By Tim Carman, The Washington Post
The story sounds like the plot of a B-grade comedy: A chef who worked for a decade at Chez Panisse, the pioneering California restaurant that reminded Americans that ingredients actually have a season, decides to launch what she and her partner call the world’s first chicken nugget tasting room.
Yet, it’s true: Last month in Sebastopol, California, former Panisse sous chef Jennifer Johnson and wife/business partner Serafina Palandech opened the Kitchen, a lunch counter and tasting room devoted to chicken nuggets, the staple of kid’s menus everywhere. The same mystery meat that has inspired more speculation than the Kennedy assassination. The processed snack that some crave so fiercely they’ll call 911 when their orders don’t arrive fast enough. The junk food so maligned it inspired a movie in which chicken nuggets turn elementary school kids into zombies.
Johnson and Palandech are fully aware of the nugget’s less-than-savory reputation, which is a large part of the reason they got into the business. The couple’s Hip Chick Farms is “taking something that’s not considered healthy and making it beautiful,” Palandech said during a phone interview.
Their nugget mission actually began more than four years ago when the couple entered the frozen-food market with a line of chicken fingers, meatballs and other products. Hip Chick’s “farm to freezer” products are now available in more than 5,000 stores coast to coast.
You might remember that a few years ago, McDonald’s went on the offensive to dispel rumors that the chain’s McNuggets were made of chicken beaks, viscera, pink slime and roadkill. (Well, perhaps I exaggerate in the ingredient list?) The resulting video from 2014 only raised the ire of some critics, who complained that Mickey D’s glossed over the thorny issue of industrial farming practices, including growth-promoting antibiotics. (You know, the drugs that may be contributing to antibiotic resistance in humans.)
The Bay Area is now home to the world’s first chicken nugget tasting room.https://t.co/Xgpl5OIQP2
— LIVE 105 (@LIVE105) August 14, 2017
Hip Chick Farms wants to be fully transparent with the ingredients of its nuggets and fingers. According to the company’s website, the “chicken and turkey in all of our products is humanely certified, free range, natural and organic poultry that are raised without antibiotics or added hormones. The organic product is non-GMO. All of the chickens and turkey are fed a high quality, vegetable diet and grow naturally with plenty …
Source:: The Denver Post – Lifestyle