Sunday, September 26, 2010

Blackmarket Magic

At Blackmarket Bakery last Monday night, I'm ready to experience a magical purple powder. All ready the talk of the town, the rich aubergine color comes from the formally useless skins of Cabernet grapes. This by-product of wine production is dried and ground into a fine silken flour and packaged under the Marche Noir label. Marche' Noir is the slick sis of Blackmarket Bakery, and successful chef/owner Rachel Klemek has turned this ingredient into beautiful things.

What happened next was unexpected, I had come to cook with a dozen local food blogger's, which is exciting enough, but it was Rachel's kitchen that moved me.
Just past the well presented retail space is the immaculate bakery production area, (I swear it's the poster child for Health Department's everywhere). The well organized space, both cozy and spacious is stocked with suitable baking supplies. Pristine red pots steam convincingly on the stove, while sacks of flour and sugar slump neatly under stainless steel tables, patiently waiting to be baked into something wonderful.
The kitchen is the envy of any one who dreams of a commercial enterprise and while I stood waiting to start, a feeling of homesickness washed over me.

It's been several years since I closed my own commercial kitchen and the whirl of double stacked ovens set on terracotta floor tiles, tugged at my heart, it was a odd nostalgic moment. I keep in mind the excruciating long days a food business takes, and know the hours are ten times what is posted on the door. I remind myself I'm here for the Cabernet Flour not a walk down memory lane!
Rachel Klemek has an amazing business and a high functioning product. The Cabernet flour mixes with traditional flour adding a unique flavor, amazing color and numerous health benefits. What I liked best, is the pasta will stay "aldente" when cooked, keeps it's color and absorbs sauce beautifully. The flour, when used in baking, offers ripe grape notes and is soft lavender or the concentrated color twisted through creates a stunning marbled effect.

 I couldn't possibly share the whole evening in one post, and do it justice. I met new people, reunited with some I met before, and loved cooking with them all. Rachel is generous with her ingredients and her kitchen, pulling everything out while we tear into her space. Masterpieces were created with her pasta and Cabernet Flour as well as a sink full of dishes. That is when I remembered, when it comes to the business of food, there are a few things I don't miss.


Kristen said...

cabernet and pasta go well together, I just never imagined cab in the pasta. Very cool.

Renee Weir- Fontes said...

It is cool. It is healthy, makes the pasta more durable and it looks great too!

~ Chef Louise said...

Was it a week ago already? Geez time flies! It's better to remember the dishes...Do you still have the salt bucket? If you do please post a pic~ I miss my old friend...

marla {family fresh cooking} said...

Renee, it was wonderful seeing you at Blackmarket Bakery last week. So glad to read how much fun you had. It was a truly spectacular evening. Rachel is a trooper & very giving person to have all of us in her fab kitchen.

Priscilla - She's Cookin' said...

OK, I'm in! It was a memorable evening for all of us. I hadn't been in a commercial kitchen in ages (as a server) and was excited to be actually cooking in one. And, I remember that sink full of dishes and asking Chef Rachel if she had someone to do those for her!