Photo by Ozier Muhammad/The New York Times
Jon Orren of Wheelhouse Pickles.
It's food day in the NY Times, technically "Dining," formerly "Dining In, Dining Out," but since the latter has fallen on hard times, they appear to be focusing on the fact that people do, despite all, continue to eat.
Lead article? "Brooklyn's New Culinary Movement," which I can attest is in fine fettle, having visited a few of its highlights, notably Grand Army Plaza's Farmers Market and the same in Fort Greene, and just the night before last having walked, via a friend's house, on a big circuit in the freeeeeezing cold just to pick up the delicious roast chicken at Union Market (Bostonians, think Savenors plus Whole Foods set in an area about the size of the original Bread & Circus in Brookline). And those are just cream skimmings, so to speak, of the great eats in Brooklyn -- try Russo's (they need a real website, hint), for example, (there's one in Brooklyn too, Watertown Russo's lovers) for superb mozzarella or the new Cataldo's on Vanderbilt in Prospect Heights for some good down-home Italian cooking.
So today's Times has a great survey of all the young Brooklyn culinary artists, opening up new pots of ideas, including Newton's very own Jon Orren, pictured here, of Wheelhouse Pickles. Last I saw Jon was about a year ago on Seventh Avenue in Park Slope (I admit it, I'm in NY a lot) and he was dropping off pickles at a local shop. He makes them; I've sampled them; and they're good.
How do I know Jon? He taught me to cook. Yes, that's an exaggeration but he did teach me a culinary trick about ten years ago that has vastly improved my soup making and which everyone reading here already knows: saute the veggies until they're just caramelized before plopping them in the soup.
I actually got to watch Jon perform this feat while sitting at my kitchen table. Jon loves to cook the way Daughter #1 does, in that he was then cooking at Harvest Restaturant in Harvard Square and she was in culinary school. They decided to team up for a New Year's Eve dinner with their high school friends (Newton North, class of 1995) and divvied up the responsibilities. Jon was on soup and I can't remember what Miranda was in charge of but, as I recall, they served quite the tasty repast.
Congrats, Jon, and, everyone, order up your Wheelhouse Pickles today!