Rick picks a new career with Rick’s Picks

Me with Rick Field, TV guy turned pickle magnate.

Me with Rick Field, TV guy turned pickle magnate.

Rick Field, founder of New York pickle concern Rick’s Picks, recently taught a dill pickle making class at farmers market in Prospect Park.

As he waited for the brine to heat up in a kettle on a propane burner, Field talked about his unlikely transition from television producer to artisanal pickle maker.

As the New York Press reported:

Field wasn’t always a pickle guy. The 41-year-old is a 15-plus-year veteran of the television industry. He has jumped from producing such programming as VH1’s Top 100s and Now with Bill Moyers to a full-time gig in brining.

“I’ve been pickling since I was a kid with my folks in Vermont,” says Field. “I realized there was no reason why I couldn’t do it [in New York]. I had a stove. I had a pot.”

BusinessWeek went a little further with the story’s origins:

… pickle making probably would have remained  a blissful hobby had I not, on a whim, entered the Rosendale International Pickle Festival Contest in 2001. To my complete surprise, my Windy City Wasabeans took home the big blue ribbon for best in show. The Wasabeans won again in 2002. I was on to something. I discovered pickles were more than a hobby. They were my vocation.

You can hear Rick talking about that vocation, and see him give a tour of his pickling facility, on a CNBC video. It’s only about 2 minutes so  you don’t have to settle in with a jar of pickles to watch it.

But if you’re me, you could. Since I helped make pickles, including chopping garlic, I get to pick up one of the jars from the demo. I think it’ll be ready this weekend. No news yet on Rick’s blog, but maybe I’ll check in tomorrow.

What would it take for you to turn a hobby into your profession? Would that change the enjoyment you get from it? If you’ve already done it, any insights to share?

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Categories: career, food and drink

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3 replies

  1. It takes thick skin and self-discipline. Oh, and a patient, loving spouse. 🙂 And either you’ve got to have a lot of other people value what you’re doing OR love doing it so much yourself that it doesn’t matter if no one ever pats you on the back and says ‘good job, buddy.’ It can feel lonely and rudderless at times.

    If you don’t love the process of doing your hobby for a living, you might grow to resent it. And if that kills the joy, you’re in a bind. Might as well go back to the salt mines, then.

  2. Congrats on taking the class! I look forward to sampling future brining experiments 🙂

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