Valencay Cheese PDO
See the article
Welcome to Taste France Magazine’s latest series, What’s On Your Block, where we highlight the most beloved French and American ingredients of professionals, aspiring chefs, and passionate foodies alike.
This week, we’re delighted to introduce you to Erin Hunt Moore and Walter Moore, two food and beverage professionals living in the heart of Sonoma County.
A trained chef and sommelier, Walter has since gone on to found his own Pisco brand. On the other side of the business, Erin works as a marketing and public relations professional and is also a writer, with both of her crafts centered around championing Slow Food and small producers. After years of respective travels and adventures in countless cities within the United States and beyond, Erin and Walter met in the heart of San Francisco – on the date of the anniversary of the repeal of Prohibition, nonetheless. Coincidence? You decide.
Erin and Walter’s Must-Have French Ingredients:
Erin first fell in love with chèvre during her travels to France. “Goat cheese adds creamy richness to just about everything, from herbed spreads baked with puff pastry to spreading on toast over a salad,” she says, describing the cheese as delicious and versatile.
Given Walter’s profession, it’s no surprise that boozy products are also a staple in the duo’s kitchen. For an added touch of subtle complexity within the bar sphere, the pair reaches for Vermouth. “Vermouth is really a classification for wine fortified with neutral spirit and botanicals, creating a more bitter, herbaceous profile [within the beverage],” the couple explains. At home, the couple reaches for dry vermouth when crafting martinis or Bamboo cocktails, and sometimes even uses it to replace white wine in pasta dishes and risottos.
Continuing with the theme of versatility, Erin and Walter always keep a bottle of absinthe on hand. Contrary to popular belief, the booze is actually quite useful in both the bar and kitchen spheres. “Absinthe is another versatile bottle on the bar that finds its way to our kitchen!” the couple exclaims, noting that absinthe both provides “a glorious wash for aperitifs and classic cocktails” and also adds a hint of anise flavor to sweet and savory dishes. “Outside of our cocktails, we tend to use Absinthe for soups and stews, as well as sauces and syrups,” the couple explains, stating that they plan to dive deeper into the variety of culinary adventures that this mythical spirit provides.
Erin and Walter’s Must-Have American Ingredients:
Bragg’s Liquid Aminos
According to Erin and Walter, hot sauce has a special place of honor in their home. “Walter is from the south and my maternal grandmother was Mexican, so we both grew up with hot sauce at the center of our kitchens,” Erin says, noting that hot sauce almost always makes its way into their Asian-focused cuisines too, from Korean BBQ to Vietnamese and beyond.
For a healthy flavor enhancer, the couple turns to Bragg’s Liquid Aminos. “Bragg's adds complex umami flavors to dishes with a healthy mix of amino acids,” Erin explains, stating that the couple often uses it in place of or in addition to soy sauce. However, lately, the pair has turned to baking with coconut oil. “We tend to cook daily with olive oil, though high-quality coconut oil is a favorite for baking, sauteing and stir frying, which we do a lot of,” Erin says, revealing that the couple has even taken to blending it with their coffee in the morning to add creaminess and a “dose of good fat” to their at-home lattés.
Wherever Erin and Walter find themselves, their kitchen remains the heart and joy of convivial tasty moments. Follow their adventures on their handcrafted Pisco brand’s Instagram account, @encantopisco.