Every week, Lulu Meyer gives us the scoop on the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market.
Last week I joined chef Scott Youklis of Maverick restaurant as he checked items off his shopping list and sampled some early stone fruit varieties. Maverick is one of over a dozen local restaurants that will be participating in a nation-wide campaign called “Dine Out for the Gulf” next week. It’s an event spearheaded by Jimmy Galle, owner of Gulfish, a local company that supplies restaurants with crawfish, blue crab and shrimp from the Gulf region. From June 10–12, Maverick will donate 10 percent of all sales to communities impacted by the oil spill.
Shopping with chef Chris Cosentino of Incanto restaurant can be an adventure. His Food Network series Chef vs. City and his many appearances on shows like Iron Chef America and Best Thing I Ever Ate have made him something of a local celebrity. As we walked through the market on a recent Saturday heads were definitely turning and I even caught a few folks whipping out their camera phones to get a candid photo of the chef in action. Chris’s gregarious personality lends itself well to television, but he’s deeply dedicated to the Bay Area and has a tremendous amount of respect for the farmers who grow the food he cooks.
May is one of the most exciting times of year at the market.
Every week it seems there’s a new addition: cherries, apricots, blueberries, raspberries -- it’s hard to keep up with all the bounty. It’s no coincidence, then that it’s also the time of year when we invite the community to join us for a special breakfast to help offset the cost of some of our educational programs. Guests can dig in knowing they’re helping us fund our weekly chef demonstrations, panel discussions and farm tours, as well as visits from guests such as Michael Pollan and Anna Lappe.
A few months ago we kicked off an exciting relationship with the California Culinary Academy. The school had expressed interest in introducing their graduating chefs to some local farms and artisans and we were more than happy to connect them with a few of our market vendors. On May 12th, the fourth installment of the resulting series of farm-inspired meals will take place at the Academy’s Careme 350 Restaurant. This month’s lunch and dinner will feature spring produce from Knoll Farms. Knoll’s organic vegetables are at their prime right now and these aspiring chefs should have plenty to work with.
Redwood Hill Farm and Creamery was founded by the Bice family over 40 years ago. Since the late Seventies, daughter Jennifer Bice has run the Sebastopol-based dairy and creamery, where she’s maintained a herd of 200 goats and developed a range of high-quality products. Today, Redwood Hill brings not only its cheeses to our Saturday market, but artisan yogurts and kefir, as well. A longtime proponent of sustainable animal husbandry, Redwood Hill also became the nation’s first certified humane goat diary in 2006.