With a “living to eat” philosophy toward health and wellbeing that’s liberally seasoned with a love for tasty food, the sister team of Lauren and Simone Temkin has partnered with onion giant Gills Onions to introduce a cutting-edge product called Fermentata.
Fermentata is being taken by the Temkins and Gills to the National Restaurant Association’s Restaurant, Hotel-Motel Show May 20-23 at McCormick Place in Chicago and then to the PMA Foodservice show in Monterey July 28-20, Lauren and Simone told OnionBusiness.com’s Sherise Jones recently.
The premise of the product simple while at the same time cutting-edge – take raw, diced onions and ferment them. Gills has the onions; the sisters have the expertise in probiotic fermentation.
Sherise sat down with Lauren and Simone Temkin in their hometown of Santa Barbara, CA, last weekend to discuss this new venture, and she said her initial takeaway from the meeting was “if Fermentata’s success is based on passion alone, the company will be an overnight hit!”
She added, “The sisters walk the walk of health and wellness and couldn’t be more committed to the power of their fermented diced onions.”
It was after they developed their probiotic-imbuing product that the two approached Steve Gill, who with his brother, David, heads up the fourth-generation onion operation in Oxnard, CA. Gills Onions is a giant in the industry, offering all manner of processed onions for foodservice, retail and industrial users.
Lauren told Sherise the first meeting with Steve was encouraging.
“Steve Gill is genuinely interested in health and wellness, and from the first time we met with him, he was intrigued with our product. Initially, we were looking for him to mentor us, but one day he said, ‘So what do you really want from me?’ Then Simone blurted out, ‘Well, we want you to build a little factory in the back and manufacture our product.’ At the time, I couldn’t believe it, because Simone is not that forward.”
Simone added, “And Steve, being the good business man he is, didn’t just automatically jump at the request. He wanted to make sure it was feasible and that it made sense, so the next thing you know, we are all flying to Sonoma Brinery in Healdsburg, CA, to meet with a our friend, David Ehreth. After that meeting the partnership began, and Steve decided to move forward.”
“We couldn’t have found a better company to align ourselves with than Gills,” Lauren said. “Between the help and support of Steve and the dynamic marketing skills of Teri Trost, we are in a great position to land some major contracts.”
The women are looking at multiple outlets for their product, Lauren said.
“We do intend to market Fermentata in retail, but our initial focus is foodservice. That’s why we are going with Gills to the NRA Show. We will also be at PMA Foodservice, but NRA will be the debut of our product. We are beyond excited about it,” Lauren told Sherise.
“While major restaurants and professional chefs love the versatility of fermented products, frankly they just don’t have the facilities required to make the products, and that’s where we come in,” Simone continued. “And the possibilities for chefs to take their menus to a whole new level are endless with our onions. Plus, it’s not just the onions that will enhance menu items. The brine is so flavorful that it can be used alone to develop dishes that are out of this world!”
Simone’s culinary experience is a big factor in the product’s development, the women agreed.
“With my chef background I am in charge of R&D, and I have so many recipes that will spark the interest of professional chefs. With just a few spices, our onions can be used to transform an ordinary dish into something spectacular, taking the flavor profile to a whole new level. Imagine adding mustard seed to Fermentata onions – in a few hours, you have a condiment that takes an ordinary hot dog from OK to WOW! And I will be taking these recipes to NRA.”
The Chicago event will be, Lauren noted, “a family affair,” with the two sisters representing Fermentata, Steve and David with Gills, and the mother-daughter marketing team of Teri and Erica Trost for Gills Onions
And, the sisters noted, they will be taking sales orders at the show.
For more information on this new product, visit http://www.gillsonions.com/fermentata. You’ll find it’s probiotic, all natural, gluten-free, non-GMO and a whole lot more.
One of the Temkin sisters’ amazing recipes:
Korean Spice Blend (Gochuchang)
2-4 cups Fermentata Classic or Golden Turmeric
2-3 Tablespoon Korean red pepper flakes (“Gochugaru”)
1 teaspoon ground ginger or 1 Tablespoon minced fresh Ginger
½ Tablespoon garlic powder or 2 Tablespoons fresh minced or Roasted Garlic
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
½ Tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
2 Tablespoon Fish Sauce *
1 Tablespoon dark brown sugar *
1 teaspoon kosher salt *
You may need to visit your local international market or Asian grocery store to source the Korean red pepper flakes. Gochugaru is the corner stone of the Korean flavor profile and is used in many dishes to lend a traditional kick of smoky heat. It is what gives kimchi its robust red color and spicy ‘flavor’. Mix all ingredients and add to 2-4 cups of fermented onion. For best results, allow to marinade with onions for 2-24 hrs. This could stand alone as one of numerous side dish served traditionally with Korean meals, and in particular, could lend itself well to bulgogi bibimbap and any lettuce wrap as a condiment/ topping. Omit fish sauce if vegetarian alternative is desired.