We are fortunate to have many wonderful brands and businesses using Cookpanion to publish recipes on their Facebook pages, but today I wanted to shine some light on a few of our local recipe publishers. Our Seattle Cookpanion Pros range from restaurant groups to television programs to truffle experts, each of whom has brought a unique perspective and a beautiful collection of recipes to the Cookpanion community. Here we’ll take a behind-the-scenes peak at five of these Seattle Pros, and highlight a few of their recipes that we just can’t get enough of.
Who They Are
With three restaurants, two food trucks, a catering biz, and a line of tasty Bacon Jams, Skillet has become a recognized and beloved name throughout Seattle since their start in 2007. The group is known for serving highest-quality, locally inspired diner fare in a laid-back setting. While their restaurants and food trucks are unique to Seattle, Skillet now sells their Bacon Jam in stores across the country. Since joining forces with us in 2014, they’ve used the Cookpanion app to publish and share dozens of recipes with their 18,000+ Facebook fans. We’ve loved working with this down-to-earth group and can’t wait to see what they cook up next!
Skillet’s Bacon Jam Boom
“We had truly just begun selling bacon jam [and] our volume was low — maybe 50 or 100 jars in a month. It was Tuesday or Wednesday before Thanksgiving that we received a phone call to let us know that our bacon jam was going to be listed as part of Martha Stewart’s recommended holiday food gift list. We had no idea what that meant although we thought it was good.
And it was good, but we were so unprepared to respond to the volume of orders, [which] started flowing in at the rate of 100 to 200 PER DAY! We didn’t have that many jars or labels. We didn’t have anywhere near the quantity of bacon or other ingredients. We didn’t have enough people to stir the pot or manually fill the jars or pack the finished product in boxes. We didn’t have a UPS account to ship so we bought a lot of stamps. It was crazy.
We survived that holiday season (somehow), and [the experience] showed us that we had a product that people loved. In retrospect, these tales become legendary. But having been there, it’s a bit embarrassing to realize how young we were as a company at that time. But I guess that’s the point of knowledge gained from experience. It always comes one lap too late to handle the first instance.” -Greg Petrillo, CFO
Who They Are
New Day Northwest, KING5’s notable daytime talk show, has been in the recipe publishing business since its start in 2010. The show regularly attracts big-time chefs, health and fitness experts, restaurateurs and celebrities, many of whom share sought-after recipes on the show. New Day began using Cookpanion in March 2015 to accommodate this growing collection of recipes. On their Recipes tab, page visitors can find 630+ recipes as well as seasonal collections, food-related articles, themed menus, and recipe contests. Their profile aims to highlight the diverse population of foodie guests they host on the show, and acts as a hub where the Seattle culinary community can gather to share and discover unique recipes and resources.
60 Seconds with Margaret Larson
We were able to steal host Margaret Larson for a quick Q and A. Here’s what we learned!
Favorite foods: Dark chocolate and Chicken Tikka Masala
Favorite Seattle restaurant: Dahlia Lounge
Favorite food as a kid: Pizza
Celebrity chef crush: Sharone Hakman
Little Known Fact: Larson has won four Emmy awards in the category of broadcast journalism. You go, girl!
Who They Are
Stockbox is a neighborhood grocery store located in Seattle’s First Hill neighborhood. The business actually began as a graduate project at the Bainbridge Graduate Institute in 2010, and has grown into a thriving Seattle food hub that goes beyond the typical grocery store: “We are working to build a network of stores that are the hub for fresh food, community connections, engaging experiences, and innovation in grocery” (stockboxgrocers.com). Stockbox has been a fantastic Cookpanion partner, publishing beautiful peak-season recipes on their Recipes tab.
Meet the Stockbox Team
“Our team has pretty diverse hobbies – one team member who designs costumes, another who is crazy about growing plants, another who knows the best spots in the city to play basketball, and another who enjoys playing music in a punk band.” –Kate Bandzmer, Marketing manager
Stockbox Staff Pick
“For an easy, filling, thirst-quenching snack my go-to is the Honeycrisp apples. I had one in my gym bag the other day that was close to a week old, but I was super hungry so I ate it. It was still the best apple I’ve had yet this season, because it retained all that flavor and juiciness. But right now I’m also into kale-melon-pear smoothies with soy milk, so I’m always picking up those ingredients at Stockbox.” –Kate Bandzmer, Marketing manager
Who They Are
Truffle Dog Company offers a variety of services and goods centered around truffles (the subterranean variety, not the chocolates!), including professional and recreational truffle dog training, harvesting services for orchards, consultation services, and truffles available for purchase. They are knowledgeable about this unique culinary gem, and are experts when it comes to training man’s best friend to harvest them! Truffle Dog Co has been a fabulous local partner that we’ve been lucky to work closely with. They have provided invaluable feedback that has helped us significantly improve our app, not to mention they publish some darn tasty recipes!
What the heck is a truffle??
“Truffles are the fruiting bodies (spore-bearing mechanisms) of underground mushrooms. The actual fungus from which the truffles grow are formed by an underground network of mycelium in a symbiotic relationship with a host plant. This mutually beneficial arrangement occurs when the fungal mycelium and the root cells of the plant grow together to create mycorrhizae. The plant provides sugars to the fungus through photosynthesis, and the fungus provides the plant with minerals, water, and other nutrients from the soil that it could not get by itself.” (truffledogcompany.com)
Why use dogs for harvesting?
“Why not, we say! Properly utilizing dogs (or pigs) for locating truffles is more gentle on the environment (and we think more fun!). Unripe truffles lack odor, and therefore don’t have much culinary value. Using dogs allows us to find only the ripe truffles with their amazing aromatics, thus preserving and ensuring optimum culinary value. Dogs also pinpoint the location of ripe truffles and thus less of the environment and fragile duff layer of the soil is disturbed when collecting.” (truffledogcompany.com)
Who They Are
TaylorMade Meals & Catering is a young Seattle business founded by Janna Taylor, a nutritionist and Bastyr University graduate who is passionate about healthy home cooked food. We first met Janna at the Queen Anne Farmers Market a few months back and were taken with her bubbly personality and excitement surrounding all things food. She describes her concept as “mama’s home cooked meals, but delivered to your door and healthier,” and offers delivery and catering services for both individual and corporate clients.
We got the chance to throw some questions Janna’s way and here’s what she had to share:
[Q] What’s your favorite kitchen gadget?
[A] Hands down my wooden reamer. A reamer is used to juice citrus fruits like lemons, limes or oranges. Fresh lime/lemon juice is far superior to its bottled counterpart and adds brightness to any dish. A reamer is small, efficient and less than $5. I use it with every meal I make.
[Q] What was your biggest “oops” moment in the kitchen?
[A] I was prepping homemade jambalaya for well over 200 people, and realized my knife was getting a little dull, so I honed it to get a better edge on it. Not 30 seconds back in to dicing [peppers], I cut myself….really bad. I went to the hospital and 2 hours later I was leaving with 5 shining new stitches in my pointer finger. Thank goodness the jambalaya event wasn’t for another two days!
[Q] Any obscure foods or restaurants that you love?
[A] I’ll take a raw oyster over a cooked one, any day of the week. [My] favorite places for raw oysters [are] Ballard Annex, The Walrus and the Carpenter, and Taylor Shellfish Farm.
[Q] What’s your biggest “guilty pleasure” food?
[A] I love bread and butter. With all the hype about gluten-free being healthy, sometimes I hide my bread love from people out of fear of judgment. But there’s no stopping it! I even make my own bread from scratch and churn my own butter.
[Q] Any little-known facts about you or your business?
[A] Everything I cook with is made from scratch. Butters, ketchup, mayo, mustard, salad dressings, marinades, stocks, sauces, pickles, jams, yogurt, the list goes on and on. When I moved into my house my partner had to build me another pantry just for my homemade condiments!
We adore each and every one of our Cookpanion Pros, and as you can see, each one really has a unique story to tell. I hope you’ve enjoyed learning a little more about the folks behind the magic. Now go enjoy cooking up some of their fabulous recipes!
Check in next Tuesday for our next post, and until then, happy cooking!