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JACOBSEN STORIES - Volume 1. SPICE ROAD


Our mission at Jacobsen is to craft America's finest elemental cooking ingredients and to create unique products, events, and resources that inspire people to cook, eat, and live well - every day. We hope these stories inspire you, in some small way, to do just that.

-The Jacobsen Family 

VIEW RECIPES CHEF INTERVIEW SHOP PRODUCTS

Chef Sam Smith (and his co-conspirator Chef Joshua McFadden) hang their culinary hats on an intense dedication to local ingredients and to the farmers, ranchers, artisans, and saltmakers who bring those ingredients to the kitchens of both Tusk and Ava Gene's. Cooking "with the seasons" is the name of the game.

"When I was the Chef de Cuisine at Ava Gene's, and now as the Executive Chef at Tusk," said Sam Smith, "the focus was and is on keeping everything seasonal, local, and creative. At Tusk that creativity is expressed through the lens of Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisine - combining some of the techniques and unique spices from that corner of the world with those that I've worked with and created here in the Pacific Northwest."

Earlier this summer, we invited Chef Sam and his Tusk brethren to visit our Saltworks on the Oregon Coast. We wanted to connect him directly to the source - showing him and his team how our salt is made and why it's so special. In addition to the tour, we decided to visit other local food purveyors, gather provisions, and create a Tusk-inspired, wood-fired, spice-laden, family-style feast using some of our salts and Bee Local honeys. 

READ ON: Checkout the beautiful images below, click on links to explore and purchase products used on our trip, read a short interview with Chef Sam, and discover simple recipes that you can re-create at home.

After a tour of the Jacobsen Saltworks, we made our way to the Garibaldi waterfront to pickup some Oregon Dungeness Crab.

DeNoble Farms is one of Oregon's culinary treasures. Amongst the wide variety of gorgeous vegetable that they produce, their artichokes take center stage - garnering legendary status in Oregon's culinary community of chefs and home cooks. DeNoble is just a stone's throw from the Jacobsen Saltworks, so we dropped by to visit with the farmers and gather the freshest artichokes humanly possible.

Back at the Saltworks, Ryan LeBrun @senordonfuego - our Honey Operations Manager - went out to the garden to gather mint. Before starting on preparations for a feast, we figured we needed a little liquid encouragement. He had an idea to make a Mojito with Bee Local Smoked Honey instead of sugar. 

After a cocktail, we lit the outdoor fire and started cooking together. This was the menu:

Grilled whole grain flatbread

Eggplant, peppers, beets, sesame, paprika, Jacobsen Garlic Salt

Feta, hibiscus, rose, za'atar

Cucumber, radish, pistachios, dill, yogurt

Israeli cous cous, asparagus, dates, honey vinegar, sumac, Jacobsen Black Garlic Salt

Whole artichokes, lemon puree, Jacobsen Lemon Zest Salt

Grilled salmon skewers, carrot juice, verjus, turmeric

Boiled Dungeness Crab with Jacobsen Cherrywood Smoked Salt

Babka, summer berries, marigold icing

Amidst the cooking and drinking and laughter, we sat down with Chef Sam Smith @sam_burglar to pick his brain...

Interview by Matthew Domingo @matthewdomingo - Jacobsen Salt Co.'s Director of Marketing & Sales.

Jacobsen: Many of our Jacobsen supporters love to dine out at restaurants and experience expertly prepared food, but just as many love to cook at home. If you could give one bit of advice to the home cook, what would it be?

Chef SamKeep it simple! Start by cooking things that aren't intimidating, then slowly expand as you get more comfortable. Think of spices as an accent to the product that you are using. 

Jacobsen: How important are salt and honey in your cooking?

Chef Sam: There is a very fine line between something being properly seasoned and being too salty, so you have to be careful and respectful with your use of salt. To me, if something is perfectly seasoned, you taste everything in the dish, and good salt helps bring all of that out. I like honey because it not only adds sweetness, but also depth.  As opposed to just using sugar, different honeys have different flavor profiles that go with food in a way that regular sugar alone cannot.

Jacobsen: How important are spices in your cooking at Tusk and at home?

Chef Sam: The spices I'm using at Tusk will be different from what most people have experienced at home - mostly because of the freshness and quality of sourcing. The spices we use at Tusk are the best that I could find. That said, spices bring out and accent the flavor of the food, just like salt. I never like to use spices to cover up the flavor of anything, only to compliment.

Thanks again to Chef Sam Smith and the Tusk crew for joining us on the Oregon Coast. 

Menu item: Whole artichokes, lemon puree, Jacobsen Lemon Zest Salt

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Menu item: Feta, hibiscus, rose, za'atar

Menu item: Boiled Dungeness Crab with Jacobsen Cherrywood Smoked Salt

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JACOBSEN CHERRYWOOD SMOKED SALT

Menu item: Eggplant, peppers, beets, sesame, paprika, Jacobsen Garlic Salt
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Menu item: Babka, summer berries, marigold icing

RECIPES FROM THE TRIP

SHOP PRODUCTS FROM THE TRIP

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The two oldest methods of preserving food and enhancing its flavor are also some of the most elemental: smoke and salt. For as long as there’s been fire, people have been using smoke to make food taste better and last longer. It’s no surprise that we’re pretty fond of smoked, salted and otherwise cured delights, and in celebration of those flavors we’re fired up (no pun intended) to introduce our Cherrywood Smoked Salt.

In fact, we partnered with Traeger Grills to combine 100% natural wood fire smoke with our pure sea salt. This salt's delicate smoky notes are perfect with cured or grilled salmon, pulled pork (CLICK HERE for Recipe), simple green salads, or peaches with creme fraiche.

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This salt’s clean, concentrated citrus flavor brightens dishes like shaved fennel salad, fried artichoke hearts, zucchini bread (CLICK HERE for Recipe), or any preparation of seafood.

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A flavor bomb of sweetness matched with savory notes of caramelized garlic, our Black Garlic Salt enriches the earthy flavors of sautéed mushrooms, enlivens any preparation of duck (CLICK HERE for Recipe), and adds and unexpected depth to a classic tomato salad.

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Taming garlic’s aromatic flavor into a sweet nuttiness, this versatile salt works across a multitude of simple dishes from warm dinner rolls with butter to crispy fingerling potatoes, grilled and sautéed vegetables, or classic roast chicken (CLICK HERE for Recipe).