Q: Tell us a little about yourself?
A: I grew up in the Central Valley around family farms and restaurants. So, I think I had the best of both worlds! I not only learned the love of food, but also a love and appreciation of the land. I have been in restaurants for over 23 years as a chef or owner for most of that time. It has been an amazing life, rough at times, yet I absolutely love it. I have three daughters and wanted to create a balance with them, so that they also can be involved in sharing my passion for great food. When the opportunity to join the Sparrow Lane team arose, I knew it was where I would be able to combine all my culinary loves. Since I had been using Sparrow Lane Vinegars for a long time in my own kitchens, it just made sense.
Q: Why “head chef and marketing guy”?
A: Being hands on, I work directly with distributors, brokers and consumers to develop new business all around the country. I am able to create and share healthy recipes that use vinegars as an ingredient to enhance the true flavor of food utilizing my culinary skills.
Q: What makes Sparrow Lane Vinegar so different?
A: Following in the footsteps of our founder, we use only the finest wines from the Napa and Sonoma regions, the best fruits and herbs from throughout California, such as a special variety of apples from Santa Rosa. But, our main emphasis is on the time tested Orleans method of making barrel aged vinegars, taking 13 to 24 months to make our vinegars! It allows us to get the best flavor and balance of fruit and acid to create the finest vinegars in the market place.
Q: How many varieties of vinegar do you offer?
A: We currently offer 22 varietals. This covers both the necessities of the commercial kitchens and professional chefs, as well as, diversity in retail for the home chef and food enthusiast to experience cooking in a whole new healthy way.
Q: Are you creating any new varieties?
A: We are always considering what the consumer is looking for and continue to experiment with new ideas and recipes. We focus on showing how to truly use vinegar to create healthy dishes that are exciting and bring out the most flavors. We just introduced our California Brewed Rice Wine Vinegar that is amazingly complex and naturally robust with 5% acid. Ours is a whole new twist on Rice Wine Vinegar.
Q: You mentioned healthy, why is that?
A: Quality vinegar like Sparrow Lane does not add colors, flavorings or other unnatural additives that are often found in mass produced vinegar. When using Sparrow Lane Vinegar as an ingredient, you can cut back on the salt or eliminate it all together. Being so well balanced, this brings out the true natural flavors in your favorite recipes.