Butter/Manufacturing Cream – I’ve been eating Gilt Edge Creamery's butter since I first had it in a local restaurant in 2002. It was the best I’d ever had and their SF distribution warehouse happened to be around the corner from my office. It continues to be of unequaled quality so there wasn't a question which butter I would use when I started making Bacon Crack, as I already had a personal relationship with their team. It was a natural fit to also use their manufacturing cream once I started making caramels.
Chocolate – For enrobing our confections, we only use 72% E. Guitard Coucher du Soliel. The quality of Guittard Chocolate Company's chocolate is beyond reproach. Guittard is a 145 year old, family-run, bean to bar chocolate company originally from San Francisco, now located just down the road in Burlingame. We have started work on developing some truffles and for the ganache we are using a blend of two Guittard chocolates and one chocolate from Tcho
Sugar – I use Fair Trade, organic cane sugar from Wholesome Sweeteners.
Almonds - I found Kashiwase Farms organic almonds at a farmer’s market and never looked back.
Walnuts – I’m just going to say it: Old Dog Ranch makes the best walnuts ever. There. I said it. Not taking it back.
Honey – I first tried Bay Area Bee Company’s “Bay Area Blend” at a craft fair in 2011 and knew immediately what I had to make with it. Honey Walnut Fleur de Sel Caramels were born soon thereafter.
Balsamic Vinegar – True Balsamic Vinegar (Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale) is only grown in and around Modena, Italy. DaVero Farms in the Dry Creek Valley has been fortunate to partner with a farmer there to import a 15 year aged True Balsamic that is “magic in a bottle.”
Meyer Lemons – I hand harvest Meyer lemons from my friends’ backyard trees in San Francisco and Oakland. I trade them homemade limoncello and Meyer Lemon Salted Caramels for their lemons. Win/win.
Salt – There are a million types of salt. I have found both Esprit du Sel and Fleur de Sel from Guerande, France to be the best salts to add to my caramels and toffees. I also use both Black Lava and Pink Alaea salts from Hawaii and applewood-smoked salt from Washington as finishing salt on my caramels.
Vanilla Beans – We use organically grown Madagascar Bourbon vanilla beans from Aust and Hachmann.