New Jersey residents Jeff Ingledue, Ryan Kirch and Chris Holland can’t believe their new line of duck fats weren’t thought of by someone before. This handy product, Duck Phat Foods, which comes in flavors like chili, garlic, holiday herb and porcini, blends rendered duck fat with herbs, spices and vegetables to create a luxurious oil best used for finishing touches.
The idea sprang into the minds of Ingledue and Kirch while holding a barbeque in September 2018. As they taste-tested a dish of bratwurst grilled and then immersed in a combination of IPA and duck fat, inspiration struck. “I just kept sort of chipping away at it,” said Ingledue.
The pandemic helped.
“A big part of it was COVID,” he said. “We had a lot more time sitting around at home. That opened up some avenues for Ryan and I to get together and experiment with it more and think, maybe we have something here.”
When they reached the limits of what they could do with a crockpot in their home kitchens, they reached out to Chris Holland, chef and owner of Sparkill, New York based Kantina Restaurant and a three-time Chopped champion, to become the executive chef of their newly forming company. (The two had long been fans of his, having eaten at his earlier restaurant, DVine Bar.)
“When they sent me the email, my first reaction was to roll my eyes, and then I’m like, this is a really good idea,” said Holland. “Actually, duck fat is delicious. They came to the restaurant, and I saw their passion and realized this was something that was going to be worth my time.”
Soon after, he began developing the flavor profiles of Duck Phat’s line.
Since duck fat has a lot to do with the ducks that go into it, the company spent time finding the perfect purveyor, a family farm in Pennsylvania. The ducks are a Long Island heritage variety, raised free-range, and the processor focuses on using the entire duck. Plus, their main processing plant is only an hour and fifteen minutes away from the company headquarters in Northvale, New Jersey.
According to the owners, Duck Phat is perfect for the home kitchen. As Holland said, “One of the things I have found in using it at home is that it’s surprisingly light. That’s been the most surprising thing about working with it. You think you’re going to be eating just like a fat punch in the mouth, and that’s not what it is at all.”
One of the Duck Phat guys favorites? This wilted spinach salad with Chili Duck Phat. Lucky us, Beyondish got the recipe.
Wilted Spinach Salad with Chili Duck Phat
5 oz. baby spinach
1 cup grape tomatoes
1 cup croutons
1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste
3 Tbsp Chili Duck Phat
2 Tbsps crumbled blue cheese
Combine all ingredients except blue cheese and Duck Phat in a bowl.
Heat Chili Duck Phat in a pan until you see little wisps of smoke.
Pour warm Duck Phat over the greens mixture and toss.
Top with blue cheese and serve.
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