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Photograph: Courtesy Creative Commons/Flickr/Via Tsuji

Condiment sommeliers are taking over New York City

By Rheanna O'Neil Bellomo

First mayo, then mustard, now hot sauce: Gotham is getting carried away with condiment sommeliers. In December, centuries-old mustard brand Maille introduced New York to the country's first mustard sommelier at its stand-alone boutique on the Upper West Side. There, Pierette Huttner chooses from more than 20 varieties of mustard (black truffle, parmesan-basil) for food pairings based on customers' palates. Before that, back in Spring 2012, wd~50 vet Sam Mason opened Empire Mayonnaise in Bushwick, where he crafts artisanal mayo with fresh ingredients like rosemary, ghost pepper and roasted garlic. 

Now there's a new somm in town: Noah Chaimberg of the forthcoming Heatonist, a hot sauce shoptasting-room slated to open on April 18 in Greenpoint. The heat miser will be purveying about 150 of the best hot sauces from across the country—that means much more than just Sriracha and Frank's—planning pop-ups with guest chefs and tailoring a subscription service based on preferences like saltiness, sweetness and smokiness. 

So what's next for NYC's condiment scene? Ketchup gurus? Relish connoisseurs? Salt-mmeliers? It's a miracle we were functioning—and topping our hot dogs—before these masters came around.


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