It was a beautiful day, so we should have known better. We should have averted our eyes and kept on strolling in the sunshine along Commercial Street. But walking by Le Roux Kitchen is just not something I am physically capable of doing. And anyway, we NEEDED a new pepper grinder.
Once in the door, we immediately veared to the right toward the shiny little silver barrels sitting shoulder-high in a gleaming, beckoning row. Filled with flavored olive oils and balsamic vinegars, these tasting barrels are a LeRoux must-do. A turn of a spigot yields sweet, spicy and savory combinations that will blow your socks off. Hint: try a combo of the fig balsamic vinegar and the blood-orange olive oil.
At the end of one row sit two barrels in a place of honor: the white and black truffle oils. Intensely flavored and rich, these are not for the faint of heart. One whiff can send me over the edge – craving a plate of buttery mashed potatoes or risotto to absorb the thick nectar.
After a full half-hour of tasting we sauntered through the hardwood cutting board aisle, peered at the martini shakers, and stood mesmerized in front of the Kitchen Aid mixers and Le Crecet vessels for a full 20 minutes before finally making our way to the salt and pepper shelves. We were immediately overwhelmed. Should we buy the brand recommended by Mario Batali or the expensive French mill? We liked the look of one blond wood mill, but it was labeled for salt. After a few minutes of bewilderment, Adam turned to me and queried, “Is there really a difference between a salt grinder and a pepper grinder anyway?”
Matt strolled over to help us out (or set us straight, depending on how you look at it). A culinary school graduate and former chef, Matt has truly found his calling as a LeRoux sales rep and general foodie advisor. “Look at it this way man, pepper is a seed and salt is a rock. You definitely need two different tools.” After that sage advice and a lengthy chat with Matt we finally made our choice and headed for the checkout counter. Outside the sun was setting and a chill filled the air.
Another sunny afternoon spent in the foodie cave.