Bruce's Prime Pickle Co. | Chef Bruce Kalman Gets His Cure | Tasting Table Los Angeles

Chef Bruce Kalman gets his cure on

Bruce Kalman, former head chef at The Churchill, left the stress and strife of professional kitchens earlier this year for a more Zen-like pursuit.

In other words, he became a professional pickle-maker.

"I've always loved pickling," says Kalman. "When you put great ingredients in the jar you get a great result."

Those who remember The Churchill's popular pickle plate will be delighted by Prime Pickles' six varieties ($10 to $13 a jar), made from the chef's personal recipes.

The pickling process (Photo: Bruce Kalman)

In one jar, Kalman amps ups hulking kirby cucumbers with horseradish and garlic, a riff on the delicatessen half-sours he grew up eating. In another, he pairs cauliflower and golden raisins with aromatic curry spices. The crunchy "Chi-town" giardiniere, a staff favorite, is an ideal topping for a salami sandwich.

We couldn't get enough of the Bloody Mary asparagus spears flavored with tomato juice, celery and fresno chiles–equally delicious as a garnish for their namesake drink or out of the jar as a midday snack.

Kalman's new venture hasn't relaxed his standards either: He insists on hand-packing each jar using high-quality ingredients, such as Hepp's Salt, Sparrow Lane vinegar and produce from local farmers he's worked with for years.

"I approach it just as I did when I was chef," he explains, "which means doing just about everything yourself."

You can take the chef out of the restaurant...

Prime Pickle products are available at several stores throughout L.A., or online through Good Eggs.