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The Inside Scoop on Palm Beach Salt Co.

Jonathan Richards, founder of Palm Beach Salt Co
Jonathan Richards, founder of Palm Beach Salt Co.

Given his background as a professional chef, Jonathan Richards understands the importance of salt. While on a sabbatical from restaurants, the Florida native had an aha moment after watching a documentary on Japanese salt-making techniques and smoking a brisket the following weekend: he would create a locally sourced finishing salt derived from the waters of the Atlantic Ocean.

“From a chef’s perspective, everything starts with good ingredients,” says Richards, who founded Palm Beach Salt Co. in May 2022. “You need good water to make good salt.”

Richards tested eight locations across Palm Beach County looking for the ideal water, finally landing on a spot less than a mile from the Gulf Stream and with an offshore coral reef that helps to prefilter the water. Armed with buckets, Richards hand-harvests the water during the hour before peak high tide, when there is the greatest influx of fresh water, he explains. 

Palm Beach Salt Co
Palm Beach Salt Co. salts.

Then, he embarks on a 400-hour natural process to turn that raw ingredient—water—into sea salt. Everything is done by hand and is free of chemicals, dyes, and anti-caking agents. Richards describes the taste of the final product as bright, briny, and oceanic. “My salt has a very round mouthfeel,” he notes. “You get a lot of different activations on your palate … a little bit of sour, sweet, bitter, but it always finishes very clean.”

Palm Beach Salt Co.’s bestsellers are the original flake salt, garlic salt, and lemon salt. Richards describes all the salts as finishing salts, though they can be used in a variety of applications. His favorite use? As the final seasoning for local fish. “You’re taking the fish out of the ocean and putting the ocean right back on the fish,” he says. “As a chef, that’s really full circle for me and the story I like to tell.”  

The post The Inside Scoop on Palm Beach Salt Co. appeared first on Palm Beach Illustrated.



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