Meet Matt Jamie - Founder of Bourbon Barrel Foods. Creator of this month's Bourbon Smoked Pepper and a whole line of bourbon smoked products - from salt to soy sauce. We are honored to be featuring Matt + Bourbon Barrel Foods in our March Basket.
What Inspired You To Start Your Company?
I have a hard time working for other people.
Tell us about your products.
Bourbon Barrel Foods makes gourmet food products that are inspired by Bourbon and Bourbon Country.
What Does Being A Small-Batch “Craftsman” Mean To You?
One word, PASSION.
What is your favorite small-batch treat?
My crew is turning me into a micro brewed beer nerd. I also love this bread from Blue Dog Bakery, our local bakery. It’s so crunchy. My kids and I can crush an entire loaf with some soft butter and and a sprinkle of our bourbon smoked sea salt!
What Drew You To Food?
My mother always had cool kitchen gadgets…I was a picky eater, but liked to help because the tools she used look like fun…
I love to create. And like a lot of chefs I know I’m very Type B…creative, reflective, and enjoy exploring new concepts and ideas…I’m in the perfect industry for me and believe that I am doing exactly what it is that I’m supposed to…I get to work with something different every single day…helps with my inability to focus on any one task for more than an hour or two…I currently have almost 2 dozen projects going… none are completed.
Where Does Your Food Inspiration Come From?
My inspiration comes from the state I love, Kentucky, and the industry I'm enamored with, bourbon…I love working with what both have to offer.
What Products Are You Working On Now?
Really excited about our new line of spices…Bourbon Smoked Togarashi, Bourbon Smoked Cocoa Nibs, Bourbon Smoked Sesame Seeds, Bourbon Smoked Adobo Seasoning, and we are working on a BBQ sauce for the summer…
Do You Have a Favorite Product?
Bluegrass Soy Sauce. it’s my baby.
Latest Ingredient Obsession?
Brooks Reitz’s Jack Rudy Cocktail Co. has a Small Batch Grenadine. Everybody in the BBF office has enjoyed it…especially when we did our Bourbon Hurricanes for Fat Tuesday.
What Did You Have For Dinner Last Night?
I actually ate very well last night…went to my buddy Ed Lee’s restaurant Milkwood with a friend and had Octopus bacon, chicken and waffles and the best ramen in the city.
What Person, Living Or Dead, Would You Most Like To Have Try Your Product?
Not a very fair question…there are so many I’d love to have the approval of…Benjamin Franklin because of his entrepreneurial spirit, Julia Child, because she’s JULIA…BUT, if I had to pick one person—Kate Hudson—I think she’d like it, A LOT!!!
What’s The Best Piece Of Advice You’ve Gotten In Building Your Business? What Advice Would You Give Other craftsmen?
Make mistakes. Learn from mistakes. Don’t make the same mistake twice. Advice to other craftsman…maintain your passion for what you do, it keeps things from feeling like work! Hire a good bookkeeper. Makes all the difference in the world.
What Other Local Food Craftsmen or Chefs Do You Admire?
Brooks Reitz, Jack Rudy Cocktail Co. He has a lot of style. His products are gorgeous and innovative. Scott Witherow of Olive and Sinclair. His product packaging is artwork and the vibe he’s working in down in Nashville is both enviable and admirable.
If You Had To Choose Your Last Meal, What Would It Be?
Favorite Restaurant or Food Experience?
Fav Food experience…chefs table in Alba, Italy during truffle fest at Piazza Duomo Michelin 3 star…I ate with a puppet.
What Do You Enjoy Doing Outside of the Kitchen?
I enjoy spending time with my kids, hanging with friends and traveling.
What’s Your Favorite Kitchen Soundtrack?
Been listening to a shit ton of Tom Petty these days…
What is your favorite recipe to make with your Bourbon Smoked Pepper?
This is a quick and very simple appetizer that is about as Kentucky and local as it gets. The cheese is creamy, the peppercorns are biting, and the sorghum is earthy and sweet. Great textural contrasts as well…
4 oz locally made goat cheese
Generous sprinkle of Bourbon Barrel Foods Bourbon Smoked Peppercorns
Drizzle of Pure Cane Sorghum
Serve with crackers
What other product in our March basket would you most want to try?
That’s a tough one…I was recently at PokPok and tried Andy’s drinking vinegar, AMAZING!
Stay In Touch With BBF