Last June, I was in Portland, Oregon, eating dinner at a wonderful little French brasserie in SE Portland called La Moule.
I was lucky enough to snag a seat at the counter. It gave me time to chat with the chef, owner, and all-around chill dude, Aaron Barnett.
Aaron is one of the most talented chefs in town and also the force behind one of the city’s finest restaurants, St. Jack. Chef Barnett happened to be expediting orders that night, so I was in luck.
During a highly entertaining chat that covered everything from punk rock to legal marijuana, Chef Barnett told me about Sarah and Dirk Marshall, a local couple making stellar hot sauces for chefs around town.
The chef told me they weren’t just creating HOT sauces, but super well-balanced, delicious hot sauces using the freshest ingredients from local farms.
My ears perked up, and I scribbled a mental note. (After a couple of wines, you don’t take a mental note. You scribble one.)
The next morning, I woke up with hot sauce on the brain. And I’m not just describing my hangover.
I looked up Marshall’s Haute Sauce on Instagram. And, well, haute damn! They were scheduled to appear that morning at a booth in the Farmer’s Market at Portland State University.
I hoofed it over to PSU to check it out. BTW, when in Portland, do NOT miss the Farmers Market. It is one of the best in the country.
Some of the top local farms attend. There is no need to eat breakfast. Your berries will be waiting. But not just any berries. Some of the sweetest, juiciest, tastiest, strawberries, blackberries, and raspberries. Everything but the Cap'ns Crunchberries. Sorry, I digress.
I made my way over to the Marshall’s Haute Sauce booth where I first wanted to do a little undercover taste testing. What if I didn’t like their sauces? I needed to be careful.
I grabbed a chip. I began to dip. And dip. And dip. Be still my heart. And my warm and happy taste buds, too.
Dirk and Sarah’s sauces were just the way Chef Barnett mentioned. Fresh, balanced, and tasty as heck. (BTW, we sell ‘em now, so you can see for yourself.
It was time for me to take off my dark glasses and fake mustache and introduce myself. (No, I wasn’t really wearing a disguise!) I was thrilled to find Sarah and Dirk’s personalities as warm as their haute sauces. After gabbing at length, we exchanged contact info and I took home a pack of haute sauces for further “research.”
It wasn’t long before I talked to Sarah and discussed how we could work together. Sarah and Dirk began using our spices in their hot sauces and we started selling them in our shop. The response was amazing and I knew I wanted to do more together.
I could see that Sarah loves inspiring others to cook and her abilities go way beyond hot sauce. She is passionate about farmers, artisan producers, and canning seasonal ingredients. She is amazing at putting together ingredients in new, delicious and interesting ways.
When Sarah started showing me what she could do with our spices, I wanted her to do more. So I asked her to create recipes for us on a monthly basis using our spices.
I hope you enjoy Sarah’s recipes as much as our family does. So happy to be working with her.
Here’s where you can pick up a set of Sarah Marshall’s Haute Sauce. Best hot sauce evah!