Westmont Pickles, Belles Hot Chicken's pickle of choice
Author: Laksha Prasad
Photography: Ben Hansen, styling by Aimee Jones
12:00AM, Apr 26, 2017
Hand-picked and hand-packed pickles to upgrade your next ploughman's lunch.
WHO In 2014, best friends and pickle fanatics Calvin Lidden and Joel Mevissen put their years of hospitality experience to new use and started Westmont Pickles in the backyard of Lidden's Surry Hills home in Sydney. According to Mevissen, it felt like a natural extension of their friendship and passion for pickles. "I worked at Brooklyn's Five Leaves café and bistro. It's where I realised how diverse pickles can really be," he says. "Calvin has always been experimental with food, too, so a pickle business was the perfect challenge for both of us." Westmont Pickles now supplies its products to restaurants, pubs and cafés across Australia, Sydney's Bistrode CBD, Papi Chulo and Belles Hot Chicken, among them.
WHAT The Westmont Pickles selection is inspired by America's Deep South and ranges from a classic dill pickle to the more contemporary chilli, and a sweet and sour bread-and-butter style. "We were keen to create a tribute to the classic American pickle, but with an Australian twist," Mevissen says.
HOW Production has now moved to a warehouse in Caringbah, where the pair continue to handle the entire pickling process and work closely with a cucumber farm in Ayr, Queensland, to ensure they're using top-quality cucumbers. "From farming methods to knowing which pickle best complements your Brillat-Savarin, we're trying to deliver perfectly balanced pickles," Mevissen says.
WHY More than just the sidekick on a cheeseboard or burger, says Mevissen, pickles are versatile and exciting. "Calvin cooks pasta or eggs in the brine from our chilli pickle, and I love using the dill brine in a Dirty Martini," he says. "My girlfriend's mum makes a great Bloody Mary with the chilli brine, too, so they're definitely the kind of product you can get creative with."
WHERE Westmont Pickles, from $6.50 for 500gm, westmontpickles.com