A visit to Boat Street Cafe for a little pickling

I lived vicariously in a previous life. Or, more correctly, it was my job to, and when the opportunity arises, I still do. As an environmental portrait photojournalist and documentary filmmaker I “live the life” of others. Sometimes it’s a short moment or maybe an hour or so, and sometimes it’s off and on for months, even years.

So, when the opportunity to tell the story of Boat Street Pickles (they’re not pickles, they’re pickled) from a favorite restaurant here, I knew I had to meet Chef Renee at the cafe. I love any excuse to go into other people’s kitchens! You never know what you might see and every one is unique in some way.

Renee’s pickled treats are beyond the average condiment. Though the action is the same, just spoon and place, these treats are more glorious than just an add-on ingredient like ketchup and mustard. They are complete elements that “brighten” a dish. When I first tasted them, I thought, “what dish could I design around them?” That’s how inspiringly good they are!

When I asked Chef Renee, who has had Boat Street Café for 13 years now, what inspired her to create the pickled products, she didn’t really have an answer. She had created them for dishes at the restaurant, to “brighten” and add character without being too heavy or too sweet. After repeated requests from patrons to take some home, Renee took on the task of converting the “kitchen” recipes from Cafe to market.

You can use them on cheese, on a pork chop, as a side on a dish, or on a simple sandwich that needs brightening.

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