Suzanne Frisse, gardener-in-chief and the culinary ace behind Meadowlark Acres gourmet goods, is a free spirit by nature and a colorful person by choice.

There’s more to Frisse and her artisan food than meets the eye.

Craftsmanship is apparent in her cooking and baking. Hidden within each slice of her fresh-baked focaccia is something more than flour, yeast, salt, sugar, olive oil and water. It’s the skill of an artisan that coaxes ingredients into dough, oversees its rest and rise, and kneads and bakes it until the flavor, texture and aroma communicate depth worth considering further.

Frisse’s line of jellies, chutneys, mustards and artisan breads begins with fresh garden ingredients. Frisse and her husband, Dan Lathrop, who passed away last November, built vegetable and herb beds that provide a bountiful yield. She also obtains seasonal produce from local farmers’ markets.

Meadowlark Acres goods are sold at Olive Tree (4949 W. 119th St.), which carries her top-selling confetti rainbow hot pepper jelly ($7.95) and sweet-and-spicy hot pepper mustard ($7.95). On Thursdays, Frisse takes orders on Facebook and her Web site (meadowlark-acres.com) for bread, focaccia (starting at $4) and oozy boozy cakes ($30) for Saturday deliveries.

Frisse sums up her lifestyle:  “I don’t want to do it if it’s not fun.” These brief glimpses form a more complete picture of Suzanne Frisse and her ways with food. Like the fruit, sugar and pectin she uses for jam, these details of her distill into an impression worth preserving.

More: http://www.kcmag.com/food/kcm-food/5441-chefs-little-secret

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Originally published in KC Magazine, October 2011.