Chef Linda's Confection Commentary

Author: lindanaylor Page 1 of 12

One of our Core Values Should be to Slow the Senses

The advent of a new year is a chance to slow the senses, to appreciate that which we created in the year past and to seed that which we would like to flower in the new year.

 

We are continually reminded to trust our instincts in professional partnerships. New retail relationships with New Seasons Markets and Zingerman’s mail order house. Sustained and budding relationships with our restaurant partners.

 

Our philosophy of placing products in the market is a natural development of four of our core values: excellence, elegance, fidelity and quality.

 

Quality – always. Simple excellence… so key that it’s our tagline. Elegance – in the marriage of ingredients and unexplored techniques. Fidelity in every relationship. New partnerships will continue to align with our core values. We love supporting what others do well, and standing side by side in ways that benefit our partners as we grow.

 

Why Slow the Senses?

We’ve found several ways to slow the senses.  First: dwell on remarkable tastes and textures with gauzy attention.  The simple act of paying deep, relaxed attention to flavors and scents that enrich us heightens the entire product development experience. Next: to slow the senses eases stress. Finally, creativity is enhanced with the simple act of opening space to notice flavor and texture. Each product we create has as its pedigree a s-l-o-w focus on taste and texture.

As an example, we’re working on a proprietary hazelnut cake for our restaurant partners. The richness of Oregon hazelnuts is foundational to flavors that punctuate and complement it: espresso, fig, almond. Figs – in this case, CA Mission figs because we’re out of season – offer sweetness, a lovely contrast to the robust, bitter flavor of espresso. Almond paste adds a succulence that’s savory and a bit mysterious. Through trial – and more trial – we find the sweet spot where distinct flavors are present in the senses and they become the building blocks of the whole.

 

 

A Writing Practice as a Core Value

Broadening my well-established writing practice is a personal commitment to striving for excellence. Like the process of clarifying what works in business, writing poetry and creative non-fiction spur choices for me of how to flourish in voice and in public presence.

 

Every new product helps us circle back to one of our fundamental purposes: to innovate and create unique, elegant and texturally luxurious, pleasureful products that have their roots in time and place. Slow the senses; slow the living.

Building Something of Value to Others

Strokes of culinary mortar

applied discretely in partnership;

trust first extended, it

the midwife of salubrious confection

 

Building Something of Value to Others

An interesting creative aspect of entering a completely new field is the opportunity to take a candid look at what historical features of my work style truly seemed to have benefitted others.

 

In reflecting, I realize that I’ve done my best work when I had the opportunity to build something of significant value to others that was self-organizing and deeply rooted in service. I love the process of – and have felt rewarded by – building something of value to others.

 

Recognizing this as my primary work style helps formulate how the work we do at Essential Confection and Essential-Insight Advisors can be most beneficial to our customers and clients.

 

A Snapshot of our Work

Here’s a snapshot of our work in Q122:

  • Partnering with other artisans. The most fun, and totally in line with how I love to work. We’re partnering with regional artisans to produce confection products using their own artisan products. It’s that “building something of value to others” piece I just mentioned.
  • Product development. We’re methodically building a stable of unique, Pacific Northwest ingredient-sourced cookies in pre-scaled dough. To-date, we have In+Dulge™, our luscious 3-chocolate, ‘accidentally gluten-free’ cookie dough; and brand new HazL+Nutly™ using our house made Oregon hazelnut butter. More PNW-sourced cookie dough products to follow.
  • Restaurant desserts. Essential Confection produces 7 texturally luxurious desserts to help restaurants create a reliable, predictable dessert profit center. Everything from the glorious Essential Almond Cake (using sublime almond paste) with 72% chocolate frosting, to Essential Citrus Olive Oil Cake (lemon-infused EVOO), to Essential Flourless Chocolate Torte to Essential Tiramisu (4 liqueurs). Our seasonal fruit desserts change each quarter.
  • Videos! In keeping with my love of writing, we’re dropping weekly ~2 minute videos designed to a. encourage cooks to deepen their pleasure of baking and cooking through self-education; and b. help restaurants incorporate the soft skills of hospitality to increase their restaurant’s success and profitability.
  • Here’s how Euclidian geometry aligns with creating confection products!

https://www.facebook.com/linda.naylor/videos/3262388327379139

  • Here’s how chefs worldwide create the experiences that are most important to us all:

https://www.facebook.com/linda.naylor/videos/624911065512465

  • A super-high quality mail order company has approached to consider taking our Essential Douglas Fir Shortbread™ national this year. We’d love to help other taste the Pacific Northwest, so…

 

A Super-Nova in the Works

In Q2, the advent of local fruit has so many exciting possibilities. (This is always true in Oregon. We get excited about sunshine and fruit.) We have a project in the hopper on a decidedly Oregon variety of an Italian fruit delicacy. More to follow, here, as well…

 

And, yes, Essential Confection has a holiday super-nova in the works… totally emblematic of the Pacific Northwest. A real stretch for us that we think – executed correctly – will have no equal. Of course, our beloved Essential Panettone™ will make its annual holiday appearance, dressed to the nines.

 

Working in partnership is discovery-filled. Creating unique artisan products that benefit our partners and delight our guests helps solidify our company as a true partner in a truly relational sphere.

 

We love hearing from you.

Linda

 

 

 

 

 

 

On the Essential Douglas Fir Shortbread “Fence”?

The guest testimonials for our Essential Douglas Fir Shortbread™ are gratifying:

 

“… exquisitely delightful”

“love the moisture content… slightly soft interior while retaining a thin crust”

“had to taste a piece of the shortbread, first thing”

“I could not have been more pleased”

“love the balance of the Doug Fir and lemon”

“… never overpowering”

“… continues from the first flavor on the tongue to the lasting aromas at the end”

“great product!”

“really unusual… I want to go back and have some more”

congratulations on getting your TOTALLY new product out into the world!!!”

“we enjoyed it with wine”

“I think you’ve created your own kind of shortbread!”

 

 

The Dec order window for Essential Douglas Fir Shortbread™ and both varieties of Essential Panettone™ runs through this weekend. Second-day shipping for both products will be no later than the 13th – 15th of Dec – well in advance of Christmas.

 

If you live in Oregon or Vancouver, WA Metro and prefer to forego the delivery charge, please note that you may pick your order up. Simply email me directly with your order details (of any quantity), and I’ll bill you from Square’s secure website.

 

Need a quick primer on Essential Douglas Shortbread?!

 

www.EssentialConfection.com

#essentialconfection #essentialpanettone #essentialdouglasfirshortbread #shortbread

 

Remembering That Scent Evokes Memory…

The taste of poetry borne of its own fragrance,

a line of citrus unfurls sweetly over the tongue through the senses

connecting the  intoxicating language of place and time

 

Scent, not taste, evokes memory. What memory do you have that’s attached to the scent of a particular food? The earthy, spiciness of baked pies at your grandparents’ house? The intoxicating scent of freshly baked bread in your own kitchen?  The shared experience of rich, sugary cookies you bake with friends at an exchange?

 

The pleasure of French press coffee has taken on new meaning for me as I have placed it in my diet exclusively on the weekend. On Sat morning, the anticipation of dark roast sets the stage for the scent that’s activated while the beans are grinding and the coffee is steeping, then adds to the pleasure of sipping it. Scent goes directly to the brain’s smell center, known as the olfactory bulb, triggering detailed memories of time and place.

 

Remembering that scent evokes memory, the way to seed a permanent association to you with friends and business associates is through a gift that etches you indelibly in your recipients’ minds.

 

Our guests tell us that one of the most notable pleasures of Essential Douglas Fir Shortbread™ is how the scents of fir and lemon linger in the nose and on the palate. Another striking feature is the shortbread’s tender, luscious texture.

 

Wouldn’t you love these qualities be those that attach you to your relationships with the people you care most about?

 

The Dec order window for Essential Douglas Fir Shortbread™ and both varieties of Essential Panettone™ opens this weekend and runs through Sat, 4-Dec. Second-day shipping for both products will be no later than the 13th – 15th of Dec – well in advance of Christmas. If you live in Oregon and prefer to forego the delivery charge, please note that you may pick your order up. Simply email me directly with your order details, and I’ll bill you from Square’s secure website.

 

Know that we do have a sense of humor at Essential Confection. If you’d like a break from the planning and stressing and cooking, have a look at our blooper reel here. The third time was not quite the charm. I consider the error a sign of the time. The finished video with our new branding is here.

 

May the simple pleasures of appreciation and gratitude be yours this season – however you celebrate.

 

www.EssentialConfection.com

#EssentialConfection #EssentialDouglasFirShortbread #EssentialPanettone

Here’s How to Host a Holiday Event This Year

Gifting instead of holiday travel this year? Choosing to host a holiday event – perhaps, an open house – to connect safely with a very limited number of friends? Dropping gifts at friends’ doorsteps in lieu of traditional communal meals?

 

If you’re considering a casual, sparsely populated indoor event, why not stagger guests’ invitation times and create additional comfort by offering each guest a holiday mask?

 

Creating new Thanksgiving, Hanukkah or Christmas memories can not only forever memorialize the gifts you give but can give rise to new holiday traditions we may then honor year after year.

Most people I know want to deepen the meaning of the time they spend with friends and family this holiday season. Consider dropping off Essential Douglas Fir Shortbread™. Calling ahead to drop off a gift is more fun than you can imagine! That fun is compounded when you spend an afternoon visiting additional friends, family and people in your personal sphere.

 

Unique; beautifully gift-sized; amazingly economical. If you’re in Portland Metro, we can arrange for you to pick up to save local shipping fees.

 

The Nov order window for Essential Douglas Fir Shortbread™ to ensure delivery for Hanukkah or Thanksgiving closes tomorrow. The Dec order window for delivery prior to Christmas opens on Sun, 5-Dec.

 

The excitement of the season – seasonal challenges notwithstanding – is upon us. Challenge brings innovation, yes?

 

With delight, we announce our first press release of Essential Douglas Fir Shortbread! Here’s the link.

 

Thank you for your support of Essential Confection.

 

www.EssentialConfection.com

#essentialconfection

 

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