So I must say, one of the really cool things about writing this blog is occasionally I get some event invitations. Last week I was invited to attend an event where my friend Chef Julius was showcasing Butterball Farms butter. “Lunch? And you’re cooking, Chef? Um, yeah, I can make it!” It was actually a pretty interesting event, kind of like a focus group, where Butterball Farms was looking for feedback on some of their products.
About the company: Butterball Farms makes butter (not turkeys) and they also own a company which makes compound butters (Epicurean Butter) which were all featured in the dishes Chef Julius prepared. It seemed to me they were looking for three things: how did the products taste; ideas on how to use the products; and how can they market to the commercial food industry. I think I gave some pretty good feedback on the first two of those questions. I tried the compound butters they had on the table and of the 6 or so they had I definitely liked the porcini mushroom/sage one the best, and that even includes the truffle butter they made, which is pretty amazing because as you know, I love truffles. I really liked the flavors of the porcini/sage one. It’d be great on or inside pasta or used to finish a sauce for something like saltimbocca. Another non-truffle butter I liked was their tomato-chipotle butter. It had a nice spiciness to it which I thought would be great spread on a toasted hamburger bun (with a hamburger of course). There were a couple of sweet butters like orange-honey and the salted caramel which I thought would be absolutely spot-on for breakfast dishes like waffles or French toast. Not sure where Epicurean butters are available in Chicago but if you see them in your grocery store give them a try.
The lunch itself was delicious. We started out with some shrimp in creole spices, then had some pork tenderloin which was seasoned with (if memory serves me correctly) a Blackened Old Bay butter. Chef then used the black truffle butter to toast some pretzel buns for a lobster roll where the lobster was poached in truffle butter. Decadent and rich! The last course consisted of mango jerk chicken cooked with Stirling Farms unsalted butter (another subsidiary) with green beans in truffle butter. In the meantime there was a huge platter filled with different types of bread to sample all of their butters.
I did receive a nice swag bag with some butter products in it (see photo) and searched out one with a small tub of the porcini/sage compound butter. Additionally, on my way out the door one of the product developers gave me a big bag of their unbreakable butter sauce on the condition I let her know what I make with it (haven’t touched it yet, but I will!). As far as events go this one was pretty fun. I mean, I got a very delicious lunch and people were actually paying attention to some of my thoughts and ideas! I also met some really nice people and had great time talking about my passion: food.
PS – the next post you see will be from the road…we’re headed back to Spain!