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Rick Mindermann

Darrell Corti, owner of Sacramento’s beloved Corti Brothers, is an old fashioned and trusted shopkeeper. He is an expert in the production and history of the food and beverages he sells in his artisanal grocery and ensures that his staff is well trained to carry that knowledge to the customer. Corti handpicks the majority of his specialty products in his extensive travels and during biweekly wine tastings. He also utilizes his relationships with local artisans. (Luckily, one can order his products online!)

Corti is not just any local shopkeeper. We spoke with Rick Mindermann, store director and personal assistant to Corti, about Corti’s world renowned contributions to the food world including the introduction of Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale (Traditional Balsamic Vinegar) to the United States. By importing and educating consumers about this rare artisinal product, Corti has effectively protected the product and encouraged its survival.

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The Bittermans

Marcos and I recently sat down to interview Mark Bitterman, who with his wife Jennifer Turner Bitterman, owns The Meadow a salt, chocolate, drink and flower shop with locations in Portland and New York.  Mark is a selmelier, or an expert in finishing salts and salting techniques.

He is also the author of Salted: A Manifesto on the World’s Most Essential Mineral, with Recipes. His book is stunning.  It is being given the attention that it deserves with the 2011 James Beard Foundation Award and the Christian Science Monitor named it one of the six best food books coming this Fall.  Needless to say, we were extremely lucky to meet with Mark.  He gave us a great deal of history and instruction on salts, and discussed his passion for cooking and life.  

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