Sequim Farmers Market
July 30, Aug. 6
Open Saturdays 9 a.m.-3 p.m. through October
Downtown Sequim at Sequim Avenue, Washington Street
Contacts: www.sequimmarket.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; 460-2668
What’s new at the market is locally made brats and kielbasa served up with fried onions, sauerkraut and homemade mustards. If you haven’t discovered The Pacific Pantry, come get your first taste of this exceptional fare at the Farmers Market, then you can follow it up with visits to their lovely cafe on Sequim Avenue.
John Pabst is the owner and developer of the Pacific Pantry and he clearly has a devoted crew at his side. He began his career in food at age of 3, kneading bread at his mother’s side. It was also where he learned his fractions with the measuring cups. He tells me that he grew up immersed and participating in his parents’ passion for cooking and baking. “I was always around food because my parents were into it.”
Though it was not their professional livelihood, his parents catalyzed John onto that path. He began professionally cooking in high school and was on a culinary team. It was his good fortune or was it destiny, that brought an exceptional teacher to his school’s culinary department and they went on to win state and then went on to nationals. He says, “I won scholarship money from that,” which helped when he went to the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, N.Y. This is one serious culinary artist we have in our midst.
After he graduated, he left New York and went to Charleston, S.C., to work in the restaurant of a nationally renowned chef. He assisted and researched alongside this chef, his mentor, learning the process of charcuterie, among many other things. Charcuterie is the butchering of animals to be prepared into cooked meats. By the time he left the restaurant, it had begun winning a series of nationally recognized food awards for its meats, including three nominees for the James Beard Award.
Now he works with pigs from Nash’s and from Tails and Trotters, based in Washington. All the meat he prepares is pasture-raised pork, “some of which are finished with hazelnuts which give the meat a great marbling.” He is fastidious about the quality of his meats and the processing. He and his staff do much of the work and the 8-10 sausages that he sells at Pacific Pantry are all his own recipes and are scrupulously made on site by him and his crew.
John opened the Pacific Pantry in Sequim two years ago on April 1. His vision was to do wholesale meats and participate in farmers markets until he found his current location, which was perfect for having a storefront and a separate workshop for processing meat. Then it morphed into a cafe while also supplying the goodies you would enjoy in your pantry.
This fall he is working on putting up canned goods and in the future this will be a mecca for your cured meats and canned goods of all types. He is starting with canning his mustards and will then move into pickles. The mustards at the market are his own and are fantastic.
Here at the market he is serving breakfast sandwiches and grilled sausages. The breakfast sandwiches include house-cured ham and he assures me there are no nitrates in any of the pork. “Ham is cured with brown sugar and sea salt and smoked,” he said. He bakes his own biscuits from a recipe dating back to when he was learning those fractions and serves farm-fresh eggs.
Currently at the Pacific Pantry, along with the sausages, you will find bacon, ham, smoked chicken breast plus soups, salads and sandwiches. They also serve craft beer, generally all from inside Washington, five beers on tap and you can fill your growlers there.
When I asked why he chooses to come to the Sequim Farmers Market, he replied, “Farmers markets are a blast, the clientele is fun, you meet different fun vendors plus it introduces you to new farms. I like being in direct contact with the public. It is great to get out and talk to people.”
Come enjoy the Pacific Pantry at the Sequim Farmers Market on Saturdays!