Angelo Garro — Omnivore Salt
“(My grandmother said to me) ‘you just need red pepper, wild fennel, salt, and black pepper and you can cook almost anything’ and that stuck with me...”

Angelo Garro, creator of Omnivore Salt, was born in Sicily and has lived in San Francisco for over thirty years, where he has worked as a blacksmith and artist. Like many Sicilians, though, Garro was raised to hunt, forage, and cook for himself and he continued honing these crafts, along with his professional trade, throughout his life. Garro and his right-hand woman, Veronica Ronchi, welcome us into the Renaissance Forge (or simply "the Forge"), Garro's metal shop and kitchen studio and the birthplace of Omnivore Salt.

Garro's zest for learning and commitment to excellent food opened him up to friendships with the likes of Alice Waters (the world renowned chef behind Chez Panisse), Michael Pollan (author of best selling books like The Omnivore's Dilemma, in which Garro teaches Pollan to hunt), and Werner Herzog (award-winning Hollywood film maker — in fact, Herzog created Omnivore Salt's Kickstarter video). But nothing about Garro suggests that he has famous friends. There is no air of self-importance and not a drop of arrogance when you meet him. Garro instantly feels like family — his warmth, gentleness, and curiosity about the world and the people around him will make you never want to leave the whimsical and unlikely home he has created in the Renaissance Forge.

What Garro brings to Omnivore Salt as an artist and creator, Ronchi and her colleague Beth Malik give their business and operations know-how to help bring Garro's products to shelves and online food shoppers. Ronchi is passionate about transparency in food — in the condiment aisle, especially — and walks us through the process of how the Omnivore salts and products are sourced and created. Her main advice to home cooks is "cook more!" After all, Omnivore has done the seasoning work for us, already.

Listen to the episode and hear the stories of Italy from Garro and Ronchi and discover what makes Omnivore Salt so different from the salts and seasonings you're used to using. Be sure to subscribe to our newsletter to hear more stories like this one.

Angelo Garro's Forge is filled with sunlight and an open air atrium allows rain to fall directly into the center of the shop The Renaissance Forge is a true hideaway in San Francisco's SoMa neighborhood, full of wonder and trinkets and art. The original in the Omnivore line: Omnivore Salt, with a hint of pepper and the rich flavor of sea salt.
Angelo Garro makes fresh espresso for us on the morning of our interview Freshly foamed milk and a hot espresso to start the day at the Renaissance Forge
Olives. No Sicilian kitchen is complete without them.
Angelo Garro slices bread in preparation for dinner Veronica Ronchi mixes a fresh green salad at the Renaissance Forge, the home of Omnivore Salt
Omnivore's Veronica Ronchi prepares the salad Garro has welcomed everyone from neighbors to Hollywood royalty at his shop, the Renaissance Forge
Garro heats up the grill to prepare for fire roasted chicken Veronica, who grew up in mainland Italy, works with Garro on the business side of Omnivore Salt.
Garro prepares chicken with Omnivore Limone, a sea-salt seasoning mix perfect for fish and foul. The Forge feels like something out of a fairy tale, complete with a cozy indoor/outdoor picnic area. Dried hot peppers hang from the beams at the Renaissance Forge The eclectic kitchen at the Forge is the heart of Garro's workshop. The chicken is ready for grilling Smoke adds to the flavors from a dash of Omnivore seasoning Freshly grilled chicken seasoned with Omnivore Limone, almost ready to be served Fresh greens are served at the Renaissance Forge
Veronica and Angelo prepare the table Laughter is a regular part of the Omnivore Salt process
Grilled chicken seasoned with Omnivore Limone salt and Omnivore Vulcano hot sauce, prepared by Angelo Garro, himself. Ronchi and Garro set the table in the Forge kitchen. The spices, sauces, and salts from Omnivore bring the best out of any fresh ingredient — and it doesn't get any better than a simple, grilled chicken. Salad accompanies any freshly grilled meat nicely, but tastes even better in the sunny enclave of Garro's Forge. The full Omnivore seasoning offering, along with some homemade wine, a regular staple in any Sicilian kitchen. Angelo Garro: Blacksmith, hunter, chef, and creator of Omnivore Salt.

Get new Menu Stories episodes delivered to your inbox: