Amy Hoyt | OO Mommie
The creators of OO MOMMIE were inspired by a passion for canning that started at their bakery 20 years ago. Long before it was popular, the chefs were adamant about using only the best possible ingredients in their jams and relishes - a practice that continues today! Sourcing only the best, garden-fresh ingredients for all of their delicious condiments, OO MOMMIE buys in-season and locally-grown produce for all of their seasonal small batch offerings. Cooking low and slow they concentrate the flavors that result in addictive condiments that brighten up food and excite the palate.
What Inspired You To Start Your Company?
I had a very clear vision of what I wanted to create and I didn’t see anything like it on the market. I was partially inspired by the farm to table movement in which local chefs use what is available and in season to drive their creative expression. I was primarily inspired by the farm wives and victory gardeners of the first half of the 20th century, most of whom did not have the influence of the industrial food complex to dictate that a condiment was limited to tomato ketchup, mayonnaise, yellow mustard and pickles. Those women created amazing condiments from what was in their gardens. And if you think you’ll find no more than canned tomato recipes, pick up a vintage canning/preserving book and let your mind be blown. OO MOMMIE is a vehicle for my own creative expression. Utilizing fresh, seasonal ingredients and inspiration from the past, I give life to something beautifully modern and delicious.
Tell us about your products.
OO MOMMIE is the brand name of an original line of gourmet condiments. Our brand name originates from the Japanese word Umami, which defines the savory or fifth flavor profile on the palate and can also be translated as a beautiful taste. Our product line includes uniquely crafted ketchup, savory jam, mustard, relish and chutney, specifically created as part of a progressive industry movement to bring restaurant quality flavor choices to the home cook. This is the foundation of our pursuit to rediscover the essence of forgotten and lost condiments from the 18t h and 19t h centuries while giving them a modern flavor profile.
Why do you believe in small-batch products?
I think the words “small batch” imply a breaking away from the industrial food complex that has us eating like cattle in a feedlot. Small batch is rebellious and creative and chef driven. Small batch uses what’s local and in-season to collect the best from fresh ingredients, without using chemical enhancements or modifiers, to capture the pinnacle of flavor from the produce. When you consume small batch you are experiencing a moment in the harvest calendar that is unique, that’s why each batch is slightly different and special.
What makes your product better than the their mass produced counterparts?
The OO MOMMIE condiment line provides an opportunity for the home chef to break from the limitations of the standard staples ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise and salsa. Our goal is to exploit the rapid trend of rediscovered flavor combinations currently being offered in restaurant menu selections. With the infinite array of recipe possibilities such as glazes, vinaigrettes, marinades and sauces, OO MOMMIE brings a fresh new perspective to the condiment world.
What is your favorite small-batch treat?
What Drew You To Food?
I come from midwestern farm stock where delicious, fresh food was always important in my family. My mother has an adventurous spirit and a great palate. She was always trying new gourmet trends or foreign cuisine and cooking techniques and she throws amazing dinner parties. I remember the kitchen being the most important room in our house and where I spent most of my time as a child, so I suppose it was natural that I became a chef. My mom always says, “No matter where I serve my guest, they always like my kitchen best!”
Where Does Your Food Inspiration Come From?
A true artist will tell you that inspiration comes from everywhere, and that is true. My imagination is sparked by ingredients in the local and foreign markets in Denver, the change of seasons, watching and working with other chefs, and cooking for others. I’m very rarely NOT thinking of food.
What Products Are You Working On Now?
I am constantly coming up with new products and flavor combinations. I carry a small notebook with me so I can jot down ideas wherever I might find myself. Crabapples are getting ready to drop here in Denver and I will be producing OO MOMMIE’s Crabapple Thyme Jelly and Crabapple Walnut Butter for the fall. The Crabapple Jelly is good on toast but I like it in my scotch oldfashioned.
Do You Have a Favorite Product?
It depends on the season and what I’m eating but the Mushroom Ketchup is my year round, best seller.
Latest Ingredient Obsession?
I found a source for dried flowers such as borage, safflower and nasturtiums and am working on some condiments that highlight their delicate flavors.
What Did You Have For Dinner Last Night?
Caprese Salad with locally made fresh mozzarella, farmers market tomato and basil out of my garden, topped with a dressing of balsamic vinegar and OO MOMMIE Peach Mostarda. Crusty bread and a glass of Pinot Gris and that’s a summer dinner.
What Person, Living or Dead, Would You Most Like To Have Try Your Product?
My grandmother on my mother’s side. She was a phenomenal cook, grew her own garden, canned and even made her own soap. She died when I was young but I think we are kindred spirits and I would love to cook for her.
What’s The Best Piece Of Advice You’ve Gotten In Building Your Business? What Advice Would You Give Other artisans?
Know yourself, know your product, don’t give up.
What Other Local Food Artisans or Chefs Do You Admire?
If You Had To Choose Your Last Meal, What Would It Be?
Venison Tenderloin with a Mushroom Ketchup and dried Cherry Pan Sauce, Caramelized Onions and Roasted Potatoes
Favorite Restaurant or Food Experience?
My brother lives in Taiwan and visiting such a beautiful country with an incredibly diverse food culture made the trip a dream and was a big inspiration for the Mushroom Ketchup and Spicy Tomato Jam.
What Do You Enjoy Doing Outside of the Kitchen?
What’s Your Favorite Kitchen Soundtrack?
I let my son play DJ in the kitchen. He has the most fun and eclectic taste in music, covering all genres. We could be listening to the Kooks and then some top 40 hit and then Elvis and Stevie Wonder and back to some Cake. It helps keep me alert.
What is your favorite recipe to make with the product featured in our basket?
I love making a Corn and Radish Succotash with Yellow and Green Onion. I toss the salad with a squeeze of lime and Peach Mostarda. This is a great summer salad on it’s own or as a side to grilled protein.