Behind the Scenes of Wolff’s Chef-Made Prepared Foods

Since the summer of 2010, our chef Chuck Smith has been creating delectable new recipes for Wolff’s Apple House. He studied at Baltimore International College and apprenticed at Jeannier’s, a classic French restaurant in Baltimore. No stranger to the benefits of local and in-season produce, he has volunteered at an East Coast organic farm and managed a cooperative deli. We believe that Chuck’s prepared food menu is an exciting new venture for Wolff’s and are delighted that customers can enjoy healthy foods prepared with culinary elegance.

What is the philosophy behind the meals and prepared foods you create?

High quality meals and prepared foods begin with high quality ingredients. Here at Wolff’s, I have a pretty ideal scenario. Essentially, I work right alongside my supplier, which means that my food has a direct and immediate relationship with the raw ingredients a customer will find all throughout the store. That also means that my raw ingredients are subject to the same amount of scrutiny through the selection process that ALL of Wolff’s produce is subjected to. Wolff’s goal is to provide ingredients of the highest quality and ONLY of the highest quality to the community. Often, this means that their produce is sourced from local farms and producers. Therefore, my food must be an extension of that.

I have always viewed cooking as a series of processes, or as a series of refinement. The quality of that refinement is determined by the ingredients and the level of attention put into those processes.

Why did you decide to prepare an in-season menu?

For the most part, the produce and raw ingredients you find at Wolff’s will change seasonally. And while a customer will find a wide selection of produce year-round, it is widely accepted that Wolff’s is the place to find local apples, melons, tomatoes, peaches, and corn (when they are IN SEASON.) I believe that there is a tremendous amount of added value when a customer can visit the store in search of local produce and also find a selection of classic deli items that have incorporated those ingredients into them.
 

What prompted you to incorporate Wolff’s family recipes?

Wolff’s Apple House is a long established market located in the Delaware Valley. It has always been a passion of mine to explore cuisine that evolves in a particular region over time. Here at Wolff’s I have access to a wealth of family history and culinary endeavors. The tomato salsa, for instance, is a family recipe that has long been enjoyed by the Wolff’s for generations.  
 

Which recipes in the menu are Wolff’s classics?

The tomato salsa and guacamole are definitely Wolff’s classics. They have a devoted following. Also, through much customer feedback, we are happy to consider newly introduced items such as the BBQ pulled pork and chicken salad as INSTANT classics. 

What is your culinary background?

While studying professional cooking and baking at Baltimore International College, I apprenticed at Jeannier’s, a classic French restaurant located in Baltimore. After some time as executive pastry chef at Jeannier’s, I accepted a post at Caves Valley Golf Club in Owings Mills, Maryland. As a station and line cook at Caves, I was introduced to the benefits of cooking with local ingredients. This interest eventually led to a couple of years volunteering on a small organic farm in Towson, MD. After five years at Caves Valley I relocated to Belfast, Maine. There I managed a cooperative deli. The cooperative sourced almost all of their ingredients locally—including a variety of cheeses and locally pastured beef, and chicken. After a brief hiatus from the restaurant industry, I am happy to once again be involved in the culinary arena. It is my pleasure to be involved with this Wolff’s endeavor and I look forward to creating a menu worthy of the place.