Life With Ferris: Bonny And Alan Shuptrine's Twisted Relish Is Off The Charts

Sunday, October 13, 2013 - by Ferris Robinson
Twisted Relish
Twisted Relish

        Bonny and Alan Shuptrine aren't much for letting moss grow. Or staying on the straight and narrow. Or keeping their successful career inside any box.

        Both of them come from artistic families, and both have an innate appreciation of art. And as true artists are able to do, they see art wherever it is. Just because it's not in  a framed canvas (although they see plenty of that art at Shuptrine Fine Art and Shuptrine's Gold Leaf Designs, the companies they both run) doesn't meant it's not art.

25in;">        "We all love art in all categories, including the culinary arts. Our family, including our two boys Ben and Jake, love watching cooking shows on television. We just naturally enjoy seeing how things are made and imagining the 'what ifs' and possibilities," Bonny says. "Our favorite chef is Guy Fierre - we just laugh at all the fun things he does with food."

        As creative in the kitchen as they are in the art world, the Shuptrines have been tweaking Bonny's family pickle recipe and Alan's grandmother's sweet pickles for years. "We have wars to see whose is better, and taste tests have erupted, and of course the boys put in their two cents worth as well," Bonny says. Alan is particularly fond of this condiment, and in Highlands, N.C., where he grew up, homemade sweet pickles and Appalachian-style relish was as much a part of the table setting as salt and pepper.

        Two years ago, when this pickle competition escalated and Bonny and Alan grew weary of competing with one another in the kitchen,  the Shuptrines combined their recipes. "We drew on the good points of each recipe, and added a special 'twist'. When we gave some jars away as holiday gives the consistent response was OMG! That is the best  I've ever tasted. Will you please make more?

        The Shuptrine family may be highly creative, but that doesn't mean they don't have a keen business sense. "When the economy is really bad, a newness is needed. This is the perfect time to expose a new product," Bonny says of the new line of Twisted products. "Alan's national exposure in the art world combined with the successful auction of his watercolors made us decide to brand the name and produce this 'artist's product'."

         Of course the label itself is artistic; you wouldn't expect anything boring from this group of folks. But this label is almost as good as owning a valuable piece of art. Twisted Dusk, winner of the ColArt Americas Winsor and Newton Award at the Southern Watercolor Society's Juried Exhibition, was also the inspiration for the name.  Bonny jokes that the beautiful painting of the twisted tree on every jar is appropriate because everyone of her artistic family members can be a little 'twisted'.

        Although it's not quite on every supermarket shelf yet, it's simply a matter of time. Once you taste the Twisted Relish, you can't enjoy your food without it. People put it on everything from scrambled eggs and meatloaf to salads and sandwiches. Some use it for an easy party dip and others just eat it right out of the jar. The Twisted Chicken sounds incredible, as does the Twisted Cornbread which is a cross between old fashioned spoonbread and a cheese souffle.

        Available at Enzo's on Main Street and the Mountain Market, the Twisted produces are available at Ace Hardware on Broad Street as well as on the shelves of boutique grocers all over the southeast. 

        Obviously there is a ton of work involved, and the Shuptrine family has had some very busy months. The key word here is family. They may not be watching much TV together, but that doesn't mean they're not together and enjoying their family.

        "The most surprising thing was when Alan, Jake, Ben and I looked at each other asked each other "is this worth the time out of our family life?" and all of us unanimously said YES!  It seems every trip we've taken, every family moment involving cookouts or gatherings, has led right to this place. We have been inspired from tasting homemade barbecue sauce at a roadside stand in Wyoming to tasting grilled stripers in the Damariscotta River in Maine. With every family memory we have recorded, our minds have been asking “what if?”.

        It's probably a matter of time before the Shuptrines are on Guy Fierre's show, and the famous chef is tasting a little Twisted Relish and yelling, "That is off the hook! Dynamite!" 

ferris@waldenloghomes.com

Bonny and Alan Shuptrine with new kitchen creation
Bonny and Alan Shuptrine with new kitchen creation

East Ridge Police Department To Conduct Labor Day Weekend Saturation

The East Ridge Police Department will be conducting a patrol saturation across the upcoming Labor Day weekend. The additional officers will focus their efforts on vehicle crash reduction and public safety enhancement. ERPD would like to wish everyone a happy and safe holiday weekend. (click for more)

TDOT Halts Lane Closures On Tennessee Highways For Labor Day Weekend

The Tennessee Department of Transportation will halt all lane closure activity on interstates and state highways for the busy Labor Day holiday travel period.  Construction crews will stop all lane closure activity beginning at noon on Friday through 6 a.m. on Tuesday.  This will provide maximum roadway capacity for motorists traveling during the busy Labor Day holiday. ... (click for more)

Bradley, 24, Charged In Death Of 3-Year-Old Boy At Soddy Daisy

Justin Dale Bradley has been charged with criminal homicide in the death of a three-year-old child, who was rushed to the hospital on Wednesday and later died. Authorities said Bradley, 24, is the boyfriend of the child's mother. The mother earlier took out an order of protection against Bradley, and he was arrested for violating the order. The Hamilton County Sheriff’s ... (click for more)

Shooting Of 15-Year-Old Began As Argument Between Teens

According to police, the Tuesday night shooting of a juvenile on Taylor Street started as an argument between the two young men. Terry Marshell Smith Jr., 19, was arrested the following day. Police said the former Hixson High School student shot the juvenile in the shoulder after their argument and then fled the scene.  According to police, Smith admitted to the shooting. ... (click for more)

Better Plan For Walnut Street Hotel

Mitch Patel and his Vision Hospitality Group have unveiled a revised plan for a hotel on Walnut Street. It is much better than the one proposed two years ago. By having no curb cuts on Walnut Street, it makes that special block near the bridge more inviting and safer for pedestrians. Deliveries would be off Riverfront Parkway and hotel access (valet parking) would be off Aquarium ... (click for more)

Thanks For Making The Southern Brewers Festival A Success

Now that the dust has settled I'd like to thank Chattanooga for supporting the Southern Brewers Festival and making it yet another very successful event.    For those who do not know - the SBF benefits the Chattanooga chapter of Kids on the Block and the Chattanooga Community Kitchen.  As a partner helping the SBF with volunteers, sponsorships and the overall production ... (click for more)