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PRESSING FLAVOR

by Daniel Schere

Boutique olive oil comes to Stratford Road

daniel@yesweekly.com | @Daniel_Schere

Green Gate Olive Oils offers 56 varieties of olive oil and balsamic salad dressing.

Wine shops, move over and make way for a store that sells other types of bottled liquid.

Green Gate Olive Oils offers 56 different varieties of olive oil and balsamic salad dressing. Entering the store might be overwhelming at first, seeing so many types of flavored oil from the more traditional Basil Olive Oil to exotic brands like Blood Orange or Chipotle. They have small pieces of bread for dipping. You’ll need it for some flavors, like the Dark Chocolate Balsamic Vinegar (a little bit goes a long way).

The idea for an oil shop came about four years ago from Brandon McDaniel’s parents who were on their annual ski trip to Park City, Utah.

“So we’re walking down Main Street in Park City, Utah, and we see a sign that says olive oil tastings,” McDaniel said. “Never seen anything like it before. I went up and did a tasting, and by the time we got back to my rental house my dad had already called the distributor and three months later he was open in Pinehurst.”

McDaniel said he has been cooking his whole life ever since he “reached the countertops,” and he learned many of his culinary skills from his parents.

“We used olive oil and balsamic vinegars ever since I was a little kid, and it just kind of seemed like something that would fit,” he said.

McDaniel was living in Asheville when the first store opened. Whenever his parents would drive to see him, they would stop in Winston-Salem.

“Mom really saw how downtown was growing here in Winston-Salem with all the new restaurants and the revitalization of downtown. And we thought, ‘Would this be a great place to open up another shop?'” McDaniel opened his shop at 205 South Stratford Road in 2011 and said the response from the community since then has been strong.

The family also helped another woman start her own oil store in Raleigh and Greensboro, and the state now has about five oil shops to count, thanks to the first store that opened in Pinehurst.

The oils come from all over the world and the balsamic dressings come strictly from Italy. He said the process of flavoring the oil is similar to that of making wine and that they have a staff person who pairs a flavor with each oil.

“Each pressing’s going to have a bit of a different flavor to it so her palate is absolutely amazing,” McDaniel said. “She’ll taste each one and then pair each flavor that goes best with it.”

Green Gate offers cooking classes on Mondays and Tuesdays at 6:30 p.m. every other week as well as private events for groups of six or more.

“We usually do about five to six different dishes every night,” McDaniel said.

“You get a full portion of everything. You also get a complimentary glass of wine or cocktail, ten percent off of everything the night of, and we do trivia for prizes.” !

WANNA go?

Green Gate Olive Oils is located at 205 South Stratford Road in Winston-Salem. They are open from 11 am to 6 p.m. Monday-Saturday. Call 336- 528-0446 or visit www.greengateoliveoils.com

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