I am the Curtice Brothers’ gopher. My job is to take care of everything apart from the complicated things. I do not work. I play.
At the start of this project a few years ago, I surfed the internet for days on end, read about food and science, and food science. I collected hundreds of ketchup recipes, merged them, cooked and savoured. I wanted to know everything there is about ketchup, how it is made and who makes it. Wikipedia grew to become my addiction.
When adults explore and learn new things, it is often referred to as work. When children do the very same thing, it is called play. I guess the only difference between the two, is their – or the absence of – intention. Nearly everything that grown-ups do, they do with some purpose in mind, while children aimlessly explore the world and absorb everything they discover.
In hindsight we were very fortunate to know jack shit about ketchup. If we had, many things that we discovered unintended, would have been lost on us. We may never have managed to create a delicious recipe if we had approached its development in conventional ways and we would not have ended up becoming the new Curtice Brothers if we would have known how to create a brand from scratch. Having been without a box to think within may have been our greatest stroke of luck.
On our arbitrary journey it took us more than two years and a lot of help from others until we learned how to cook ketchup on a large scale. Now we have to figure out how to bring it onto the restaurant table and eventually into your local store. This is why my brothers Andreas and Mario ventured out on a field trip to Denmark, to visit the very first restaurant that serves our ketchup with their pristine steaks and burgers: Sokkelund Café & Brasserie in Copenhagen.
Andreas and Mario met with Martin, the owner, his kitchen staff and his guests. Their goal was to get a glimpse through the eyes of the people who create the best food that goes best with our ketchup. They enjoyed Sokkelund’s delicious food, explored the many layers of its finesse and observed which ones our ketchup complements best.
Would this qualify, despite the fun they had, as work?
Or would you, despite their deliberate intention, call it play?