This week Nona is giving away five $15 gift certificates to Ted & Honey Café in Cobble Hill. Since opening in June of 2008, Ted & Honey has been a Cobble Hill favorite, largely due to chef/owner Ted Jackson’s dedication to making everything in-house, using the freshest local ingredients possible.
When the coveted space on Clinton St. right next to the charming Cobble Hill park became available, co-owner (and sister) Michelle Mannix convinced Ted to give up his job as head chef at Six Penn Kitchen–a favorite Pittsburgh fine dining spot–to move to Brooklyn and fulfill their dream of opening a café together. Anyone who’s tried one of their perfectly-crafted sandwiches or baked goods can tell you this story has a happy ending!
Chef Ted was kind enough to take a few minutes to chat with us about some of the things he’s been working on recently:
“Lately we have been Zucchini crazy. We’ve been getting the squash from local Long Island farms like Fox Hollow and Wells Farms, as well as Sheldon Farms in Washington County. I’ve developed a highly addictive Zucchini bread with that wonderful local zucchini, local apples from Saratoga Apples, coconut, pecans, organic flour from Daisy Flour [in PA], eggs from Dines Farm in upstate NY, whole milk from Battenkill Valley Creamery, and spices. I’ve also been making a dark chocolate – whole wheat – zucchini cookie. We also use the wonderful squash in our vegetable panini and our grain salads.”
Ted & Honey’s Caprese sandwich offers a great example of their DIY ethos:
“Our Caprese sandwich features our own house-made Mozzarella cheese, which we make with curd from Vermont’s Maplebrook Mountain Farm. We make the pesto with local basil and baby arugula from Long Island’s Satur Farms, almonds and local garlic; and we slow roast tomatoes from Grasso Farms, NJ. We serve it all up on fresh baked bread from Caputos Bakery on Court St.”
The café also recently acquired a Cookshack smoker, and they’ve been having all kinds of fun with it. Says Ted:
“We’re now making our own bacon! I cure fresh bellies from Dines Farm in upstate NY for 7 days in maple, brown sugar, juniper berry, bay, and pepper, and follow that with 8 hours of slow smoking. And there’s the pork bbq – for that I brine pork shoulder and fresh ham (also from Dines Farm) in a molasses juniper brine for 2 days and then slow smoke it for 15 hours, dress it with a light touch of vinegar and red pepper and toss it with our homemade signature bbq sauce (canned in house and sold on shelves as well). We then serve it over our house made pickles and top it with our signature cole slaw.”
Chef Ted has also started his own line of baby foods which he makes with whatever fresh, local, organic ingredients he can get his hands on. Moms out there can stop by and try some unique flavors with great local ingredients (they’re always changing, so we can’t promise what will be in stock.)
Our last question for Chef Ted: ‘So what are you working on today?’
“Today I am canning a local apple and rhubarb chutney as well as a fresh batch of our bbq sauce; our almost-famous orange, chipotle, dried apricot hot sauce; some pickled candy-striped beets from Satur Farms and a wonderful Southern style chow chow relish with local sweet bi-color corn, heirloom cauliflower, local beans, peppers and sweet onions.”
Nona’s personal favorites at Ted & Honey? We’re big fans of the Bacon, Lettuce, Tomato and Avocado (BLAT) sandwich and the aforementioned Caprese any time of day, the Fidel (Cuban sandwich) if we’re feeling feisty, and the Redneck (a housemade breakfast wrap) couldn’t be a more perfect brunch option. Wash it down with one of their tart cranberry juices and you’ll be ready to face the day!
The café is located at 264 Clinton St. Stop by for a sandwich and enjoy it in Cobble Hill park, right next door!