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“Imagine if everyone took two hours out of their week to help others, what a great world this would be,” said Toby Czlapinski. The father of 7-year-old twins and creator of The Charsaac Chip Company has a generous spirit and often seeks out opportunities to help his community.
Czlapinski’s hand-cut potato chips are served alongside sandwiches and burgers at Bier Stube Bar and Grill, 5333 Monroe St., and can be purchased in 13-ounce bags at the restaurant or at area farmers markets when in season. They are also included in Food for Thought’s bagged lunches, which the organization offers to anyone in need.
A former restaurant owner, Czlapinski created The Charsaac Chip Company with his sons Charlie and Isaac in mind. The business name is the result of their names fused together, while their faces are featured on the company logo. Even the company’s tagline, Chips Off the Old Block, is a nod to them. “When the boys go with me to the markets, they insist they wear the same hats they are wearing in the logo picture. They also help with business decisions like picking out shirt colors, and they tell me why. A lot of times they make a lot of sense!” he laughed.
The entrepreneur has created five varieties of chips – Original; Barbecue; Garlic, Herbs and Parmesan; Chipotle Ranch; and Sweet Potato. In addition, an exclusive chip has been created for the Firefly, a bar and restaurant opening soon in downtown Toledo.
What makes Charsaac Chips unique is that they come from fresh Idaho potatoes and are hand-sliced. “Many restaurants are buying bags of sliced or frozen potatoes,” said Czlapinski. “They have a lot of preservatives in them though. My chips don’t. That’s why they tend to look a bit darker. Some people think they are burnt, but I tell them, ‘that’s what a real po-
tato looks like after you slice and fry it,’” he explained.
Czlapinski grew up cooking. “I always made dinner for my family. My mom would leave money on the counter, and I would run to Milo’s meat market and buy what I needed to make dinner for everyone,” he reminisced. From there he began working his way through the restaurant business starting as a dishwasher and fry cook to a line cook and manager. “Later I opened a restaurant called Saints and Sinners, which was across from the library in downtown Toledo. I ended up closing that restaurant, but I kept getting asked about the chips I served there,” said Czlapinski. “I eventually started working part time as a cook at the Bier Stube, making soups and then chips. They’ve been on the menu for almost two years now,” he added.
When farmers markets are in season, Czlapinski goes through about 500 pounds of potatoes weekly. Seventy-five pounds go toward Food for Thought lunches. “I teamed up with Bier Stube for the project. Food for Thought drops off a box of donated potatoes, and I turn them into chips,” said Czlapinski. The organization includes them with a peanut butter sandwich, a sweet snack and a bottle of water. Approximately 250 lunches are distributed on Saturdays at the downtown TARTA station.
Czlapinski also donates his time making chips for events such as the first responders picnic and funeral lunches when needed.
Ultimately, The Charsaac Chip Company was created for Czlapinski’s sons. “I’m hoping that the business turns out to be something larger so they can take over someday,” he said. “The legacy I want to leave behind is for my kids to know I was a caring person.”
To place a chip order for pickup at the Bier Stube, call Toby at 419-279-9401 or send a message through The Charsaac Chip Company Facebook page.
Czlapinski created this rich and flavorful bisque to serve at the Bier Stube. His use of unsweetened coconut milk and vegetable stock makes the soup suitable for all including vegetarians and vegans. The recipe makes a large batch of bisque. Use the recipe as written to serve a group or divide it in half for smaller gatherings.
1 pound carrots
2 small to medium butternut squash
3 medium sweet potatoes
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon chipotle pepper
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
2 tablespoons ginger
2 tablespoons allspice
2 tablespoons nutmeg
2 tablespoons cinnamon
16 ounces vegetable stock
1 cup brown sugar
16 ounces unsweetened coconut milk
Chopped roasted almonds or smokehouse
almonds for garnish
Heat oven to 350 F. Cut carrots, sweet potatoes and squash into large chunks. Add vegetables to a large bowl and drizzle with vegetable oil.
In a medium bowl, add chipotle pepper, chili powder, smoked paprika, ginger, allspice, nutmeg and cinnamon. Stir to combine.
Sprinkle seasonings over vegetables. Spread vegetables on baking sheets and roast for 30 minutes or until soft.
In a large pot, add vegetable stock. Bring to a boil. Remove from burner. Add roasted vegetables. Using an immersion blender, blend until smooth.
Simmer for 15 minutes and serve with a sprinkle of chopped almonds.
Peanut Butter Curry Dip
Similar to the peanut sauce for chicken satay, this dip has a tangy flavor with a little bit of heat from the red pepper flakes. Go ahead and dunk those Charsaac Sweet Potato Chips right in.
20 ounces creamy peanut butter
3 tablespoons curry powder
2 tablespoons turmeric
1 ½ teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
1 to 1 ½ cups water
In a medium saucepan, combine ingredients with 1 cup of water.
Simmer for 15 minutes, adding additional water if needed.