“We were delighted to be able to partner with Mandy Aftel to bring these unique ingredients to our customers,” stated Allyson Holt, Buyer for Williams-Sonoma’s food division. “There is truly nothing else like it on the market. Not only are they incredibly fun and easy to use, they also give the home chef some new inspiration in developing unique flavors and aromas in their dishes. I know that our customers will be inspired to create even more incredible flavors, using just one drop at a time.”
Already in use by a number of prominent chefs and mixologists, the six essences in the Aftelier collection allow cooks to heighten flavors of other ingredients, and to develop exciting flavor combinations. Chef Daniel Patterson, co-author of the Aroma cookbook with Aftel and founder of the 2 Michelin-star restaurant Coi in San Francisco said, "I started working with Mandy Aftel over 10 years ago, and I have been continually amazed at the quality of the oils she sources. I love using Aftelier Chef’s Essences in my cooking because of the way they heighten the flavor of other ingredients, and allow me to develop exciting flavor combinations. Try adding a drop of black pepper to potato soup, or ginger to sautéed carrots, or spearmint to lemonade."
Mixologist Audrey Saunders, owner of the acclaimed Pegu Club and a legend in the world of modern mixology, is also a longtime fan: "I have been working with Mandy's Chef’s Essences for the last number of years, and to say that they are ‘completely stunning’ and ‘of the highest quality’ would be understatements. They truly capture the quinta essentia, the life force, that lies within each botanical ingredient, and I've found that their mysterious beauty adds a certain je ne sais quoi to my cocktail work. A simple way to start is to dip a toothpick into Mandy’s ginger essence and then spear a piece of candied ginger onto it. The benefit is twofold -- not only do you now have an edible garnish, but you'll also be gently seduced by the soft, lingering waft of ginger aroma every time you pick up the glass to sip."
The collection is launching now at Williams-Sonoma with six essences, and plans to expand on the offerings in Fall 2012. The initial collection includes:
- Sweet Basil: great with tomatoes, salads, sauces, soups, chicken, fish, seafood, and meat; add a drop to marinades and vinaigrettes.
- Black Pepper: a welcome addition to soups, sauces, clear broths (no flakes!), marinades, meat, chicken, salads, pastas, cocktails—almost anything.
- Fresh Ginger: enlivens stir-fries, noodle salads, citrus, vinaigrettes, gingerbread, cookies, chocolate, fruit desserts, and whipped cream.
- Asian Lemon: a showstopper when added to vegetables, seafood, cocktails, tropical fruits, ice cream, and pound cake.
- Spearmint: adds sweet mint notes to Thai recipes, and freshness to teas, dressings, and sauces; great with ice cream, cocktails, beverages, and noodle dishes.
- Warm Nutmeg: perfect in cakes, puddings, and other desserts; also great in potato and vegetable dishes, stews, pasta sauces, poultry, and seafood.