Last night at the fancy new Brooklyn Winery, the five contestants in the Next Big Small Brand gathered to dish out some good eats and be judged by the contest’s panel and audience. The winner? Sweet Loren’s, the Manhattan-based cookie and brownie dough company that uses no refined or processed ingredients. Winner Loren Brill actually has an amazing story, going the health food route after her mother died of cancer and battling cancer herself. The volume of her celebration pretty much said it all about how she felt about winning the prize.
One of my favorites at the contest was actually the Bombay Emerald Chutney Company. Next time you hit up any of these farmers markets, make sure to pick up the Royal Mint Chutney, an insanely spicy, delicious blend of coriander, lime juice, mint leaves and green chilies. Even though Bombay didn’t win, I’m hoping that this contest gives the company the exposure it needs to make it to the next level, if only because I want to be able to pick up jars of that delicious chutney somewhat closer to my apartment.
Another great competitor in attendance was Brooklyn Cured, who won my approval after feeding me delicious sausage. I mean, this was some good stuff, no surprise considering owner Scott Bridi used to work at Gramercy Tavern and Williamsburg butcher shop Marlow and Daughters. Despite only existing for four months, Brooklyn Cured is putting out delicious things: the lamb sausage with black olives was especially tasty, a blend of cured lamb mixed with red wine, black pepper and calamata olives.
Liddabit Sweets was also there; they put out some pretty good products, but my feeling was they were already too successful to garner any goodwill with the judges. Fair? Who knows, although owners Liz Gutman and Jen King probably aren’t sweating it, as they already have a booth at the Brooklyn Flea.
La NewYorkina’s Fany Gerson was also there handing out tiny fruit pops. She said she recognized me from somewhere, which is probably true, as I’m always skulking around the shadows of food events, on the hunt for free booze. All in all, a great event; can’t wait to see who is nominated next year.