If your New Year’s resolution was to start something—a project, a business, a revolution—we hope this issue offers inspiration. All over the borough, your neighbors are up to their elbows in edible entrepreneurial endeavors and our little staff is rather taken with the ingenuity we came across compiling this issue. These are literally dark days, but in Brooklyn kitchens the light of creativity is shining bright, even if the sun’s not.
If you’re hungry to start your own business, you’re in good company—everywhere we turn, industrious ambitions abound as enterprising eaters set up shop, crafting everything from handmade chocolates to energy bars delectable enough to push a certain famous brand over the cliff. A Wall Street casualty is forswearing office work and investing in a cheesecake venture. In our Back of the House photo essay we meet Rose Water owner John Tucker, whose tiny claim, staked eight years ago, remains one of our favorite restaurants anywhere. Meanwhile, two guys transform a giant woodpile into a business that has literally caught on fire.
But if your creative juices are running like the sweet sap of the sugar maple, you need neither loan nor logo, just a heaping serving of wits. Take chef/owner Nick Morgenstern of the General Greene. We first fell for his salty caramel ice cream (the best we’ve tasted since that box of Jeni’s came overnight from Ohio) but then discovered his porky pastry and the fat-melting, heartwarming story behind it: While chefs of all stripes bray about local sourcing, Nick took a trip to a Hudson Valley farm and wound up with 200 pounds of fatback—for dessert.
If rendering lard is not on your ’09 to-do list, perhaps you’d prefer a trip to Marine Park where JoMart has been sating Brooklyn’s sweet tooth for three generations and stocks a candy wonderland plus the supplies to turn your home kitchen into a chocolate factory (Valentines take note). Reverend Billy would surely bless such a handmade gift, and after an hour in his kitchen, we’re vowing to experience more by buying less. in this town, that’ll be an easy resolution to keep.
Happy New Year!
Soaking turnips at Rose Water, Park Slope.