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Buffalo pickle and kraut operation brewing

Buffalo is getting its own pickle and kraut operation.

R.J. Marvin is working on opening Barrel + Brine at 257 Carolina St., about eight blocks from City Hall.

“We’re moving in Oct. 1, and should get some stuff fermenting in two weeks,” said Marvin. If all goes well, he said, “We’re hoping to launch by the end of November.”

Marvin, who will operate Barrel + Brine with his wife Lindsey, aims to use traditional preservation techniques from numerous cultures to preserve the work of Western New York farmers. Sauerkraut and kimchi are just the beginning, with a wide variety of pickles and kombucha tea also planned.

Marvin, from Dunkirk, said part of his inspiration was growing up in a Sicilian family. Grandparents Mae and Peter Solazzo of Fredonia had a cellar lined with jars of tomatoes and caponatina, a vegetable relish similar to caponata.

Marvin worked in a variety of restaurants before getting into preserving, pickling and fermentation at Elm Street Bakery, where he worked for about a year. “I was lucky enough to get into Elm Street Bakery,” he said. “I knew I wanted to be a cook. But when I was at the bakery, I was able to learn different preservation methods, how the Japanese do it, how the Chinese do it, how the Germans do it. Then I realized that was what I wanted to devote my time to.”

Though his preservation plans are rooted in tradition, Marvin said, he wants to be open to making new traditions. “I would like to see the space become a place for food experiments,” he said. “What kind of misos can we make? What can we do with these ingredients that hasn’t been done yet?”

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