Essex County News

Ten-year-old Verona Chef Kicks It Up a Notch in the Kitchen

20235cf4ed4f7302786d_connorlogo.jpg
95b5edcfdfc52eeca6e2_IMG_2061.jpg
40bca9c8242714ea5448_IMG_2417.jpg
21f1ddb0f3c12434c18c_IMG_2728.jpg
2805d0fd646e06bf0192_IMG_3113.jpg
920a48f406d78f5e7153_IMG_3157.jpg
ee4de8434d176f905806_IMG_6941.jpg
2bd49ba3553fbd8198d1_IMG_2567.jpg
4380eae356c066f12963_COLOR_300_px_wide.jpg
20235cf4ed4f7302786d_connorlogo.jpg

VERONA, NJ - A 10-year-old chef is cooking up a little magic in Verona, or should we call it “Saucery?”  

A “foodie” since birth, Connor Barshay has a sophisticated palate for one so young, with a love for salty, sour and savory flavors -- preferring pickles, olives and cheeses over cake, candy and other sweets.  Perhaps his favorite food accompaniment is hot sauce and he is turning that love of heat into his own business -- “Connor’s Saucery.”  

“When he was a baby, he would literally suck on lemons and call it “bad juice,” said his father Ethan Barshay.  “He would pretend he didn’t like it, but clearly he did.”

Sign Up for E-News

“He’s never been the kind of kid to order off the children’s menu.  He’s a very adventurous eater and if there’s an interesting item on the menu he’ll order it,” said his mother Michelle.  “He most recently tried a camel burger and loved it.”  

Connor is a fifth-grader at H.B. Whitehorne Middle School, whose favorite subject is math. He is also a huge video game and Star Wars fan -- naming Star Wars Battlefront as his favorite game and Yoda as his favorite character because he is “small, green and very funny.”  As for hot sauce, Connor said he likes to put it on pretty much anything he likes to eat.  

Connor’s love of hot sauce began at an early age. The Barshays said that no matter where they went to eat Connor would request hot sauce and if it was homemade or a brand he’d never tried before he would get really excited. In fact, one of Connor’s favorite restaurants is Little Havana in Baltimore that offers its own hot sauce for sale.   

“Connor has always liked flavorful, spicy foods -- never sweets. So for birthdays we stick a candle in a pickle or in a bowl of olives,” laughs Michelle. “As a family we garden a lot and we grow hot peppers.  A cousin of mine also grows a variety of peppers for Connor to try.”

Connor also began cooking at an early age, helping his dad and his mom  in the kitchen. “I cook and my wife cooks and we take food pretty seriously at home so Connor would always help out,” Ethan said.  

Connor has Muscular Dystrophy which can make some physical activity challenging. Ethan and Michelle encourage Connor to pursue other activities he can excel at….like cooking.  

“My favorite thing about cooking is that I get to try out new flavors and experiment with things,” Connor said.  

According to Michelle,  he’s partial to Mexican food and always makes nachos for his friends when they come over to play.

“My family is very Italian so we make and jar our own sauces. Connor has always loved the process, so I think that prompted the idea of making his own hot sauce,” Michelle added.

Ethan agreed, noting that one of Connor’s relatives bought him a hot sauce making kit and the next thing they knew, Connor’s Saucery was born.

The goal of Connor’s Saucery is two-fold -- to create a profitable, independent, small-batch hot sauce business with delicious products that Connor can be proud of and to give back to the Muscular Dystrophy community by contributing 10 percent of all profits to Muscular Dystrophy research and other projects that benefit children with special needs.

“People don’t always know much about Muscular Dystrophy so research is underfunded,” Ethan explained.  “We are hoping to bring a little bit of attention and a little bit of funding.”

According to Ethan, when Connor began his career as a hot sauce chef, he was initially searching for the hottest “hot sauce” he could find, but then he noted that while the hottest sauces had the heat, they lacked flavor.  

“Now he’s more interested in making sauce that is hot, but that also has an interesting flavor,” Ethan noted.  “The plan is to use all fresh ingredients and make hot sauce infused with flavors.”

Connor wants to kick off the business with three different sauces -- Lime & Habanero, Ghost Pepper & Roasted Vidalia Onion and Jalapeno, Tomatillo & Madras Curry.   Connor is the Executive Chef/Owner and Ethan is the Cook/Co-owner.  To get the business off the ground, Ethan established a Go Fund Me page and was amazed when they reached their goal of $2,000 in less than 24 hours.

“It was touching on so many levels,” Ethan said.  “The response was amazing. We were dumbfounded and really moved.”

Michelle said she was overwhelmed by the response, noting that they had been talking about the hot sauce idea for a while.  

“This last year, we’ve traveled to Baltimore a lot because Connor is part of a clinical trial, so the hot sauce has been a car conversation,” she noted.  “We’ve been eating our way through Baltimore, trying different hot sauces as we went, and pretty much no stone has been unturned, so the next logical step was to make our own.”

Ethan secured a local commercial kitchen and began the process of getting all of the necessary licensing.  They are now accepting pre-orders on their website. In addition, hot sauce fans can keep up to date via Facebook and Instagram

“We’re looking to have three or four sauces available for sale within the next month or so and then hit as many farm markets, street fairs and food events as possible come early spring,” Ethan explained.  “In addition, we are launching an online store, and hope to have Connor’s sauces carried in local specialty markets.”  

Download the FREE TAPinto App!  Click here for Android - Click here for iOS to get news as it is happening.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

SOMA

Columbia High School Principal's Removal Raises More Questions Than It Answers

The last Twitter post from Columbia High School principal Elizabeth Aaron is very telling. 

The four-year CHS schools chief, who was recently, surprisingly, reassigned to a vague “Principal on Special Assignment” post by the school district, was a Twitter regular on her @CougarPrincipal account. There she would often promote the school’s successes and notable staff and ...

AtlantiCast

AtlantiCast: Episode 18

On this week’s AtlantiCast, you’ll find out how accessing care at Atlantic Health System is now easier, more affordable and closer to home than ever, learn which item from the produce aisle could be the newest weapon against cancer, see what Atlantic Health System, the New York Times and Instagram all have in common and much more.

 

 

Maplewood Police Blotter - Stolen Vehicle in Maplewood Recovered by South Orange Police

July 18, 2018

July 11 - Motor Vehicle Theft; Sometime during the early morning hours, a vehicle was stolen from a residence on the 400 block of Richmond Ave. The vehicle was recovered by the South Orange Police Department the same morning.

Maplewood Police Blotter - Two Robberies Reported on July 5

July 2 - Motor Vehicle Theft; Sometime over the previous two days, a U-Haul truck was stolen from a business on Newark Way.

July 4 - Theft from Auto; During the overnight hours an unsecured vehicle parked on Elberta Rd was entered and keys were stolen from it.

July 5 - Robberies; At approximately 1:30 a.m., a male was assaulted by two males ridding bicycles while he was walking on ...

Free 'Movies in the Park' on July 18 and August 23 in Maplewood

July 16, 2018

MAPLEWOOD, NJ - Free "Movies in the Park" are planned for Wednesday, July 18, and Thursday, August 23, a program hosted by the Maplewood Police Department in conjunction with the Maplewood Recreation Department, the Maplewood Office of Cultural Affairs, SOMA Film Festival and SOMA Municipal Alliance.

The movie on July 18 will be The Incredibles, shown in Dehart Park, ...

National Weather Service Issues Heat Advisory Through 6 p.m. Tuesday, July 17

NEW YORK, NY, - The National Weather Service issued a 'Heat Advisory' this morning for Bergen, Passaic, Essex, Union and Hudson Counties in New Jersey. The heat advisory will remain in effect from noon Monday July 16, until 6 p.m. Tuesday July 17.

Extreme heat can cause illness and death among at- risk population who cannot stay cool. The heat and humidity may cause heat stress during ...

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_839567c057b5b1db93e9_bill-boat_504x353_web

Thu, July 26, 6:00 PM

River Barge Park & Marina, Carlstadt

Meadowlands Discovery Sunset Eco-Cruise

Green Travel

Fri, July 27, 6:30 PM

Calloway's Restaurant & Bar, Staffordville

Family Promise SOC Fundraiser at Calloway's

Food & Drink Giving Back

Carousel_image_982bc8344531b1a37c85_par_440

Fri, July 27, 7:00 PM

Par 440 Restaurant & Lounge, Short Hills

The Extra Rich In Class Dinner Show with E.R.I.C.

Arts & Entertainment Food & Drink

Carousel_image_af1b89eae735bf536426_par440_promo

Fri, July 27, 7:00 PM

Par 440 Restaurant & Lounge, Short Hills

The Extra Rich In Class Dinner Show with E.R.I.C.

Arts & Entertainment Food & Drink

Statement From Emergency Committee to Reinstate Principal Aaron

July 10, 2018

** TUESDAY RALLY IS CANCELLED **

We created a movement. We leveraged our collective 1,600 voices and forced the District leadership to sit with us today [Monday] and discuss the poorly communicated, weekend announcement that CHS Principal Elizabeth Aaron was being reassigned.

Our meeting was a first step in both accountability and transparency as Dr. Ficarra revealed Principal ...

Coalition on Race Responds to Changes in School District Administrators

The Board of Trustees of the Community Coalition on Race seeks racial equity, integration, and excellence in education for all students in our schools. While the pace of change has been frustratingly slow, we have seen some progress. Yet, candidly, there are too many students of color who are not well served in SOMA, who still experience segregated classrooms and who still suffer from racial ...

Rutgers-Newark Athletic Field Renamed to Honor Frederick Douglass

July 22, 2018

NEWARK, NJ – Long before Rutgers University-Newark created an athletic field on University Avenue, the abolitionist Frederick Douglass delivered an address in 1849 at a church that once stood there.

Rutgers Board of Governors approved a resolution to rename the field in honor of the time Douglass spent here. The field will now be called the Frederick Douglass ...

Those Boarded-Up Homes in the West Ward? Newark Has a Plan for Them.

NEWARK, NJ - The city is using the power of eminent domain to reduce the number of condemned homes and vacant lots scattered throughout the West Ward.

The redevelopment plan for the West Ward was introduced in 2016 and encompasses properties from the border of Irvington to South 13th Street between South Orange Avenue and 16th Avenue. One of the main goals of the plan is to support new ...

Rutgers Hikes Tuition, Student Fees for 2018-2019 Academic Year

July 18, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - Rutgers University Board of Governors today approved a 2.3 percent hike in tuition and fees, as well as increases for dorm rooms and meals, for the 2018-2019 academic year.

The increase now brings the annual cost for undergraduate students to $14,975, which is $337 more than this past school year.

Student housing will increase 1.9 percent, and ...

NJ Residents Take Action Against White Supremacist Fliers Found Around Bridgewater, Bedminster, Other Local Areas

BRIDGEWATER, NJ - Residents of Bridgewater, Somerville, Morristown and surrounding communities are mobilizing for action after they found posters around town promoting Identity Evropa, which the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) has labeled a white supremacist group.

According to Bridgewater resident Stacey Friedlander, a member of the “Not In Our Town – Bridgewater/Raritan” ...

Weekly Specials at Ashley Marketplace - July 20 to July 26

July 22, 2018

Shop Ashley Marketplace & Cafe for your everyday needs!

This week's specials are:          

Klondike Ice Cream Sandwiches 25.3oz $5.99
Driscoll’s Raspberries 6oz $2.99
Looza Juice 33.8floz $3.99
Meat Lasagna $7.99lb (Prep Food)
Almond Breeze Almond Milk 64floz $3.79
Black Angus Bone In Rib Steak $8.98lb ...

Woolley Home Solutions Building Has Unique Historical Stained Glass Window

Have you ever spotted this Stained Glass Window on our building? It's compliments of the first Methodist Church in town. The repairman saw our 1924 Autocar Truck parked outside and created this beautiful piece and installed it in our front window. The church was knocked down years ago and its location is now Walgreen's parking lot.

The church was originally built in 1836 when Maplewood ...

New Plumber Joins the Woolley Home Solutions Team

We are excited to announce a new addition to the Woolley team! Our new plumber, Oscar Buonafina, is an expert plumber with nearly a decade of industry experience serving New Jersey homeowners. He is also a NJ Master Plumber Since 2007. As a military veteran, Oscar truly understands hard work and commitment, and we’re so happy to bring him on board!

"I believe in service to people ...