Chow Bella

Traci Zitzer's Urban Table Larder Opens in JAM, Bringing Art and Artisanal Food Together

See also: April's Edible Education at Old Town Scottsdale Farmers' Market

Housed in an adorable 1913 bungalow (once owned by Charles Miller, for whom Miller Road was named), JAM is an artisan boutique and art venue where local artists are featured and artsy classes are taught. The rustic couture shop is filled with products that are recycled, re-purposed, handmade, and homemade.

Owned and operated by Shauna Kupetz, JAM will get a little sweeter in September, when Traci Zitzer of Urban Table transforms one room of the shop into Urban Table Larder, a gardening and provisions store featuring nonperishable foodstuffs that Zitzer calls "small batch and from scratch, the best of the best."

Zitzer, a trained chef who has followed the fancy-food show business for eight years, plans to showcase food artisans, many of whom can't afford a brick-and-mortar space. Her larder will carry local and regional honeys, jams, olive oils, chutneys, sauces, syrups, vinegars, scented sugars and the like as well as gardening tools and gloves, trugs, seed bombs, tea towels, aprons, and other kitchen items.

Zitzer also plans to carry polenta and flour from Hayden Flour Mill as well as products from Slow Food's Ark of Taste -- an international catalog of foods threatened by industrial standardization.

Urban Table Larder will have a soft opening on September 4, but the grand opening bash -- a three-day event -- begins on Thursday, September 27 with Miller Market on 1st Street, a farmers market held in JAM's parking lot from 4 to 8 p.m. Although Kupetz doesn't have all the vendors pinned down yet, she says her market will feature fruits, vegetables, fresh flowers and hand-made treasures from local artisans and artists. Kupetz expects the market to be a regular Thursday night event tied in to Old Town's Art Walk.

The following day -- Friday, September 28 -- will be called Foodie Fridays, a roundup of five food trucks (organized by Kupetz, input provided by Short Leash Dogs), parked at JAM from 6 to 8 p.m. Local musicians will jam on the porch.

On Saturday, September 29, Zitzer will kick off the first Saturday Night Supper, a local chef pop-up limited to 12 seats. Although her menu isn't etched in stone, she's considering a Southern-style Meat and Three, offering cider-braised pork chops and yummy sides, including Jeff Zimmerman's polenta. As with the previous two events, this one will also be ongoing.

Down the line, Kupetz, Zitzer and Zitzer's business partner R.J. Johnson (who graduated CIA and has loads of experience in the restaurant business) hope to host Edible Education Dinners (dinner and class) as well as gardening classes. They've already begun soliciting local chefs.

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Nikki Buchanan