2017 Fancy Food Show: Food Stories and Pairings


Every January, the Specialty Foods Association pulls together 1,400 food brands from all across the globe. 20,000 visitors were eager to feast their eyes on food trends for the coming year. Paving the way are 6 movers and shakers that are sharing their stories and food pairing.

An Ethically EPIC Company

Their Story

EPIC, a meat-snack company, launched by Katie and Taylor, were a pair of vegan endurance athletes. Facing a host of health issues, the founders sought assistance from a functional doctor who recommended adopting a paleo diet. Seeing an opening in “the market”, these forward thinking founders, created a portable, paleo, protein bar for athletes. Their company motto is “feed others the way you wish to be fed.”

They have charged through the energy bar retail shelves with their savory, satisfying snacks that stand out amongst the sweeter options. EPIC’s ethically-driven product line treats animals respectfully and sustainably by using 80% of the animal for their product lines, such as: their bone broths, animal oils, snacks, bars, and bits. They have a variety of meat and poultry products ranging from Bison, Beef, Wild Boar, Turkey, Chicken, and Duck.


Their Pairings

Pork Taco

EPIC partners with other forward-thinking and health-driven brands, like Siete Tortilla (grain-free Tortillas). Take a Siete Tortilla, break apart EPIC’s Pulled Pork Bar, heat it up, and top with some slaw.

Roasted Brussel Sprouts

Roast brussel sprouts in EPIC’s duck fat. Remove from oven and sprinkle with EPIC bites or pork skins.

Make it Easy to Just Cook Foods

Their Story

Daniel, chef/founder along with his partner Scott, launched Just Cook with the motto: “we make it easy, you make it great.” Drawing on Daniel’s extensive background as an executive chef for a San Francisco catering company, they created a line of spice blends.

Collectively, they developed 7 complex spice blends, that can convert a novice home cook into a gourmet one. Each of their generously sized, seasoning packages are labeled specifically with a use in mind, like: No. 16 Salmon Blend, Any Day Chicken, Ancho Chicken Rub, Herbed Coffee, Gimme Steak Blend, Close to Curry Blend, and Taco Night Blend. Adding a twist to their seasonings, they have updated traditional blends. For example, a standard Italian Seasoning or Herbs de Provence, has been transformed into a California-style Any Day Chicken blend by adding traces of cardamon and orange peel.


Their Pairing

Any Day Chevre with Grilled Figs

Daniel told us that a soft cheese from California artisan cheesemakers Bellwether Farms or Cowgirl Creamery would make delicious replacements for their “any day Chevre” recipe.

Ancho Chicken Rub Aoili

Use this rub to spice up an aioli sauce for roasted artichokes.

ENTUBE Squeezes out Brand New Spice Blends

Their Story

Richard, the founder spent much of his professional life in advertising and entertainment. He wanted to start a business that was reminiscent of his early years in the South of France. Coming from a food-focused family, conversations at breakfast centered around what they would make for lunch, and so on and so on. His family would pair exotic spices to make their own Harissa, a Tunisian spice that dates back 500 years ago.

With his passion toward food and design, he set forth to reinvent the way spice blends and condiments are packaged. A common site in European markets are food tubes that squeeze out small quantities of seasonings, sauces, paste, or condiments. In 2014, he began researching food trends and saw Harissa was #4 on the New York Times list. Richard believes Harissa has a sophisticated flavor profile that will soon surpass Sriracha in popularity. Food packaged in tubes maintain freshness for years (think tomato paste) compared to an opened can, carton or jar where freshness is compromised instantly.


Their Pairings

Umeboshi Flavored Fire Cider

Add a smidgen of Entube Umeboshi (Japanese Plum) into a shot-sized glass and mix with Fire Cider for a holistic and healthy immune booster.

Harissa Eggs

Melt Ghee in a frying pan and mix Harissa into scrambled eggs.

Fire Cider Holistically Healing Tonic

Their Story

It all started with memories of Dana’s grandmother force feeding him a remedy to fight off allergies and keep him healthy throughout the cold, New England winters. About 7 years ago, Dana and his wife, Amy, went to a craft show, where they brought 2 gallons of fire cider that quickly sold out. This small community was clamoring for more, so Dana, his wife, Amy, and their brother-in-law, Brian, started Fire Cider 6 years ago.

Dana shares, “if Kombucha were beer, then Fire Cider is like whiskey.” Ingredients are sourced from organic farms and their headquarters are in a solar-powered building in the Berkshire Mountains of Massachusetts.


Their Pairings

Curried Chicken

Combine Just Cook’s Close to Curry Blend with Fire Cider, oil, salt, whole garlic cloves and rub onto chicken. Marinate for 12 hours or overnight and then bake.

Hot Toddy

Start with hot tea or water, add a shot of Fire Cider, and Bourbon.

Fruitful Mixers from Crafted Cocktails

Their Story

In 2014, Felicia, started Crafted Cocktails, which sprung from her love of entertaining and her family’s farming roots. Growing up in a Portuguese family of dairy and fruit farmers, she was inspired by her grandmother’s ingenuity to preserve leftover fruits and infuse them with vinegars. Concurrently, her grandfather was making his own moonshine and whiskey, which he would then take some of the fruit-vinegars and combine them to make cocktails.

Adopting Felicia’s grandmother’s cherished shrub recipes, she delved into making a line of all-natural cocktail mixers. She sources her ingredients from the San Joaquin Valley, where her family first settled.


Their Pairings

Asian Pear Salad Dressing

Take the Asian Pear Shrub and mix with a high quality EVOO, like Greek Olive Oil producer, Gaea, then pour it over your favorite salad.

Spicy Watermelon Mojito or Margarita

The Spicy Watermelon Cocktail mixer goes well with rum for a mojito or with tequila for a margarita!

Baking Naturally with Simple Mills

Their Story

Katlin, the founder of Simple Mills, built her company on the premise of simple clean ingredients. A few years ago, Katlin noticed she was experiencing joint pain and tiredness. She decided to make a change by taking out processed sugar and gluten from her diet. As a result, her seasonal allergies had dissipated and her energy level increased. Moved by the impact of food on the body, Simple Mills was developed as a tasty, nutritious, natural, gluten-free alternative to the traditionally processed baking mixes, frosting, and crackers.


Their Pairings

Fermented Blueberries on Pancakes

Ferment organic frozen blueberries using Kraut Source and top it on Simple Mills pancakes.

Chocolate Bundt Cake with Chocolate Frosting

Use the chocolate muffin mix and put it in a bundt mold, then heat up the chocolate frosting and drizzle on top.

Adding character to our plates makes what we eat more palatable! When someone shares a story about their food experiences, it encourages us to pair up ingredients and try new recipes. These are some of the movers and shakers we met at the 2017 Winter Fancy Food Show. Check out Food Guru’s Pinterest Board for more groundbreaking product recommendations!

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