Friday, 09 August 2013 08:34

Zest Opens in Ballston Spa—Take-Out or Eat-In

By Staff Report | Business

BALLSTON SPA — A new family-owned personal chef and catering company for pick up or eat-in homemade lunches and take home delectable dinner and dessert specialties, all prepared with the finest natural, mostly local ingredients has opened at 3 Science Street in Ballston Spa. 

Called Zest, the company is owned by Carla and Eric Kuchar. The couple moved back to the Saratoga area from Middlebury, Vermont three years ago. A well-established caterer there since 2007, Carla explains the concept of Zest.

“Zest is a place to eat in or take away a delicious, homemade lunch or to pick up something for dinner from an ever changing variety of deliciously homemade meals and desserts,” says Kuchar. “I use only all natural ingredients, primarily locally grown, which simply makes everything taste better. You really can taste the difference.” 

The Kuchars are already in demand for catered affairs, from a dinner for two to a cocktail party for 300. The common denominator, says Kuchar, is quality, creativity and confidence–all of which come from a custom-designed menu and a single point of contact. 

“What our clients love is that single point of contact,” says Kuchar. “I work with them to create a menu, prepare the food and even serve it myself for a small group.”

Carla’s sister, Karen Folger, is owner of Pine Woods Farm in West Pawlet, Vermont. She provides the grass-fed beef and natural-fed pastured pork for Zest’s meat dishes, from sandwiches and a rotating mix of 20 different chicken salads, to the changing daily dinner specials. Daily savory tarts and salads may also contain Pine Woods meats; or a creative mix of fresh picked local vegetables and locally made cheese. While everything isn’t local, for instance the fresh catch in her ahi tuna salad, the vegetables and dressing ingredients are typically seasonal and grown close to home.

One specialty item Kuchar always mentions is her handmade pirohis. Each week Zest will offer a special selection, including wild mushroom, sweet potato and kale, potato and farmer cheese, or sauerkraut and kielbasa to name a few.

Desserts range from signature chocolate Chambord cupcakes to all-butter scratch-baked fresh fruit pies that look as exquisite as they taste. Another house specialty: fresh berries atop a ginger cream pie.

Zest is now open Monday through Friday 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., with weekends reserved for catered affairs.

For more information call Zest at (518) 763-3500. Photos on Facebook at

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