Culinary Alchemy

A Minneapolis Woman Transforms Humble Vinegar Into Liquid Gold

If I were the betting type, I'd bet your favorite shirt that this whole cooking/not-cooking/no-fat thing is going to pay off big. This tiny business has been quietly growing since 1997, inspired by McCann Crowell's experiences at gourmet stores in big-money, no-time communities like the Hamptons, where she worked at the Barefoot Contessa, or Linden Hills, where she worked at Turtle Bread. Boy, did McCann Crowell learn a lot behind those counters: Recently she taught a class at Cooks of Crocus Hill for which they allotted her three hours to work with a class to prepare a five-course meal, but they did it all in 45 minutes. Five courses in 45 minutes? I know for a fact this qualifies in several circles as an achieved state of earthly bliss.

Laurie McCann Crowell slips treasures into narrow-necked bottles
Kathy Easthagen
Laurie McCann Crowell slips treasures into narrow-necked bottles

So keep an eye out: Sometimes you might think a nice girl from Eau Claire is just nuttily jamming herbs into a narrow-necked bottle. But look a little closer: You'll see she's very cleverly building a better mousetrap. And baiting it without a single gram of fat.

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