In his ongoing quest to dress-up salads and any number of other foods with healthy, all-natural ingredients, Chef Jeff Bricker is taking matters into his own hands.
Perusing the labels of salad dressings, he noticed that many of the top brands utilized unnatural — and unhealthy — ingredients. Wanting to offer a healthier alternative, Bricker and his wife Lynda set out to re-imagine vinaigrettes as many know them, eschewing the processed contents found in so many brands and replacing them with good-for-you ingredients.
The result was a line of products the Bricker family calls “the vinaigrette with no regrets.” Chef Bricker’s Brick House Vinaigrettes now boasts five distinct flavors, and visitors to the Statehouse Market in 2018 will have the opportunity to purchase them and taste the difference for themselves.
Well put-together, everybody knows, read on to find out how the Brick House story goes.
Q: Chef Jeff Bricker uses only natural ingredients to create Brick House All-Natural Vinaigrettes. The company is also focused on sourcing ingredients locally. What led you to want to make your own salad dressing, and how did you decide you wanted to turn that idea into a full line of healthy products?
A: As a Certified Executive Chef I am always conscious about food ingredients, but I became even more aware of ingredients on food labels five years ago when I started to focus on making healthier food choices. I began to notice that most vinaigrettes on the market were made with highly processed oils, stripped of their natural nutrient value and contained high amounts of sodium, processed sugars and additives. This motivated me to create a more healthy option that would feature cold pressed healthy oils, low sodium, low carbs, and avoid common allergens of dairy and gluten.
Q: Brick House currently offers four flavors (Classic Sweet Dijon, Creamy Garlic Herb, Raspberry Champagne and Sunny Honey Balsamic) and a fifth is set to make its debut in June 2018. Can you tell us what that new flavor is and how was it chosen to be the next Brick House product?
A: Our fifth flavor that will be released later this week is Avocado Lime. It is made with Avocado pulp, lime juice, rice vinegar, grape seed oil, hemp seed oil and is slightly sweetened with Agave nectar. It is a very flavorful source of Omega 3 and 6 that is great on salads, but also makes a tasty dip for tortilla chips and is wonderful on fish tacos!
Q: Who are some of the people behind Brick House, and what are their roles?
A: My role is flavor development and I oversee production. My wife Lynda assists with production and is very involved in sales/marketing. She organizes all of our farmers’ market teams and she takes care of our accounting. Our son Jonathan and our daughter-in-law Ashley work on marketing and maintain our website and social media. Our daughter Emily and son Evan work on our farmers’ market teams making this a real family-focused business. We have great friends and extended family that help at farmer’s markets, also.
Q: What are you most looking forward to about appearing at the Statehouse Market?
A: We look forward to introducing our products to state employees and guests that have not yet tried them. We have found that sampling really helps people discover the great flavors we offer and learn more about the many ways to enjoy them.
Q: Does Chef Bricker have a personal favorite Brick House flavor? If so, for what type of salad is it best suited?
A: My favorite flavor has been Creamy Garlic Herb. It is great on fresh salads, yet makes a fantastic veggie dip. It has zero sugar and is dairy free, yet very creamy and tasty! I am really excited about our new Avocado Lime flavor, though, and am enjoying it right now so the verdict is out on which one I will prefer!