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Purple Chef Apple Chutney

Sharon Myers, based in Southern Vermont,
has been seducing her catering clients with her culinary
excellence for over 20 years. Now Sharon is branching out with
a new venture - Purple Chef LLC, Vermont's Finest Homemade
Marmalades and Chutneys, so that you can seduce your guests
too, knowing that everything has been simmered to perfection.

Purple Chef™ artisanal marmalades and chutneys are available at these retail outlets as well as through our online catalog.

All About Sharon Myers — "The Purple Chef"

Visit Sharon's Website

In 1985, Sharon Myers opened a catering business in Brattleboro, Vermont.  Twenty-one years later, Sharon Myers Fine Catering serves a three-state region, including Vermont, Massachusetts, and  N.H. .  Myers and her staff handle the spectrum of special events--from formal weddings, anniversaries, and bar mitzvahs to birthdays, business functions, and casual gatherings. Myers,  known as the Purple Chef-she has a passion for all things purple, including clothing, furniture and even her house--wows her clients with superior food and close attention to every party detail. Now she has expanded her business to include a line of handmade condiments, Purple Chef LLC Artisan Marmalades & Chutneys, and to this new venture she brings artistry and culinary excellence, skills that have been years in the making.        

Myers' desire to prepare fresh, wonderful food and present it beautifully began in 1979 when she started cooking professionally, at a cafe on Nantucket Island.  In 1983 she opened her first catering business, the Elegant Caper, also in Massachusetts. Throughout the years, Myers has continued to study cooking techniques and baking-in this country and abroad.   Her artistic background is similarly strong. She holds a B.A. in Fine Arts, Sculpture, from Conn. College, an MA in aesthetic education from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and has continued to develop her artistic eye. A number of her weavings and one-of-a-kind quilts have appeared in publications and exhibits, where they've received much praise.

Now Myers' love  for color and texture finds expression in elegant orange and tomato marmalades and zesty chutneys, condiments which have delighted the human palate for centuries. Food historians trace the history of marmalade back to ancient times when the earliest recipes were developed to preserve the quince, a yellowish apple-shaped fruit. Originally marmalade was dried in the shape of a brick, and long before it was a breakfast spread on toast or scones, it was a dessert.

Chutney, with its sassy combination of sweet, vinegary, and spicy flavors, made its way out of its homeland, India, to other parts of the world, in the 1600s during early British colonialism. 

Myers has been presenting her marmalades and chutneys as gifts to friends and clients for  years, and some recipes have evolved over considerable time. For example, Tomato Marmalade came from an old family recipe that Myers worked on for fifteen years, revisiting and refining it.  "I played with it over the years," says Myers, "always doing it in August and September when the tomatoes are most flavorful."  
  
Occasionally serendipity plays a part, as was the case in the creation of Purple Chef Jalapeño Tomato Marmalade.  Explains Myers, "Loving the spiciness of jalapeños, and having a neighbor who is a hot pepper addict and grew too many plants, I put tomatoes together with his peppers."  Ever curious, Myers speculates that she'll discover more spicy delights in her neighbor's pepper patch.  "Jalapenos are the calmest of the ten pepper varieties he grows, so there's a lot of experimenting to look forward to!"  In fact, notes Myers, a soon-to-be-added item is Hot and Sweet Fire Roasted Tomato Habonero Marmalade.
           
The list of Purple Chef chutneys is also tantalizing and includes Mango Chutney, Apple Chutney,  and Orange Fennel Olives.  Myers notes that the intriguing Orange Fennel Olives best accompanies ". . . a glass of wine, a perfect cheese, and a crusty French bread." Practical as well as creative, Myers adds, "And the best part is, when you have eaten all of the olives, you can add olive oil to the remaining liquid and rinds, puree it all, and voila-vinaigrette!  
  
One highly versatile relish is Purple Chef's Apple Chutney--a combination of Vermont-grown apples and pears, cider and white vinegar, sugar, red peppers, raisins, ginger, and spices. Myers notes, "Of course Apple Chutney compliments smoked or plain poultry, and it's great for those after-Thanksgiving sandwiches. Surprisingly, it's also wonderful with grilled salmon or baked beans."        Generous about sharing tips for best enjoying the marmalades and chutneys, Myers is even willing to discuss her special ingredients, whether it's a unique brown sugar or fine raspberry vinegar.  "You want my secrets, do you?" she says with a laugh when asked about chutney spices. "Well . . . green cardamom pods, whole allspice, both fresh and candied ginger.  Each product has its own list of spices, and that's all I'll say for now!" 
       
Myers, who grew up on a New England family farm, has a strong commitment to buying local and organic products and does so whenever feasible. This philosophy continues for the marmalade and chutney line.  Says Myers, "I now use organic tomatoes and mangoes, the apples are local, and all the herbs are organic." Looking ahead, she says, "My goal in the future is to make it [the product line] organic and kosher."
  
Myers is proud of the handcrafted marmalades and chutneys, products of fine taste and much experience.  "They represent my taste buds and the advice and suggestions of a crew of skilled people,"   says Myers.

 

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