Finn’s FreshDirect Birthday Box

Finn

Finn checks out his birthday gift!

Earlier this year while I was helping to launch FreshDirect’s new pet shop, I couldn’t wait for its arrival on the site for one main reason: his name is Finnegan and he’s my black pug.

The samples would come in and I’d think, “Finn would love this!” And my dog has very discerning tastes (just kidding—he would eat anything given the opportunity).

Finn

Finn pleads to have the box opened for him!

When my FreshDirect order arrives every week, he looks on with curiosity, circling the boxes and sniffing for exciting items. But last Sunday, his 4thbirthday (yes, I celebrate my dog’s birthday), he got a box all to himself.

When placing Finn’s birthday order, I decided to go with two types of treats and two new toys. He’d already rotated through any toy samples I brought home, and I could tell he was itching for something new and exciting…. 

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Meet and Greet with Chef Tina Bourbeau

Tina

Chef Tina Bourbeau

Here at the FreshDirect headquarters, we’re lucky to work with many interesting people who share our passion for food.

One great example is Chef Tina Bourbeau, Executive Chef/Senior Director of Research and Development here at FreshDirect.

I sat down with Tina to find out why she went into the food business in the first place.

FD: What was the inspiration to make food your business?

TB: Cooking is the only profession I’ve ever had, and I am grateful that I get paid to do what I love and am deeply passionate about — anything else seems like torture.

FD: What was the road that led you to FreshDirect?

TB: After studying at Peter Kump’s New York Cooking School (now I.C.E.), I started cooking my way through various NYC kitchens. My first job was at Oceana – while still in school. This was when anything less than a 6-day work-week wasn’t even a consideration. I was the first woman to work in that kitchen (boy, times have changed!)…. 

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It’s a Farmer’s Life for Them!

farm

Wells Homestead Acres

“Farmers eat a lot of their own food,” declared Tom Wickham of Wickham’s Farm in Cutchogue, New York. “We grow what we like to eat, so you know it’s going to be good.”

This sentiment is shared by all of the local Long Island farmers with which FreshDirect partners. The products are grown to spec for all to enjoy.

When asked what the inspiration is for the crops he grows, Lyle Wells (Wells Homestead Acres) responded with, “We give ‘em what they want. That’s why we grow sugar snap peas and asparagus. If we could grow bananas, we would grow bananas.”… 

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David and Jeff’s Wild Alaskan Salmon Adventure

Alaskan Salmon

David and Jeff go fishing for Wild Alaskan Salmon.

Our seafood experts, David and Jeff, were in Alaska late last week to check on (and catch!) this season’s wild Alaskan salmon from the Copper River.  Copper River salmon are amongst the richest, tastiest fish in the world. And they can’t come any fresher – the fish that David and Jeff caught are in our stores right now!

David and I arrived in Cordova, a small fishing village near the mouth of the Copper River in Alaska.  The charming town is on an inlet surrounded by majestic mountains. There are no more than a couple thousand people, a harbor full of fishing boats, and a number of docks and processing plants…. 

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Visit the Blueberry Fields with our Produce Team!

blueberries

Our Produce team was in California, checking out our new Family Tree Farms blueberries.

Tenley Allen is one of our produce merchants. She has the best job – finding the best fruits and vegetables for our customers! She’s currently really excited about the new blueberries that just came into the store. Recently, our produce team was in California visiting the farms from where we source to ensure we provide you with the very best berries available!

They’re bite-sized. They’re blue. They’re full of antioxidants and Vitamin C. What are they!? They’re blueberries! And not just any blueberries—we’re excited to announce the launch of Family Tree Farms blueberries grown in the Central Valley of sunny California.

Last year, when our team went to check out farms, we found this amazing supplier: Family Tree Farms. This farm really is a family business – they’ve been growing, packing, and shipping fruit for seven generations! So this year, we made sure to visit Family Tree Farms again to bring back the best blueberries for our customers…. 

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Susan’s Favorite Passover Seder Picks

Charoset

Susan loves piling on our Charoset on matzo.

Gather friends and family and raise a glass before a table of delicious holiday foods. From charoset to  homemade dark chocolate and caramel-covered matzo, we have a few menu ideas for your seder table.

Susan Schreiber, Director of Catering, Bakery & Pastry at FreshDirect, gives us an inside look at the inspiration behind this year’s holiday happenings.

“Many people own their own Seder plate but many people don’t,” explains Susan. “So, just in case, we wanted to provide the plate and once again make everything — and then some.”… 

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Testing Recipes with Chef Tina for Your #FreshDirectParty

Chef Tina

Chef Tina tests out her recipes (including salsa verde) for your #FreshDirectParty

FreshDirect is getting ready for HouseParty! While thousands of people are still signing up (you can too – click here) to be selected to host a gourmet meal at home with friends (on us!), we’re busy in the kitchen, whipping up recipes and testing each one to make sure they’re easy to make and taste absolutely delicious.

Chef Tina Bourbeau is going above and beyond, stretching tastebuds and playing with ingredients, while keeping fun party themes in mind. There’s been some trial and error as we measured a teaspoon of this and a cup of that but practice makes perfect and we’re clocking a lot of hours into making sure your get-together will be top notch.

Some of you may kind of know Tina already. She makes your 4-Minute Meals and other fresh foods and you’ve probably seen her photo on our FreshDirect packaging. She’s a culinary powerhouse, fully loaded with information. Some colleagues and I recently jotted down notes frantically, as Tina created recipes from scratch and shared some really useful tips:… 

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Harmoniously Raised Salmon in Patagonia

Verlasso Salmon

Jeff and Marc visit the Verlasso salmon in Chile

Following the launch of the Verlasso salmon line in mid-September, our seafood category experts, Jeff Ludwin (Category Manager) and Marc Sirois (Operations Director), had the opportunity to travel to southern Chile to meet with the fisherman growing this one of kind harmoniously-raised salmon. As the exclusive supplier for Verlasso, our team wanted to ensure we were providing the very best salmon for our customers. By visiting their farms, facilities and operations, Jeff is also able to share the Verlasso story with you.

***

We traveled from JFK to Puerto Veras (a small port city and commune in southern Chile) to visit with the Verlasso farms. We first visited the salmon hatchery in Puerto Montt. There we witnessed the grow-out in land-based recirculating tanks before being transferred to open sea pens. Here the salmon are raised in fresh water from egg to smolt. After about a year the smolt are then transferred to the ocean for a period of 12 to 18 months where they grow to adult salmon…. 

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Back to Basics. Bill Niman Talks Turkey

At this country’s first Thanksgiving, the pilgrims were eating a very different turkey from the holiday bird that sits on modern Thanksgiving tables.

BN Ranch Logo

BN Ranch Heritage Turkeys: Now at FreshDirect

According to rancher Bill Niman, the great majority of turkeys grown in the US are the “Broad-Breasted White” breed, a bird that’s grown for… you guessed it: broad breasts.

On Niman’s ranch, his small staff is raising heritage-breed birds that are a lot closer to the turkeys our nation’s founders would have recognized.

Bill Niman is the rancher that The New York Times called a “pioneer of the ‘good meat’ movement,” and he took some time to chat with us about his BN Ranch Heritage-Breed Turkeys, which FreshDirect is selling this holiday season…. 

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Easy Meal Ideas from Vermont Butter & Cheese Creamery

Quark dip

Entertain with ease by making a quick dip of Fromage blanc, Quark or goat cheese with herbs.

There are many times when I realize I love my job. Sometimes it’s when a co-worker will offer me a cupcake (or two) to try. Other times it’s when I get to interview food enthusiasts like Top Chef Masters winner Floyd Cardoz.

Recently it was when work involved trying lots and lots of delicious cheeses, butters and other products from Vermont Butter & Cheese Creamery.

Cheesemaker Adeline Druart walked us through all of the tasty products whose ingredients are sourced from local family farms. I thoroughly enjoyed learning about these artisanal dairy products crafted in the European style.

The cheeses and butters are great on their own with crusty bread. But to amp up your breakfast, entertain with ease, elevate your dinners or whip up a sweet treat, check out these easy tips and ideas:… 

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