Tastemaker Seasonal Nut Butter Trio
The first Tastemaker of 2023 is Meherwan Irani, Co-Founder, Chef, and CEO of Chai Pani Restaurant Group, which is made up of seven restaurants including James Beard award-winning Indian street food restaurant Chai Pani, and Spicewalla spices. Meherwan was named by TIME Magazine as one of the “31 People Changing the South” and is a five-time James Beard Award semifinalist for Best Chef: Southeast.
Meherwan grew up in India, where his family would spend a whole week each year making their own dhansak masala spice blend in his grandmother’s home. His long lineage of family recipes, combined with his experience as a seasoned chef, yields a rich and beautiful tapestry of Spicewalla product offerings. You may already be familiar with Spicewalla if you've read the ingredients of our Limited Batch Apple Pie Spice Almond and Pecan Butter, which was made with their signature Apple Pie Spice blend of cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, ginger, and green cardamom.
We’re so proud to be highlighting Meherwan’s work in this way and to work with him as a peer in the local NC food community. Without further delay, here are his favorite nut butter recipes, and a few words about why he loves them!
Meherwan’s Tastemaker Trio includes one 13oz jar, each, of the following nut butters (his words about each in italics):
Chai Spice Peanut and Almond Butter
We're pretty particular about chai around here! And I know it can be tricky to add chai spice as an ingredient without it being overwhelming. Big Spoon's Chai Spice peanut and almond butter is my personal favorite because the spices are so well integrated and balanced.
Chocolate Sea Salt Almond Butter
I am yet to eat Big Spoon's nut butters on anything but a spoon, straight out of the jar. It's pretty rare that a nut butter is high quality enough that you want to eat like a pint of ice cream, but that's exactly how my wife Molly and I eat this Chocolate Sea Salt almond butter. The crunchy sea salt and cacao nibs really bring the magic.
Almond Butter with Wildflower Honey
Growing up in India, nut butters weren't a thing. I'd never eaten a PB&J until I was 20 and living in South Carolina! To me, nut butter is uniquely American, and Big Spoon Roasters Almond Butter with Wildflower Honey is my creme de la creme, the premiumest of nut butters that still makes me nostalgic for my first revelatory bite.