Greenpoint Gazette

Spice up your Life: DP Chutney Collective

BY Juliet Linderman

Are you feeling bored? Is the same old summertime routine making you sluggish? Is the oppressive heat pressing down on you making it difficult to be excited about the fact that despite the date, we still have three more weeks of official summer? Maybe it’s time to spice up your life—or at least your food—with Greenpoint-based DP Chutney Collective’s inventive sweet and savory chutneys, ketchups and relishes.
Despite its name—DP Chutney Collective—the fledgling chutney business is the brainchild and pet project of former hedge-funder and 11-year Greenpoint resident Drake Page. What began as a hobby—a convenient gift for friends and family—quickly grew into a business after Page started selling his chutneys and ketchups at the Greenpoint Food Market in December of 2009, where his artisanal products were met with enthusiasm from the foodie community.
“I sold close to 100 jars that day,” Page said. Shortly thereafter—just one month later, in fact—Page incorporated his business, and the DP Chutney collective was born.
Born in Georgia and raised in Charleston, South Carolina, Page’s fascination with chutney, ketchup and condiments began at a young age.
“I lived in a port city, so sailors used to come through the seaport with foods from the Far East,” Page said. “Chutneys cater to that southern love of pickles and relish.”
After moving away from the South, Page spent two years living in London, where Indian food is as much a staple as beans on toast, and where he solidified his love and passion for chutney.
“Living in London I learned all about the English obsession with Indian food,” Page said with a smile.
“I love spicy food. I’m one of those condiment freaks who won’t eat anything without a sauce!”
Although he is inspired by classic chutneys—a paste with a consistency that falls somewhere between relish and preserves—Page draws inspiration from seasonal ingredients, and isn’t afraid to take risks with adventurous combinations. So far he has created 22 varieties of chutney and ketchup, including apricot and red pepper, Pear Cardamom, Blueberry and Bermuda Onion, Green Tomato and Horseradish, Cranberry and Green Chile and many, many more. Page’s ketchup varieties include mango chili, green tomato and plum.
“I try to do a wide range of flavors so they don’t all taste like sweet and vinegar,” Page said.
Apart from his creative taste creations, there’s something else that is particularly unique about DP Chutney Collective—Page’s sourcing. Roughly 75 per cent of his ingredients are locally grown, and all are organic. He makes a concerted effort to support small, independent farms, and has formed close relationships with his producers in the short time he’s been in business.
“I’m very into politics and the environment, and all aspects of food,” Page said. “It’s important for me to make ethical decisions when I’m cooking and eating. It’s also important for me to build relationships with the farmers who supply me. I love the local food culture—it’s community-based, and I like supporting it.”
Page also made mention of the Greenpoint foodie community as being especially supportive of his efforts and that the open mindedness of Brooklyn-based cooks and food-enthusiasts has helped him stay positive and motivated.
“Everyone has been so supportive,” Page said. “Chutneys aren’t the most common things you’ll see in Brooklyn, but the fact that people here are willing to have open minds, and put chutney on their plates, says something about the community.”

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