The country's most talented artisans are turning out better versions of kitchen basics like honey, sea salt and granola.
In 2011, Jean Devine and Kate Suhr, who met volunteering for a New York City nonprofit, began hosting monthly supper clubs at Devine's apartment in Brooklyn. One night, the menu included butternut squash bisque, mushrooms stuffed with brioche and root-vegetable pot pie, everything served on rustic clay dishes that Devine had made herself. But what the guests were still talking about weeks later was the parting gift—a little bag of homemade granola, from a recipe Suhr liked to tinker with in pursuit of breakfast perfection.
That recipe is now the cornerstone of Jean & Kate granola. It's subtly sweet, with a touch of maple syrup, and jammed with nuts and dried fruit—cherries, pineapple or cranberries from the Devine family's bogs in Massachusetts. (Her great-grandfather got into the cranberry business in the 1950s.) "I always felt mass-produced granola didn't have enough stuff in it," Suhr says. "We wanted ours to be chock-full."
Devine and Suhr launched the business in the now-familiar DIY Brooklyn way. After their supper clubs, the two women were so inundated with requests for their granola that they decided to test-drive it at a local holiday fair. Soon, Jean & Kate granola became a fixture at the Brooklyn Flea. The women now sell soft, chewy cookies alongside the granola at Brooklyn Flea's food market, Smorgasburg.
It was at Brooklyn Flea that someone in chef April Bloomfield's sphere noticed Devine's stoneware—stark, natural in hue, the bottom halves left unglazed. Bloomfield placed an 800-piece order for Salvation Taco, her newest Manhattan restaurant, which took Devine months to fill. Devine and Suhr are well aware that their pace is out of sync with most New Yorkers, but they prefer it that way. "We like to think we're revolutionizing breakfast in a city where people barely have time to eat it," Devine says. $10 for 10 oz; jeanandkate.com