Charity Brock, head chef and owner of Red’s at the Market, offers her signature smoked salmon chowder at the Sequim Farmers & Artisans Market this summer. Photo by Emma Jane “EJ” Garcia

Charity Brock, head chef and owner of Red’s at the Market, offers her signature smoked salmon chowder at the Sequim Farmers & Artisans Market this summer. Photo by Emma Jane “EJ” Garcia

What’s Happening at the Market: Smoked salmon chowder, a loving gesture

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.

Brock grew up in a Southern family. “I spent a lot of time in my Granny’s kitchen,” she says. “She used to be a lunch lady, and my Papa was a fisherman. I have very fond memories of cooking in the kitchen with them. One of my very first memories in life was sitting down with them to eat a whole Dungeness crab that my Papa had fished.”

“That was something that stuck with me forever,” Brock adds. “Those times cooking from scratch with my Granny are such a deep part of my heart.”

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.”

“Preparing food for people is such a loving gesture to the community, (by) feeding them naturally wholesome foods,” Brock says. “I wanted people to eat my food and feel the love that’s behind it. Not only from my cooking, but from the farmers, harvesters, and fishers … the whole shebang.”

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.”

“When my daughter was very young, I was a single mom,” continues Brock. “I utilized the WIC Farmers Market Nutrition Program and was able to go to the local farmers market and feed my daughter nutritious food. That experience really strengthened my love for farmers markets.”

Brock’s journey has come full circle as she offers tasty delights every Saturday; market guests have shown their enthusiastic support to Red’s at the Market’s first season.

“Oh it’s been as fulfilling as can be,” reflects Brock. “When people walk up and they smell the chowder, there’s already a bit of wonder in their eyes. They’re anticipating something good and I adore that, it’s like I’m making them happy before they even have a taste!”

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.

Market dollars

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.

More in Business

tsr
What’s Happening at the Market: A passion for nonprofits, pieces of peninsula

Stonewear Art is known to guests of the Sequim Farmers and Artisans… Continue reading

Business news — June 16, 2021

Chamber offers monthly luncheons The Sequim-Dungeness Chamber of Commerce host monthly luncheons… Continue reading

Peninsula jobless rate drops to 7.4 percent

Unemployment fell slightly to 7.4 percent in Clallam and Jefferson counties last… Continue reading

Business news — June 9, 2021

New restaurant, Back Alley Café, opens Guadalupe, Sergio and Nathalie Arreguin have… Continue reading

tsr
What’s Happening at the Market: Smoked salmon chowder, a loving gesture

There’s a new, decadent aroma waiting to greet visitors at the Sequim… Continue reading

Local employers chafe over lack of workers

Employers in Clallam and Jefferson counties are begging for workers, with some… Continue reading

tsr
What’s Happening at the Market: Merging gardening, wellness on the farm

Courtney Thomas of Naive Melody Front Yard Farm is an entrepreneur, gardener… Continue reading

x
What’s Happening at the Market: The makings of a good egg

On Saturdays at the Sequim Farmers & Artisans Market, one might spot… Continue reading

x
What’s Happening at the Market: Blends that make the market great

Early on Saturday mornings, Shaelee Evans can be found rising early, turning… Continue reading

Peninsula counties add jobs

North Olympic Peninsula employers added more than 300 jobs as Clallam and… Continue reading

Business news — April 21, 2021

Free digital help for businesses available All North Olympic Peninsula businesses interested… Continue reading