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."