Destin Ice Market 30A Covers All the Gourmet Bases
April 4, 2019 by Manny Chavez
Destin Ice Market 30A owner Pamela Wellborn was not the least bit hesitant to open her Market in Inlet Beach….opened in 2016 at The Crosssings at Inlet Beach, the shop has quickly become a favorite of “east end” SoWal residents and visitors.
“We have a high-quality, one-stop shop here. Everything we sell, Chef Alan Baltazar and I have tasted…. we believe in our products. We sell Halpern’s’ Meats, our local fish is right out of our Gulf, and our sources for Halibut and Alaskan Salmon are all wild-caught. We do not sell farm-raised ANYTHING,” emphasizes Pam. “Not all our products are domestic, some are imported like Cipriani pasta.”
As a certified Sommelier, Pam makes sure her wines are top shelf. Sure, you can purchase a $10 bottle of wine here, but you can go over $1,000 if your tastes run in that fine wine lane. The Market carries the WHOLE spectrum of wine selections.
“I’m WITH the wine program!” says Pam.
Visitors to Destin Ice Market 30A are treated to an enormous “showroom” of sorts, with a beautiful display of fresh Gulf seafood, certified Angus and grass-fed beef, local and regional craft beers, an EXTENSIVE wine selection, deli selections, salads, homemade dips and hand-crafted cheeses.
The seafood offerings are ready-to-eat or ready-to-cook as the Market is happy to steam your selections to perfection. Popular steamed items include gulf shrimp, crab legs, and lobster tails. The Market is open daily from 9 a.m.-7 p.m., but the steamer is shut down at 6:40 p.m. Folks can enjoy their “ready-to-eat” foods at any one of the numerous tables and chairs that line the interior and exterior walls (huge floor-to-ceiling windows allow for a totally pleasurable environment).
Chef Alan, who honed his skills in the kitchens of the original Cuvee Beach Restaurant in Destin and Whiskey Bravo on Scenic Hwy. 30A, went into a temporary culinary retirement, but he was quick to join the Destin Ice Market 30A group a year ago….a move he seems to fancy as he enjoys his hands-on role in the daily operation.
“One of Chef Alan’s many gifts is his ability to make house-made sausages,” says Pam. “We have a beautiful primo Italian hand-slicer and we slice San Daniele Prosciutto to order here.”
“I can slice so thin, you can see through it!” laughs Chef Alan.
Chef Alan maintains a deli that offers nothing that is pre-made. He is proud of his made-from-scratch spread. Made in-house are three kinds of soups daily, all dips, most desserts, salads, breads, cocktail sauces ,salad dressings, and smoked salmon and tuna dips.
Not to leave canine sidekicks out of the loop, Chef Alan even makes healthy, enticing treats for dogs….Pam’s forever companion Zsa Zsa, has taken a real liking to Chef Alan’s All-Natural Jerky tidbits (turkey, pumpkin, and cranberry ingredients). Zsa Zsa almost seems to look for the label when she’s toted into the store via Pam’s fashionable doggie carrier purse!
Regarding his meat selections, Chef Alan points out that the Market meats are all portion-cut to order for him with even a simple burger comprised of a chuck brisket and short rib blend, “more like a steak burger,” explains the Chef.
“We always have at least one cut that is prime, and I can do any special orders such a crown roast or lamb. I just need a couple of days’ notice. Also available are our “ready to heat” meals such as meat balls and marinara, lasagna, lamb Osso Bucco, and cream spinach. All items have instructions on them, and people just heat it up and have a great meal.”
The Market’s “Aisles on Wheels” are filled with a variety of products anyone would be happy to fill their pantry with….seafood boil and seasonings, imported olive oils and vinegars, Asian products, Aunt Maggie’s Sweet Cornbread Mix, jambalaya, hushpuppy and crab dip mixes, various pastas, McEwen and Sons organic stone ground grits and polenta, to name just a few.
The Market has become popular for its weekly wine tastings held every Friday from 4 p.m.-6 p.m. Also, Chef Alan gets REAL with his complimentary cooking demos. During a recent, very entertaining demo, 29 people responded to his culinary cooking show and watched as he sliced and diced his way through a three-course meal consisting of seared New Bedford Dry Scallops over Forbidden Rice Salad, Gulf Mahi Mahi Street Tacos, and Joyce Farms Naked Chicken Stir Fry.
The class is free and the opportunity to taste and see Chef Alan’s “power of the personal touch” is a redeeming one. He has simply found his calling and partnering up with the likes of Pam, this Inlet Beach market will do nothing but thrive. Pam’s vast wine knowledge will help take the Market to the next level, as she readies a future Reserve Wine Tasting Room which will feature a sitting for eight people to enjoy her sommelier-curated wines from hand-picked wineries from around the world.
Also in the works: “We’re getting ready to offer a full in-house deli featuring hot soups, panini sandwiches, coffee, and made-to-order cappuccinos and expressos” says Pam.
The compass seems to point “East” as in “East Scenic County Hwy 30A” as Pam and Chef Alan enjoy the fruits of their labor at Inlet Beach. Check it out….you’ll surely find something you love within the confines of the Destin Ice Market 30A!
Located at The Crossings at Inlet Beach (13063 Hwy. 98 East, just east of the Donut Hole), hours are 9 a.m.- 7 p.m. daily. Please call 850-502-4100 for further information or to find out about the next cooking demo or visit the website at www.destinicemarket.com.