Location: Central District
How to find her:
So, how does a pickle get out of a jam?
Hopefully in the kitchen of Venessa Goldberg, where she prepares unique pickles and jams that go in and alongside the dishes she will be serving from her catering truck, How Pickle Got Out of a Jam.
The truck is ready to roll onto the streets around Seattle, but Goldberg and her business partner, James Kennicott, are waiting on final inspections from the city and state.
“I have learned to be a little patient,” says Goldberg. “What is going on is out of my hands.”
Goldberg trained and worked as a pastry chef and took time off when her daughter was born three years ago. When she was ready to return to work last year, and looking for something new to do, Kennicott pointed out: “I drive a truck and you make food.” And the business was born.
Featuring “Northwest cuisine with a hearty dose of our own preserved items,” Goldberg says their menu will always feature a signature pickle and a signature jam along with a cake or biscuit to put that jam on. Some variation of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich will always be offered for kids, along with seasonal soups and salads. Goldberg is already known for her carrot bourbon pickles, and her pickled snap peas and yellow beans with basil and garlic pickles are also favorites. “We will have a traditional kosher dill as soon as cucumbers are in season.”
An avid gardener, she likes to put an interesting twist on jams, too, such as nectarine with lemon or Italian plum with rosemary — “fruit forward with a little bit of extra flavor,” she says.
The Herzl-Ner Tamid Conservative Congregation member just had a chicken coop installed at her Central District home the day we spoke. “I use a lot of homegrown stuff in my own cooking.”
And she still cooks for her family — her husband Joe, their daughter, and his 10-year-old twins. The kids help in the garden and provide feedback on new dishes. With the truck focused on Northwest food, she mostly cooks international food at home.
“Tonight I’m making falafel from scratch,” she says, using a recipe from the new “Jerusalem” cookbook by Yotam Ottolengi.
Goldberg also caters, and she and Kennicott are not only friends, but have cooked together for six or seven years.
“We work pretty well in the kitchen together,” which is good, because “we’ll be together a lot,” she says.
The Ballard High School graduate got her pastry training at South Seattle Community College. She belongs to a cookbook club, plays on a kickball team and is thinking about training for a triathlon — her second. Athletics are more for fun than weight control, she says, pointing out that professional cooks need to learn moderation in eating. If not, “it will become apparent early on in training…If you are constantly eating what you are cooking, you lose the ability to taste when something is fresh and new.”
Goldberg’s truck should be rolling out in a few weeks, if all goes as planned. Look for it at Kirkland Uncorked, July 19-21, and find other scheduled appearances at www.howpicklegotoutofajam.com.