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Our Story

Hometown Number 1 blended seasoning is the brainchild of renowned Chef Joel Levy. Joel was one of the leaders in the early fusion cuisine movement. Having been stationed in Thailand while in the army as a personal chef, Joel absorbed the flavors around him. After returning from overseas, Joel played the coronet in the 50s band The Diamonds, known for their classic hit “Little Darlin,” before deciding that music was his second love. Food was first. Back in New York, Joel became a protégé of the famous Michael Field before embarking on a series of restaurants around the city, and culminating with opening of “Coriander”, a New York Times three star restaurant and a favorite of then food critic Vince Canaby. This rating was no small accomplishment considering “Coriander” was crammed into a narrow ground floor space on the Upper East Side of Manhattan. A reservation was the hot ticket in the early seventies. All the city’s movers and shakers would stop by for dinner, to catch the live jazz that was always in residence and feast on the flavors of this new fusion cuisine. For many years in the Big Apple during those pre-Food Network celebrity chef days, Joel Levy was a celebrity chef.

After retiring to the Victorian Seaport and Arts community of Port Townsend, Washington, Joel realized something was missing in the markets: a truly American seasoning that would not mask the flavor of food but bring out it’s essence. Thus the quest to create Hometown Number 1 Blended Seasoning began. Over the next 14 years, Joel drew on his immense understanding of the nature of food, along with his incredible pallet, experimenting over and over again until he created THE perfectly balanced blended seasoning. Hometown Number 1 would bring out the best in whatever it was added to: steak, chicken, fish, and vegetables, even popcorn. Joel toured the northwest in his old white van, giving demonstrations and selling his product. Once people had a taste of what Hometown Number 1 could do, they were hooked. He also went back to his music, playing his horn and singing. There was always a thread of Jazz through his cuisine. He kept distribution local, rarely venturing past the northwest, although word spread as far away as Thailand and Iowa. When Joel passed away suddenly in 2011, there was panic among his loyal customers. Hometown disappeared from the shelves like there was a run on the bank. But fear not. To honor Joel’s memory and our own personal love of Hometown Number 1, we, his family, have picked up the mantle. We still manufacture it exactly as Joel did but now Hometown Number 1 is available nationally. Sprinkle some on and you’ll be hooked, too. As we like to say in our family, Without Hometown Number 1, it’s just food.

The Hometown Story: About Us
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