Salem Gnu Kitchen is, first and foremost, a commercial kitchen. Our main purpose is to help entrepreneurs, caterers and small local businesses in and around Salem (and the North Shore) grow their businesses and become successful. We truly believe that supporting our local farmers and local businesses is not only vital to our environment, but it’s the smartest way to support a healthy community. Secondarily, we are a culinary learning facility and cooking school with a mission to offer our clients a wide range of culinary education. Those attending classes at Salem Gnu Kitchen will not just learn a few handy knife skills and cooking tips. Whether you’re looking to live the vegan life, make the perfect sauce, amp up your keto, or even give your date night a red carpet treatment, we are your one-stop shop for a culinary cornucopia of knowledge! Be sure to check our our What’s Gnu section to see our current and upcoming classes!
SO… WHY THE FUNNY NAME?
In 1983, Richard Stallman began the ‘Free Software Movement’ with the invention and release of the GNU operating system (whose logo you see to your right). Free Software means just what it sounds like; it gives the freedom to the ‘users’ to run, copy, distribute, study, change, develop and improve the platform. In other words, it belongs to the software ‘community’. GNU is also another word for Wildebeest – a type of African antelope whose identity many people have a hard time discerning due to the fact that it has the horns of a water buffalo, the body of an antelope, the tail of an ox and a face that only a mother could love. To sum up the idea of our business; a business that is not only a mix of everything, but also belongs to the ‘community’…well, the name was just too good to pass up.
HOW WE GOT STARTED
When Chef Roy Bene’, the CEO and Executive Chef of Salem Gnu Kitchen, first set off on his quest to find a community where his farm-to-table mentality would be embraced and his ‘support local farmers’ battle cry would be heard, he found beautiful, historic Salem and instantly fell in love. Every aspect of Salem; from the treasure trove of history, to the way local farmers and local business are so fiercely supported, spoke to him and he knew right away it was the place he wanted to be.
Early on in his quest to support the Salem community, he had the absolute pleasure of meeting David Bowie (calm down, not that one). David is the proprietor of Salem Spice and, unarguably, is a staple of Salem. His encyclopedic knowledge of spices from all over the world, knowledge of history of the Salem spice trade, his infectious personality, great business sense and quality ingredients - combined with Roy’s love for quality spices, love for history and his flare for the dramatic, forged a very meaningful friendship over the years, which blossomed into a partnership and alliance that eventually became Salem Gnu Kitchen.
PROUD PARTNER OF THE BRANCH OLIVE OIL COMPANY
A spot for locals? Check. Great quality food? Check. The freshest spices anywhere on the North Shore? Check. What could possibly make us better, you ask? Salem Gnu Kitchen is VERY pleased to announce our new partnership with The Branch Olive Oil Company! Currently based in the North Shore Mall, owners Corey Carter and Jerry Knox were looking to ‘branch’ out (get it?) and thankfully have decided to make Salem Gnu Kitchen their second location! Aside from being some of the best folks you’ll ever meet, their specialties include some of the BEST fused/infused olive oils and balsamic vinegars on the North Shore! Believe us when we say that these guys are top notch (without the brewery (you locals will get that)). Their awesome product combined with their amazing passion for what they do make them a very welcome addition to our family!