There’s a new, decadent aroma waiting to greet visitors at the Sequim Farmers & Artisans Market each Saturday. It’s warm, welcoming and offers a Sequimite the reminder that they’re nestled between vibrant farmlands and the bountiful, teeming Salish Sea.
The source of this stirring scene is Red’s at the Market, courtesy of a signature smoked salmon chowder.
“This region is salmon territory,” said Charity Brock, head chef and owner.
“Smoked salmon chowder has always been something I’ve enjoyed eating the most. So I started by playing around with a recipe of my own. I landed on a darn delicious one and decided that it needed to be out there in the world.”
The weekly chowder at Red’s at the Market features different species of salmon, sourced from local waters. The skin-on fillets are cured for 24 hours in Brock’s proprietary brine, then smoked over cherry pellets. The resulting chowder is hearty, with large chunks of beautifully smoked fish.
“We do not skimp,” Brock said. “It’s thick, creamy, and super savory.” Each bowl is topped with locally harvested parsley, dill, and fresh thyme and finished off with fried capers “for a lovely bit of tartness,” she said
Offerings to round out a meal from Red’s at the Market include fresh, locally sourced salad, fresh-squeezed lemonade (featuring seasonal fruit compote), and delicious, homemade chocolate chip cookies.
Brock said she aims to keep her cuisine simple, showcasing the wonders available locally here in the Pacific Northwest.
“I have a deep love for seasonal foods and things that are fresh,” she said.
Inspired by her childhood connection with sharing love through food, Brock began her personal orbit in the food system as a pastry chef. For more than 12 years, she made pastries in Yosemite National Park, as well as in various restaurants in Portland, Ore.
Like many, Brock’s personal relationship with food hasn’t existed without moments of complexity.
“I am recovering from anorexia,” shares Brock. “So my relationship with food has changed a lot over the years. I personally discovered that having good, local, seasonal food that serves your body and your soul is very powerful.”
“It was a very big deal getting to a healthy relationship with food,” she continues. “Eating good, nutritious, natural things. Not subsisting off of fast food or prepackaged things. Growing food in my garden, going to farmers markets, there’s love in this food. It’s not just calories.”
When it came time to start her own business, Brock had a distinct vision for what she wanted to create.
“It was centered around the things that I loved cooking at home,” she said. “Starting a market business that showcases the Pacific Northwest like this has been the ultimate goal ever since I began culinary school.”
Brock has been a longtime supporter and advocate of farmers markets and their community programs.
“The farmers market is the center of the community here,” Brock said. “You’re putting money, not towards big corporations, but directly to your neighbors. You’re supporting a beautiful, natural food system. I think that’s absolutely critical to building a good community.”
You can find Red’s at the Market every Saturday at the Sequim Farmers and Artisans Market from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. each Saturday through October.
Visit your community market at Sequim City Hall Plaza at North Sequim Avenue and West Cedar Street, and at Centennial Place at the Sequim Avenue and Washington Street intersection.
June marks the return of WIC and Senior FMNP matching at the Sequim Farmers & Artisans Market. FMNP recipients are eligible to receive $20 in market currency for fresh farm food when they present a full book of FMNP checks to the market information booth. This program is made possible by Sound Community Bank.
If you or someone you know is struggling with an eating disorder, call the National Eating Disorders Association Helpline at 800-931-2237; get support, information, referrals, and guidance about treatment options for either you or your loved one.
Emma Jane “EJ” Garcia is the Market Manager for the Sequim Farmers & Artisans Market.