JC’s Gourmet’s fish dip is divine
“Oh, this is one of those things I definitely have to buy when I am down here,” says a Seaside Farmers Market patron as she picks up her JC’s Gourmet “Somethin’ Snappy” Smoked Red Snapper Dip. Over and over again customers make a beeline to this tent. Curious passerbyers try a sample (served on a crisp cracker or cooled cucumber slice) and more often than not they are quickly requesting a half or full pound tub of their own.
Jason and Julie Salinas are the husband and wife team behind JC’s Gourmet. Jason’s background is in the food and beverage business as a front-of-house manager. But it was his time cooking at the Navy base where he crafted the idea for the dip. “We’d get snapper in and I would season it different ways. Once I tried smoking it, I knew that was the winner” Jason says.
Jason created the dip for the Navy officers and instructors who liked it as spicy as he could make it. He dialed it back a bit for the general public’s palate and the result was the perfect balance of smoke and heat.
Smoking the red snapper and using a deft hand with the cayenne pepper are the trade secrets behind their popular dip. The fish comes from the renowned Water Street Seafood, an impressive operation and spotless facility. Jason and Julie are also excited about their own new commercial kitchen located in Santa Rosa Beach on Highway 98.
One other tasty treat has been gobbled up by market visitors this winter. Their Jommin’ Jalapenos are candied jalapenos and the perfect complement to burgers, sandwiches or relish trays. Seaside Farmers Market goers tend to get creative too. “We have customers who have pureed them and mixed into cream cheese to use as a dip,” Jason says.
Each week the Salinases are at the market, but you can also find their delicious snapper dip up and down 30A on restaurant menus and in retailers. The Wine World locations in Watercolor or Destin, the Craft Bar locations in Grayton, Grand Boulevard or Destin, Chiringo, Marina Bar & Grill and others offer their products.
Jason and Julie are self-described “dog people” with two fur babies of their own. In fact, Julie is a much-adored local vet technician. So it makes sense that JC’s Gourmet regularly supports the dog rescue, organization Dog-Harmony. They also donate their snapper fish skins to Davis Dog Treats, who then use them to make all-natural dog treats. This no-waste approach is a philosophy that market goers can feel good about.
Freshly smoking snapper for each batch of dip, Jason and Julie Salinas stand by their motto: The Best Darn Fish Dip, Period.” Once you try some you’ll agree — period.