients locally, make their own bread, soup, and dressing, and pay strict attention to ingredients.  It’s a bit further than 300 miles from Virginia to Washington, but they’ve chosen to feature our Wild Boar Salame and Hot Coppa Olli Salami on their charcuterie menu.  Thanks, guys.

A bit closer to home is Tower Oaks Lodge in Rockville, Maryland.  They are part of the Clyde’s Restaurant Group, and if you’re not familiar, here’s the scoop:  The original Clyde’s is in Washington, DC, and has long been a haunt of the powerful and connected of the Nation’s Capital.  It was also the inspiration for the Starland Vocal Band’s “Afternoon Delight.”  Thought you should know that.  The Tower Oaks Lodge is centered around a 200-year old barn brought down from Vermont, and the building is next to a nature preserve.  The menu reflects that rustic sort of flavor, and features fresh seafood from the Chesapeake Bay, local fruits and vegetables, and a healthy dose of delicious meats.  They chose our Toscano for their Local Butcher Board.

A short drive south of us, you’ll find the town of Charleston, South Carolina.  That’s the home of Chef Sean Brock and his restaurant Husk.  Brock was once the sous chef for Walter Bundy of Lemaire, a Richmond 5-star and one of our co-hosts for the BunkyCooks tour, so Brock has a bit of a local connection for us (Chef Bundy, by the way, is also a fan of Olli Salumeria).  When Chef Brock got to Charleston, he started a small farm where he could tinker with heirloom crops and educate himself about seed preservation.  Before he could immerse himself in the cuisine of the “low country” he had to understand the history behind low country ingredients.  Much like our relationship with our Farmer Partners, Brock places great emphasis on the people who grow his ingredients.  He uses these partnerships to find the best fruits and vegetables to ground his dishes, and also uses them to do his own pickling and canning.  He changes the menu daily, but you might see Slow Smoked Pork Ribs with Pickled Peach, Virginia Heritage Pork with boiled Peanuts, and North Carolina Catfish with Fried Cabbage.  He frequently uses our salame to spice up his salads.  A recent dish was Arugula with Summer Melon, our salame, Brock’s house-made Ricotta, and Black Pepper Vinaigrette.

While our cured meats are wonderful as part of a charcuterie plate or mixed in a salad or pasta, they’re equally as good just by themselves.  But we like it when a talented chef like Sean Brock takes a liking to our salami, and appreciate the fact that such wonderful restaurants are helping us to spread the word about Olli Salumeria.  Where did you discover your favorite Olli product?

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.