Chefs find food mecca in new Seattle specialty store

Nov 29, 2012, 2:01 PM | Updated: Nov 30, 2012, 4:20 pm
Food lovers flock to Marx Foods new retail shop in Seattle to sample some of the hundreds of specia...
Food lovers flock to Marx Foods new retail shop in Seattle to sample some of the hundreds of specialty items, many not available anywhere else in town. (Ryan Clark/Marx Foods photo)
(Ryan Clark/Marx Foods photo)

What’s for dinner? If your menu includes antelope stew with fennel pollen, you’re out of luck at the local QFC. But have no fear. A specialty shop dedicated to all things culinary is shining like a beacon for foodies from its new outpost on Lower Queen Anne.

“We consider ourselves culinary concierges,” Justin Marx, gastronomic guide and CEO of Marx Foods, tells co-hosts Providence Cicero and Terry Jaymes in a visit to KIRO Radio’s Let’s Eat.

He’s way more than that. If someone can be be considered an expert, Justin’s the guy. Food and Wine Magazine called him a “Food Scout Extraordinaire” in a profile.

His new shop in the shadow of the old Seattle P-I globe is an offshoot of his family’s longtime online business that sells specialty foods to the some of the world’s finest chefs, along with those that aspire to lofty heights in the kitchen.

“I do a lot of travel. I’m the fifth generation in the family business so we’ve got a lot of really strong long term relationships and then the last bunch of years I’ve just been on the road looking for products,” Justin says about his constant quest for the finest foods and ingredients.

While he tries to source as much locally, he isn’t shy to bring in the best from wherever he can find it.

The shop features about 350 items culled from a more than 1300 sold online. Much of it can’t be found anywhere else in Seattle.

“I haven’t counted, but a third to a half of our products you can’t get anywhere else in Seattle,” he says.

That includes exotic meats like Yak and turtle, lovage soda syrup (Justin says it tastes like celery) or Szechuan buttons, a little yellow flower that Justin says tastes like “electricity.”

“It’s pretty wild and a lot of chefs and mixologists are using them to make a cocktail with an electric sensation. Imagine like a lemon sorbet that actually has a buzz of electricity…like pop rocks or licking a 9 volt battery.”

Justin is constantly on the hunt for the next big thing in food, frequenting farmers markets, roadside stands and anywhere else he can uncover a culinary gem from what he calls “food artisans.” That next big thing? Fermented foods.

“I think that you’re going to see a lot more fermented krauts and kimchi’s and just in general fermented foods because they’ve got tremendous health benefits and they’re delicious,” he says.

Not everything makes the grade. Most of the stuff Justin and his panel of co-workers and lucky friends, family and fellow foodies try gets rejected.

“So we start with products that are at farmer’s markets and have been raved about. We bring them in and then about 20 percent of those products pass our muster.”

It can all sound overwhelming to anyone but the hardcore cook. Justin and his crew want the shop to be welcoming for everyone, not just the Tom Douglas’ of the world. They’ve got a ton of recipes, guides and tutorials they’re eager to provide anyone willing to step outside their kitchen comfort zone.

Listen to more with Justin Marx from Marx Foods on KIRO Radio’s Let’s Eat Saturdays at 2 p.m., Sundays at noon. Available anytime ON DEMAND at MyNorthwest.com.

Uncategorized

Lights on a downtown Seattle building form a giant figure "12" in honor of Seattle Seahawks fans an...
MyNorthwest Staff

Seattle skyline to display No. 14 in celebration of Mariners winning streak

Russell Investments Center in Downtown Seattle will display No. 14 on Thursday night.
18 days ago
A Washington State Department of Agriculture worker displays an Asian giant hornet taken from a nes...
Nicole Jennings

Asian giant hornet trapping season kicks off in Washington

Now that July is here, the state is officially in Asian giant hornet trapping season. Scientists will be looking for the hornets in Whatcom County.
1 month ago
(KIRO 7)...
Annette Cary

Avian flu kills baby raccoons in Washington state park, a first in North America

The first confirmed case of avian flu in a mammal in Washington state was detected in a baby raccoon at Sacajawea Historical State Park in Pasco, WA.
2 months ago
Follow @http://www.twitter.com/Darren_KIROnews...
Darren Dedo

Murder Charge In Deadly Shooting of Innocent Bystander

A Marysville man is charged with murder in connection to the death of a Lynnwood retiree.
2 months ago
Photo by John Moore...
KIRO 7 News Staff

Seattle Fire Department rescues man after scaffold collapse

A man was rescued after a scaffold collapsed in Seattle on Thursday, according to the Seattle Fire Department.
2 months ago
MyNorthwest Staff

Tacoma 14-year-old arrested for threatening to shoot staff and students

Tacoma police arrested a 14-year-old for threatening to shoot fellow students as well as staff members at Northwest School of Innovative Learning.
2 months ago

Sponsored Articles

Work at Zum Services...

Seattle Public Schools announces three-year contract with Zum

Seattle Public Schools just announced a three-year contract with a brand-new company to the Pacific Northwest to assist with their student transportation: Zum.
Swedish Cyberknife 900x506...

June is Men’s Health Month: Here’s Why It’s Important To Speak About Your Health

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, men in the United States, on average, die five years earlier than women.
...

Anacortes – A Must Visit Summertime Destination

While Anacortes is certainly on the way to the San Juan Islands (SJI), it is not just a destination to get to the ferry… Anacortes is a destination in and of itself!
...

Ready for your 2022 Alaskan Adventure with Celebrity Cruises?

Celebrity Cruises SPONSORED — A round-trip Alaska cruise from Seattle is an amazing treat for you and a loved one. Not only are you able to see and explore some of the most incredible and visually appealing natural sights on the planet, but you’re also able to relax and re-energize while aboard a luxury cruise […]
...

Compassion International Is Determined to ‘Fill’ a Unique Type of Football ‘Stadium’

Compassion International SPONSORED — During this fall’s football season—and as the pandemic continues to impact the entire globe—one organization has been urging caring individuals to help it “fill” a unique type of “stadium” in order to make a lasting difference in the lives of many. Compassion International’s distinctive Fill the Stadium (FtS, fillthestadium.com) initiative provides […]
...

What are the Strongest, Greenest, Best Windows?

Lake Washington Windows & Doors SPONSORED — Fiberglass windows are an excellent choice for window replacement due to their fundamental strength and durability. There is no other type of window that lasts as long as fiberglass; so why go with anything else? Fiberglass windows are 8x stronger than vinyl, lower maintenance than wood, more thermally […]
Chefs find food mecca in new Seattle specialty store