Emeril has his spice line. Wolfgang Puck sells rotisserie ovens. And Pok Pok's Andy Ricker has all of Portland and NYC eagerly sipping drinking vinegar. Time and again, food and drink artisans have successfully emerged from restaurant kitchens or out from behind the bar, in order to mass market their lovingly handcrafted products to the general consumer. And in advance of their upcoming Taste Talks panel on bringing recipes home, we checked in with three of Chicago's preeminent hospitality gurus turned gourmet market mainstays, to get the skinny on their ever-growing sauce and spirit lines.




The Creator

Charlie McKenna, Chef and Partner of Southern Revival Hospitality (Lillie's Q, LQ Chicken Shack, Lillie's Q Sauces & Rubs, Dixie, 1952)

The Opportunity

"I had been bottling the sauces for sale in the restaurants, and a local distributor asked if I would be willing to let him start to distribute them to specialty stores and other restaurants."

The Products

Sauces: Using exact recipes from the restaurants, with no additional stabilizers or unnatural ingredients, each brand of barbecue sauce pays homage to a specific Southern region, from tomato-forward Western Carolina, to spicy and vinegary North Carolina and mustard-based South Carolina, along with smoky and sweet Memphis and Alabama white.

Rubs & Mixes: Add a glug of moonshine to McKenna's Bloody Mary mix, slather Q-Rub on your favorite cut of meat (it penetrates within 15 minutes), or sprinkle sugary Carolina Dirt (named for the state's clay-colored soil) on slow-cooked ribs or pulled pork.

Chips: These kettle-cooked potato crisps come in Original, Sea Salt & Black Pepper, Carolina Dirt, Hot Pepper Vinegar, and even Pimento Cheese!

Where You'll Find Them

Available at the restaurants, online, wholesale, through Amazon, and at retailers throughout Chicago.

https://shop.lilliesq.com/collections/sauces


The Creator

Stephanie Izard, Chef and Partner of Girl & The Goat, Little Goat, Duck Duck Goat and Goat Group Catering

The Opportunity

"When we first opened Girl & the Goat, so many people asked us, "How do you make green beans taste so good?" The secret was in our delicious sauce and we decided to bottle it, so people could recreate the dish at home. That led to us thinking that we should do this with more of our favorite dishes at all of the restaurants, and then expand even further, to represent the flavors that I use at home."

The Products

Sauces: Marinades and mix-ins include the all-purpose "This Little Goat Went to Hong Kong," featuring spicy chiles, garlic, soy, fresh ginger and mint; "This Little Goat Went to Grillville," herby and complex with notes of rosemary, garlic, cayenne and mustard seed and a must for burgers, fries, grilled fish and meats; and "This Little Goat Went to Korea" — a deeply-flavored lovechild of Korean chilis and salty soybean paste, balanced with malt vinegar and brown sugar that can be whipped into cream cheese for a fiery schmear, warmed with butter for an Asian-style wing sauce, or whisked with lemon juice and olive oil for a marinade.

Rubs: Dubbed #1 (classic) #2 (spiked with exotic masala) and #3 (infused with dried cheese), these versatile spice blends provide the ultimate seasoning for potato chips, popcorn, meats, dips, veggie sides, baked goods, and just about everything else.

Where You'll Find Them

Available online, at the restaurants, through Amazon, and at retailers throughout Chicago.

http://theflavorbystephanieizard.com/


The Creator

Matt Lindner, Co-Founder of Crafthouse Cocktails

The Opportunity

"Our relationship with United Airlines and Whole Foods help facilitate our expansion. Liquor products are significantly harder than general markets to expand."

The Products

Made with exclusively fresh and natural ingredients, this perfectly balanced, pre-bottled cocktail line includes a gingery vodka Moscow Mule, a refreshing grapefruit and tequila Paloma, and a gin, lime and mint Southside, with more to come.

Where You'll Find Them

Available online, at most boutique liquor and grocery stores in Chicago, and at Whole Foods, Mariano's, Binnys and Trader Joes in Illinois. Crafthouse also maintains a presence at some Levy Restaurant Group sports and entertainment facilities, as well as a few hotel mini bars and golf courses, and is served on select United Airlines flights.

Want to hear Charlie, Stephanie and Matt chat about mass marketing products this weekend? Buy your tickets to Taste Talks Chicago today!

http://www.chicago.tastetalks.com