Edible Omaha

Spilling the Beans

Local Chef Wins National “Good Food Award”

Bryce Coulton’s Hungarian Salami

Good Food Awards 2014, Palace of Fine Arts, San Francisco, CA.
Photo by Marla Aufmuth

Bryce Coulton cracked a book about Cold War–era Polish sausage and thumbed the pages. He blended spices, fat and meat, cooked and tasted, then cooked and tasted again. The flavors were bland and timid, not at all what you would typically expect from cured and cooked meats in a frigid climate. It was the Cold War, however, and Poland as well as Hungary were part of the Eastern Bloc. Many of these recipes were government issued, guided and dictated.

Bryce, chef and co-owner, of the French Bulldog, a deli-style eatery in Omaha’s Dundee neighborhood, was fascinated by the history of such recipes and decided to use them as a baseline for creating his own balanced, creamy and flavorful Hungarian Salami. He went to work developing a blend of spices and testing different grinds to get the perfect meat-to-fat ratio. Little did he know his experimentation would lead to a moment months later when he would walk across a stage in San Francisco and accept the Good Food Award for sustainable, local and exceptional charcuterie.

Winners were selected in a blind tasting by 225 judges. The Hungarian Salami was a standout from 1,450 entries from all 50 states across multiple food and beverage categories. Bryce accepted the honor, which was presented to him by chef and food advocate Alice Waters, on January 16.

“To be around that caliber of people who have been recognized for making artisan foods at that level was kind of daunting—like how am I here?” said Bryce during a phone interview later that month. “I look at the Good Food Awards as a way to validate this work, my work among my peers, from an unbiased point of view. No one knows me, no one could be influenced one way or another. It’s just, ‘here is the food.’ It’s good or it’s not.”

Both the Hungarian Salami and Bryce’s Juniper Salami, which was selected as a finalist in the Good Food Awards, are available at the French Bulldog. Visit their website at FrenchBulldogOmaha.com or stop and try it for yourself at 5003 Underwood Avenue in Omaha.

—By Summer Miller