The first Saturday in August marks National Mustard Day, where we celebrate the yummy goodness of this beloved yellow condiment many of us have grown to love. This year, we wanted to celebrate this quirky holiday by featuring one of our foodpreneurs from Manitoba, Carly Minish of SMAK DAB Foods.
SMAK DAB is based in Winnipeg, Manitoba and crafts a line of gourmet mustards that take the traditional condiment, which is said to be one of the first condiments humans ever put on food, and puts a unique (and delicious) spin on it. Founder, and Red Seal Chef, Carly, creates mustards of different flavours from sweet honey or maple to spicy beer or zesty Dijon mustards. “We are breaking the mold of what people think of the humble pantry essential,” Minish explains.
After attending culinary school, Carly began her apprenticeship in a fine dining establishment in Winnipeg. While working there, she noticed how the chef used mustard in all different areas of the kitchen, for marinades, salad dressings, sauces, etc. This is where the inspiration from SMAK DAB came from for Carly.
She wondered if people realized all the different uses for mustard and noticed the market lacked locally made mustards that use locally produced or Canadian ingredients. “After all, mustard seed is one of Canada’s top exports,” she explained. Carly began to play around with recipes, and gave some away for Christmas gifts one year. Turns out, everyone loved them and encouraged her to take them to market. And just like that, SMAK DAB was born.
But starting a new business meant leaving the restaurant industry behind, but Carly explained that she wasn’t really feeling fulfilled in that sector of the industry. Although she loved to cook and create great food, she wasn’t sure if a restaurant was her life-long dream. “I wanted to express myself and my love for food, and I found that becoming an entrepreneur allowed me to do just that.”
Since leaving the restaurant industry behind, SMAK DAB’s mustards can be found in retailers not just in Manitoba, but in Banff, Vancouver, Toronto and Mississauga (to name a few), and online at FoodiePages.ca and Igzi.ca. And her products can be used in a variety of creative ways such as using her White Wine Herb Mustard in a garlicky homemade Caesar salad dressing, or the Curry Dijon Mustard rubbed on herby grilled lamb chops. “I love adding a generous spoonful of our Beer Chipotle Mustard in our garlic mustard marinade and marinating flank steak overnight,” Carly shared.
For National Mustard Day, Carly wanted to share this message: “If you love mustard, really it a go in your cooking! If you don’t like mustard, try it anyways. You will be surprised how much flavor it will add to your food.”
Written By: Lauren Marinigh, Social Media & Content Creation Coordinator, Futurpreneur Canada