We�re Wacky About Wackym�s Kitchen Hatch Chocolate Chip Cookies

It’s Paul Wackym, to see Rex,” he said into the intercom.

Let him in, Cheryl!” I cried. “He makes the world’s best cookies!” And then I promptly went running over to my marketing teammates to tell them that Paul Wackym was in the house. The purpose of his visit was to share a couple of versions of his Hatch chocolate chip cookie with our specialty foods buyer, Rex Howell-Smith. Paul was creating the cookie especially for our Hatch Chile Festival.

Of course we hovered like vultures until the meeting was over so we could sample.

You might be thinking that declaring Dallas-based Wackym’s Kitchen cookies the best in the world is a pretty bold statement, considering the amazing assortment we carry at Central Market—not to mention the line of fresh-baked cookies we just launched in our Bakery. But the cookies coming out of Wackym’s Kitchen are different and, dare I say it, addictive.

For one thing, they are small, which I like to think makes them a guilt-free indulgence. For another they are crispy, so you get the crunch of a salty snack but the satisfaction of a sweet treat. The flavors are modern twists on classics, such as chocolate snicker doodle or oatmeal walnut currant, or just unexpectedly delicious, such as salted caramel (my all-time favorite) or rosemary cornmeal shortbread. Paul has a fondness for the latter, which he explains in this recent article on Entrée Dallas.

Any day is a great day for one of Wackym’s cookies, but you need to scoot on over to Central Market during our Hatch Chile Festival so you can stock up on those Hatch chocolate chip cookies we tasted that day. Heck, stock up on all varieties, because they’re $1 off until August 30. Paul himself is doing demonstrations in our stores, so keep your fingers crossed that he’s there when you visit. Tell him we sent you.

Trentino Chef Series Gelato Now Available at Central Market Houston

Trentino has upped its own ante by launching the Chef Series—pints made with Houston’s best chefs, including Monica Pope (T’afia), Robert Del Grande (RDG + Bar Annie), Ryan Pera (Revival Market), Jonathan Jones (Beaver’s), Nash D’Amico’s (D’Amico’s) and Anita Jaisinghani (Indika and Pondicheri). The packaging feels as special and handcrafted as the gelato inside, thanks to the black-and-white rendering of each chef, as well as an explanation of the inspiration behind each flavor. The gelato is made with organic and local ingredients, per the chef’s directions. Kriendel also contributed to the series, with almond fig, which he calls a heavenly blend of roasted almond with a special fig spread.

Perhaps most exciting, Central Market is the first to market with these gelatos, which are available at the Houston store only starting August 18. To tease your taste buds, here’s a preview of some of the flavors:
Mascarpone With Berries, by Chef Monica Pope
After falling in love with pure white gelato on a recent trip to Italy, Monica created this gelato spotted with seasonal berries using mascarpone from Sicily.

Peanut Butter Chipotle by Chef Jonathan “JJ” Jones
Smokey, sweet, nutty, creamy, cold and spicy—this kick-ass flavor combination was inspired by JJ’s early experience with peanut-drven mole. Una fista en la boca!

Italian Spumoni by Chef Nash D’Amico
Houston’s only authentic Italian spumoni combines three flavors in one pint—made-from-scratch chocolate, house-cured cherry and Sicilian pistachio.

Sorghum Sea Salt by Chef Ryan Pera
Jurassic sea salt found on Galveston Island is the original flavor and inspiration for this gelato. Salty, sweet and crunchy—the boldest creation in any frozen food section!

Trentino Chef Series Gelato Now Available at Central Market Houston

Trentino has upped its own ante by launching the Chef Series—pints made with Houston’s best chefs, including Monica Pope (T’afia), Robert Del Grande (RDG + Bar Annie), Ryan Pera (Revival Market), Jonathan Jones (Beaver’s), Nash D’Amico’s (D’Amico’s) and Anita Jaisinghani (Indika and Pondicheri). The packaging feels as special and handcrafted as the gelato inside, thanks to the black-and-white rendering of each chef, as well as an explanation of the inspiration behind each flavor. The gelato is made with organic and local ingredients, per the chef’s directions. Kriendel also contributed to the series, with almond fig, which he calls a heavenly blend of roasted almond with a special fig spread.

Perhaps most exciting, Central Market is the first to market with these gelatos, which are available at the Houston store only starting August 18. To tease your taste buds, here’s a preview of some of the flavors:
Mascarpone With Berries, by Chef Monica Pope
After falling in love with pure white gelato on a recent trip to Italy, Monica created this gelato spotted with seasonal berries using mascarpone from Sicily.

Peanut Butter Chipotle by Chef Jonathan “JJ” Jones
Smokey, sweet, nutty, creamy, cold and spicy—this kick-ass flavor combination was inspired by JJ’s early experience with peanut-drven mole. Una fista en la boca!

Italian Spumoni by Chef Nash D’Amico
Houston’s only authentic Italian spumoni combines three flavors in one pint—made-from-scratch chocolate, house-cured cherry and Sicilian pistachio.

Sorghum Sea Salt by Chef Ryan Pera
Jurassic sea salt found on Galveston Island is the original flavor and inspiration for this gelato. Salty, sweet and crunchy—the boldest creation in any frozen food section!

Refresh Your Yogurt: Restart From Alpina

Restart from Alpina, the most recognized dairy company in South America, is a new addition to Central Market’s yogurt lineup. Why is it worth a try? It’s creamy, full-flavored and wonderfully crunchy, thanks to a serving of slow-baked granola.

Restart’s rich consistency is more like a dessert than a healthy snack or breakfast option. All-natural, chef-created fruit marmalades provide a perfect foil for the yogurt’s natural tartness, resulting in a clean, robust flavor. But what we really love is the granola, which adds much-needed texture and crunch. Some people, like us, just need to break up the monotony of that mouth-feel!

Restart is a healthy and delicious change to your yogurt regimen. Find it in our Dairy department.

Refresh Your Yogurt: Restart From Alpina

Restart from Alpina, the most recognized dairy company in South America, is a new addition to Central Market’s yogurt lineup. Why is it worth a try? It’s creamy, full-flavored and wonderfully crunchy, thanks to a serving of slow-baked granola.

Restart’s rich consistency is more like a dessert than a healthy snack or breakfast option. All-natural, chef-created fruit marmalades provide a perfect foil for the yogurt’s natural tartness, resulting in a clean, robust flavor. But what we really love is the granola, which adds much-needed texture and crunch. Some people, like us, just need to break up the monotony of that mouth-feel!

Restart is a healthy and delicious change to your yogurt regimen. Find it in our Dairy department.

Ninfa�s Salsa Now Available at Central Market

Padilla worked with Dan Jardine, the original creator of the D.L. Jardine’s line of salsa and condiments, to bring the restaurant recipe to retail, ensuring that each jar of salsa replicates the fresh flavors diners have come to expect from the landmark Houston restaurant.

The chipotle and green chile varieties are exclusive to the at-home salsas, but Padilla hopes to use them at Ninfa’s in the future. So how do they taste? According to Culture Map, the earthy spiciness of the chipotle is addictive.

Ninfa�s Salsa Now Available at Central Market

Padilla worked with Dan Jardine, the original creator of the D.L. Jardine’s line of salsa and condiments, to bring the restaurant recipe to retail, ensuring that each jar of salsa replicates the fresh flavors diners have come to expect from the landmark Houston restaurant.

The chipotle and green chile varieties are exclusive to the at-home salsas, but Padilla hopes to use them at Ninfa’s in the future. So how do they taste? According to Culture Map, the earthy spiciness of the chipotle is addictive.

16th Annual Hatch Chile Festival Starts August 17, 2011

You’ll find some old favorites—Hatch cheddar loaf and Hatch crab cakes—as well as soon-to-be Hatch legends, such as Hatch chocolate chip cookies from local cookie guru Wackym’s Kitchen and Hatch coffee from Houston roasters Katz Coffee. Oh, and you can tote around all of your roasted Hatch chile peppers in a limited-edition 16th Annual Hatch Chile Festival canvas shopping bag.

Also new this year: the Hatch Chile Fest Pocket Cookbook app for iPhone. The new app features a Hatch recipe database divided into starters, mains, sides, desserts and drinks. Plus there’s a video showing three ways to pepper your favorite recipes with Hatch. Look for in-store signs with QR codes, which take you directly to the app store.

Everyone’s favorite recipe contest is currently underway, so put the finishing touches on those Hatch chile recipes—and invite your friends over for a dinner party to road test your creations—and enter the 5th annual Hatch chile recipe contest. Starters, sides, mains, desserts—anything goes, as long as it has Hatch chiles in it. Can’t cook but like to eat? Well, then, you should enter to become a judge!

Take a look at some of what we’ve Hatched for this year’s festival. For information about in-store demos, patio parties and other Hatch fun, visit the store pages.

BAKERY
Hatch scones
Hatch cheddar loaf
Hatch sourdough
Hatch tortillas

MARKET
Hatch marinated chicken breast
Hatch chuck burgers
Hatch meatloaf
Hatch pork and chicken sausages

SEAFOOD
Hatch crab cakes
Hatch shrimp burgers

SNACKS & STAPLES
CM Organics Hatch tortilla chips
CM All Natural Hatch salsa
Austinuts green chile almonds, pistachios and peanuts
Native Texan Hatch green chile queso
Oogie’s Hatch chile con queso popcorn
Wackym’s Kitchen Hatch chocolate chip cookies
Katz Coffee Hatch coffee

DELI/CHEESE
CM Hatch mozzarella
CM Hatch artisan goat cheese spread
Hatch in-house roasted turkey breast
Hatch Monterey Jack cheese

CHEF PREPARED
Hatch chicken and eggplant quesadilla
Bison Hatch chile quesadilla
Shrimp and Hatch chile quesadilla
Hatch Cowboy quesadilla
Hatch macaroni and cheese
Grilled salmon with Hatch pesto
Hatch risotto cakes with tomato saffron sauce
Hatch chile quiche
Hatch twice-baked potatoes
Hatch chicken salad
Chocolate Hatch chile gelato
Hatch chile pimento cheese

FLORAL
Decorative and edible (!) chile ristras

16th Annual Hatch Chile Festival Starts August 17, 2011

You’ll find some old favorites—Hatch cheddar loaf and Hatch crab cakes—as well as soon-to-be Hatch legends, such as Hatch chocolate chip cookies from local cookie guru Wackym’s Kitchen and Hatch coffee from Houston roasters Katz Coffee. Oh, and you can tote around all of your roasted Hatch chile peppers in a limited-edition 16th Annual Hatch Chile Festival canvas shopping bag.

Also new this year: the Hatch Chile Fest Pocket Cookbook app for iPhone. The new app features a Hatch recipe database divided into starters, mains, sides, desserts and drinks. Plus there’s a video showing three ways to pepper your favorite recipes with Hatch. Look for in-store signs with QR codes, which take you directly to the app store.

Everyone’s favorite recipe contest is currently underway, so put the finishing touches on those Hatch chile recipes—and invite your friends over for a dinner party to road test your creations—and enter the 5th annual Hatch chile recipe contest. Starters, sides, mains, desserts—anything goes, as long as it has Hatch chiles in it. Can’t cook but like to eat? Well, then, you should enter to become a judge!

Take a look at some of what we’ve Hatched for this year’s festival. For information about in-store demos, patio parties and other Hatch fun, visit the store pages.

BAKERY
Hatch scones
Hatch cheddar loaf
Hatch sourdough
Hatch tortillas

MARKET
Hatch marinated chicken breast
Hatch chuck burgers
Hatch meatloaf
Hatch pork and chicken sausages

SEAFOOD
Hatch crab cakes
Hatch shrimp burgers

SNACKS & STAPLES
CM Organics Hatch tortilla chips
CM All Natural Hatch salsa
Austinuts green chile almonds, pistachios and peanuts
Native Texan Hatch green chile queso
Oogie’s Hatch chile con queso popcorn
Wackym’s Kitchen Hatch chocolate chip cookies
Katz Coffee Hatch coffee

DELI/CHEESE
CM Hatch mozzarella
CM Hatch artisan goat cheese spread
Hatch in-house roasted turkey breast
Hatch Monterey Jack cheese

CHEF PREPARED
Hatch chicken and eggplant quesadilla
Bison Hatch chile quesadilla
Shrimp and Hatch chile quesadilla
Hatch Cowboy quesadilla
Hatch macaroni and cheese
Grilled salmon with Hatch pesto
Hatch risotto cakes with tomato saffron sauce
Hatch chile quiche
Hatch twice-baked potatoes
Hatch chicken salad
Chocolate Hatch chile gelato
Hatch chile pimento cheese

FLORAL
Decorative and edible (!) chile ristras

American Cheese Society 2011 Award Winners Available at Central Market

Here’s another cheesy tidbit. The winner in the aged cheddar category, dry, nutty Prairie Breeze from Milton Creamery in Iowa, is on special for $12.99/lb. through August 16. (What amazing foresight we have!) Proprietors Rufus and Jane Musser, along with their son, head cheesemaker Galen, use wholesome, all-natural milk from nearby Amish farms to make their handcrafted cheeses. Prairie Breeze has won several awards; in fact, Galen won his first award as a cheesemaker when he was just 17.

Swing by our Cheese department and check out the following award winners. Don’t be afraid to ask for a sample!

BEST OF SHOW
Rogue Creamery, OR
Rogue River Blue

A. FRESH UNRIPENED CHEESES
Mascarpone, cream cheese, neufchatel, ricotta, impastata, quark, fromage blanc.

AG: Open Category Made From Goat’s Milk
1st Mozzarella Company, TX
Goat Ricotta

AS: Open Category Made From Sheep’s Milk or Mixed Milks
3rd Bellwether Farms, CA
Ricotta – Sheep Milk

AM: Mascarpone – Made From Cow’s Milk
3rd Vermont Butter & Cheese Creamery, VT
Vermont Mascarpone

C. AMERICAN ORIGINALS
Cheeses recognized by the ACS as uniquely American in their original forms (Monterey Jack, Dry Jack, Brick Cheese, Brick Muenster, Colby, Teleme) or unique in their recipe and formulation and which do not strictly conform to the guidelines of other acknowledged recipes for cheese types.

CD: Dry Jack
2nd Rumiano Cheese Company, CA
Dry Monterey Jack

CC: Original Recipe / Open Category Made From Cow’s Milk
1st Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Company, CA
Point Reyes Toma

2nd Cowgirl Creamery, CA
Mt. Tam

CG: Original Recipe / Open Category Made From Goat’s Milk
1st Carr Valley Cheese Co, Inc., WI
Cocoa Cardona

3rd Cypress Grove Chevre, CA
Humboldt Fog Grande

CS: Original Recipe / Open Category Made From Sheep’s Milk or Mixed Milks
2nd Vermont Butter & Cheese Creamery, VT
Cremont

3rd Beecher’s Handmade Cheese, WA
Flagsheep

D. AMERICAN MADE / INTERNATIONAL STYLE
Cheeses modeled after or based on recipes for established European or other international types or styles: Beaufort, Abondance, Gruyère, Juustoleipa, Caerphilly, English Territorials, Leyden, Butterkäse, Monastery styles, etc.

DF: Flavor Added – Dutch Style – Spices, Herbs, Seasonings, Fruits – All Milks
1st Holland’s Family Cheese, WI
Marieke Gouda Cumin

DC: Open Category Made From Cow’s Milk
3rd Sartori Company, WI
Sartori Reserve BellaVitano Gold

E. CHEDDARS
All cheddars, all milks.

EA: Aged Cheddar, All Milks (aged between 12 and 24 months)
1st Milton Creamery LLC, IA
Prairie Breeze

EF: Cheddar With Sweet Flavorings, Fruits, Seasonings, Herbs, Spices, Alcohol/Spirits
1st Beehive Cheese Company LLC, UT
Barely Buzzed

3rd Beehive Cheese Company LLC, UT
Seahive

EC: Cheddar From Cow’s Milk, Aged Less Than 12 Months
1st Beehive Cheese Company LLC, UT
Promontory

EB: Cheddar Wrapped in Cloth, Linen, Aged Over 12 Months
3rd Beecher’s Handmade Cheese, WA
Flagship Reserve

F. BLUE MOLD CHEESES
All cheeses ripened with Roqueforti or Glaucum Penicillium (excluded: Colorless Mycelia).

FC: Rindless Blue-Veined Made From Cow’s Milk
2nd DCI Cheese Company, WI
Salemville Blue Cheese

FG: Rindless Blue-Veined Made From Goat’s Milk
3rd Montchevre-Betin, INC., WI
Chevre in Blue – Goat Milk Blue

FK: Blue-Veined Made From Cow’s Milk With a Rind or External Coating
1st Rogue Creamery, OR
Rogue River Blue

FE: External Blue Molded Cheeses – All Milks
1st Westfield Farm, MA
Classic Blue Log

H. ITALIAN TYPE CHEESES
Excluded: mascarpone and ricotta.

HB: Burrata – Fresh Mozzarella Encasing a Distinctly Separate, Softer Curd and Cream, or Other Soft Cheese, Core – All Milks
1st BelGioioso Cheese Inc., WI
Burrata

K. FLAVORED CHEESES
Entries are limited to cheeses not included in categories with “flavor added” subcategories.

KC: Cheeses Flavored With All Peppers (Chipotle, Jalapeno, Chili, etc.) – All Milks
3rd Brunkow Cheese of Wisconsin, WI
Brun-uusto with Jalapeno

KF: Cheeses Flavored With Herbs, Fruits, Vegetables, Flowers, Syrups – All Milks
3rd Sartori Company, WI
Sartori Reserve Espresso BellaVitano

KP: Cheeses Flavored With Crushed or Whole Peppercorns or Savory Spices – All Milks
1st Sartori Company, WI
Sartori Reserve Black Pepper BellaVitano

L. SMOKED CHEESES

LC: Open Category Made From Cow’s Milk
1st Holland’s Family Cheese, WI
Marieke Gouda Smoked Cumin

LG: Open Category Made From Goat’s Milk, Sheep’s Milk or Mixed Milks
1st Westfield Farm, MA
Hickory Smoked Capri

N. FRESH GOAT’S MILK CHEESES

NO: Fresh Goat Rindless (Black Ash Coating Permitted, Extruded or in Containers, Cups, Tubs, Cryovac)
1st Laura Chenel’s Chevre, CA
Laura Chenel’s

NH: Flavor Added – Herbal
1st Mozzarella Company, TX
Hoja Santa Goat Cheese

P. MARINATED CHEESES
Entries include cheeses marinated in oil, vinegar, wine, etc.

PC: Open Category Made From Cow’s Milk Marinated in Liquids and Ingredients
3rd Sartori Company, WI
Sartori Reserve Merlot BellaVitano

Q. CULTURED MILK PRODUCTS
Limited to yogurt, crème fraiche, kefir, labne, etc.

QF: Crème Fraiche Products Made From Cow’s Milk
1st Vermont Butter & Cheese Creamery, VT
Vermont Crème Fraiche

2nd Bellwether Farms, CA
Crème Fraiche

V. WASHED RIND CHEESES
Cheeses with a rind or crust washed in salted brine, whey, beer, wine, other alcohol, or grape lees that exhibit an obvious, smeared or sticky rind and/or crust: Limburger, Pont l’Evêque, Chimay, Raclette, Swiss Appenzeller or Vignerons-style, etc.

VA: Cheeses Aged More Than 90 Days With Up To 44% Moisture – All Milks
1st Uplands Cheese, WI
Pleasant Ridge Reserve