Good Food Awards

Meet Georgia Winner Pine Street Market

Posted on Thursday, July 14th, 2011 in Charcuterie by Sandy Johnson

Before opening Pine Street Market in 2009, Rusty had 15 years of experience as a chef. He had worked in restaurants in places as diverse as Florida, Hawaii, and Austria but in each location he always found himself working as a butcher. Through these experiences, Rusty picked up the techniques of charcuterie making and gained valuable experience working with meats. He found that he loved making charcuterie so in 2009, he and his wife, Travis, opened Pine Street Market in Atlanta, Georgia.

Rusty is currently getting ready to release two new products at the end of the month. The first is a pepper-seasoned prosciutto that has been aging for the past year and a half. The second is a speck made from boneless ham that has been laid out flat and smoked on beachwood before being aged for several months. He is extremely excited about these two new products and in particular the speck. Although Rusty admits that picking a favorite product is “like picking a favorite kid,” he reveals to me that the speck is going to be better than Pine Street Market’s award-winning coppa. Rusty has been watching the speck closely and notes that it has a beautiful color and smells amazing, and while it is not quite ready, he confesses that he has snuck a taste and it lives up to his high expectations.

Pine Street Market produces their charcuterie from 100% local pork. They source the meat from the local Gum Creek Farm and most of the other ingredients they use are bought from the local farmers’ markets. This alone makes Rusty’s products representative of his Georgia location but he also enjoys creating recipes to highlight both his charcuterie products and the local produce. For example, Rusty’s favorite way to serve his dry cured coppa is in a summer salad: “We take Georgia peaches, slice them into 6 sections and wrap them with the coppa. We then grill it, which gives it a smokiness, and the peaches start to melt. We then put it over an arugula salad with some cheese. It’s a really great summer salad.”

The owners of Pine Street Market are proud of their local success in addition to the nationwide recognition they have gained from winning their Good Food Award. Rusty explains how rewarding the award has been for him: “It was the highlight of our year. Being in Atlanta…there aren’t a lot of people doing this where we are. We might be good for our region or even the East Coast, good for where we are, but to find out that we were appreciated nationally was a big deal. It was amazing, a really big honor.” Pine Street Market continues to grow with the increasing demand for their products. They have recently taken on two new employees and hope to continue to expand their production.