Saturday, January 10, 2015

Talking to New York’s First, and Only, Mustard Sommelier

Oh Good grief.
Now I like mustard as much as the next guy but...
From Grub Street:
This past weekend, venerated, centuries-old French mustard brand Maille opened its first stand-alone boutique in the U.S., on Manhattan's Upper West Side. Maille currently operates similar showrooms in Paris, London, and of course in Dijon, so make no mistake: This is a permanent affair, not a pop-up, and it's stocked accordingly. Other than classic cornichons, the Maille shop carries a wide-range of flavors in jars and pours mustard on tap, "filled by hand" in stoneware jars, up to 18.6 ounces. There are more than twenty varieties — morel, Cognac, and black truffle among them. And the whole thing is overseen by Pierette Huttner, who holds the title of "Mustard Sommelier" — a job that has us very intrigued. Grub talked to Huttner to see just exactly what the gig entails.

How does someone even train to become a mustard sommelier?
I started with Maille earlier this year, and worked in all the stores around the world. The store in Dijon is a very special experience, because there are three things — black currants, gingerbread, and mustard — that traditionally come from there. I'm very familiar with the process and the recipes. We lead clients through tastings, whether that's mustard on tap or though the expanded range of jarred mustard.

So, if you were blindfolded, would you be able to correctly I.D. all of the mustards?
Yes. I absolutely would....MORE
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"Ye Olde Artisanal Stock Pickery & Son" (or "Equity investing as a luxury good") 
Artisanal Pencil Sharpener Considers Career Change 
The Future Will be Artisanal Everything (HAIN; AHFP)
I'm in the Wrong Business Part 625: "$20 for a bottle of water? Your water sommelier will bring the menu right away" 
The World is Going Artisanal-- Caffeine: The Magazine
Testing Small-batch Artisanal Portfolio Construction With Cliff Asness and Grantham, Mayo's James Montier
"The Economics of Artisanal Chocolate" (Here at Zero-bound Chocolates, We Believe...)