Specialty Food Magazine

FALL 2017

Specialty Food Magazine is the leading publication for retailers, manufacturers and foodservice professionals in the specialty food trade. It provides news, trends and business-building insights that help readers keep their businesses competitive.

Issue link: https://specialtyfoodmagazine.epubxp.com/i/873281

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Page 54 of 107

A Philadelphia Eagles tailgate party inadvertently kicked off TBJ Gourmet when Bruce Kramer's friends went wild over the bacon jam and goat cheese-stuffed jalapeño poppers he brought. The bacon jam espe- cially got extra points. His friends urged him to start selling it. A software engineer and an entrepreneurial chef go "all in" to bring bacon jam from tailgate party to a Front Burner Foodservice Pitch Competition win. BY JULIE BESONEN Kramer was an IT consultant and soft- ware engineer, however, not versed in how to scale production for a specialty food business. A friend recommended he take a tub of his bacon jam to an entrepreneurial chef, Michael Oraschewsky, whose 65-seat restaurant, Conshohocken Café, is in a Philadelphia suburb. "I came out of the kitchen to try it and it was absolutely delicious," recalls Oraschewsky, 36. Intrigued at its many possible uses, he spread it on burgers and added touches of it to seafood and vegetable dishes. His customers loved it so much that he and Kramer, 54, were encouraged to pursue the concept further. Explaining Bacon Jam So, what is bacon jam, exactly? For starters, the labor-intensive process takes six hours to complete. First, Oraschewsky dices up locally sourced bacon and boils it in a kettle until the fat bubbles up and looks like soapy water. He renders out the fat, saving it for other uses. Sweet white onions come next, browning until they caramelize. Then he adds some apple cider vinegar and brown sugar, giving it a deep molasses profile. Experimenting with different varieties at his restaurant, he threw in red chiles and garlic or used black pepper bacon, constantly stir- 52 ❘ SPECIALTY FOOD MAGAZINE specialtyfood.com Bruce Kramer and Michael Oraschewsky, TBJ Gourmet Bringing Home the Bacon producer profile

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