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Do This:! Fragrance Meets Food with Aftelier’s Chef’s Essences

Aftelier Chef's Essences

Aftelier Chef’s Essences

You may have been to a bar recently where the mixologist sprayed a scent of some mysterious fragrance on the edge of your glass, and wondered if that’s how he got away with charging you $16 dollars for your drink. But you weren’t complaining as you downed that fancy cocktail speaking the praises of unexpected flavors and promptly ordered another. Adding fragrance to food and drinks is nothing new to the culinary elite, but since Mandy Aftel started her own line of essential oils after writing the book Aroma with Michelin-starred chef, Daniel Patterson, you can now add a dash of blood orange to your own vodka on the rocks or a drop of pink peppercorn to your vanilla ice cream. Sound crazy? Perhaps, but Mandy’s process of extracting the natural oils from these ingredients creates a softer, almost floral flavor that you can impart without pulling out your pepper mill or pulverizing a celery stalk into your bloody mary.

Pink Peppercorn meets Ice Cream

Pink Peppercorn meets Ice Cream (photo courtesy of Food52)

The oils are potent as they are completely extracted from the original ingredient, unlike most synthetic flavorings — Mandy recommends adding a drop or two to a teaspoon before adding to your dish to avoid the blunder of more pouring out and overpowering your creation {with 150 drops per bottle, these will last a long time.} Your first inclination may be to wonder why need a pink pepper oil when you can just grind pink peppercorns — would you do that into a chilled vodka, neat? Or why you would need blood orange when you can just squeeze the bright citrus yourself — would you do that over ice cream? These oils allow you to experiment with flavors and add an unexpected fragrance to a dish or cocktail that will put you on the level of any michelin-starred chef. Finish soups, create cocktails, a dash over fruit and my favorite, ice cream {I was serious when I suggested pink peppercorn — the hands down winner in our ice cream test session.}

Want to start playing with your food fragrance? Save $20 on the Food52 starter set HERE or select from any of her 50 essences. 


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