BROOKLYN BRINE: THE ART OF PRESERVATION
There is no culinary advancement that has changed the way we live and eat more dramatically than food preservation. From pasteurization and refrigeration to aging and smoking, these processes have all made it possible to enjoy the foods we love in new ways and for longer. Most of the time, these important and incredibly beneficial processes go unnoticed as just another modern convenience but Shamus Jones and his artisan pickle shop Brooklyn Brine is giving the 4,000-year-old practice of pickling some time to shine.
Like all children, Jones had a few fantastical ideas of what he wanted to be when he grew up, such as a fireman or racecar driver. “Probably my last career choice before falling into culinary arts was a professional skateboarder or punk rock musician,” said Jones.
At the age of 20, Jones moved from his hometown of Brooklyn, NY to Seattle, WA where he worked as a chef at two popular vegan restaurants. At 27, he moved back to Brooklyn and continued working as a chef but eventually grew tired of just being a hired hand.
“I started getting fed up with the industry within itself, the long and demanding hours,” he said. “It’s less satiating when it’s not your own restaurant or your own place where you have ultimate control over your creativity. So, I stopped taking jobs as the chef of restaurants and started consulting at restaurants; that was kind of like my step towards an exit plan.”
“In the last place I was working at, it was supposed to be a temporary thing but they ran out of money a little quicker than what was initially agreed upon so I was laid off,” he said. “I had been jarring pickles and selling them at that location and people were responding. It was just this idea that wasn’t backed with a business plan or operating capital or trust fund. It was just something I was impassioned by and kind of just jumped in head-first when I was laid off. [I] started the company six hours after that last job ended, borrowing a restaurant kitchen from a friend, working overnight from 10pm to 8 in the morning and that was the first ten months of the company.” And so Brooklyn Brine was born!
by Jerome Stuart Nichols
photos by Jammi York * interview by Davon Hines
For the rest of the story about Brooklyn Brine pick up a copy of Real Food Real Kitchens Magazine available now at your local Walmart (on their main magazine newsstand) or at select Barnes & Noble (Brooklyn has them in Park Slope). In addition to Brooklyn Brine the magazine is 132 pages filled with over 42 recipes and stories on other artisan food companies like: The Mast Brother Chocolate, Brooklyn Soda Works, The Darby Brothers Hot Sauce, Shining Light Garden, the Indialantic Seafood Company, The Florida Key Lime Pie Company... and stories about real people telling the story of a dish and their family and culture that bring it to life.