Market Watch: Haven's Kim Alter Heads Straight for the Melons
Chef Kim Alter of Haven in Jack London Square is wild about summer produce. One of her favorite market treats in the summer months are the aromatic musk melons like the Galia and Sharylnn varieties you’ll find at Everything Under the Sun. Kim shops the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market twice weekly as well as four other Bay Area markets to select a variety of the best the farmers have to offer for her dinner, brunch, and tasting menus. The melon she found this week at Everything Under the Sun’s stand will be used in a salad with grilled octopus on Haven’s dinner menu. For the salad, Kim will prepare the melon five ways—charred, compressed, gelled, pickled and raw— and toss it all in a coffee and basil seed vinaigrette.
When I ran into Kim at the market she told me that about 80% of what she uses in her kitchen comes from what she finds at the farmers markets. While the fruits and veggies themselves are important to her, she told me it’s the relationships she has developed with the farmers she sources from that keep her coming back each week. “If I don’t buy stone fruit from K & J Orchards,” she tells me, “I almost feel like I’m cheating on them.” Kim says she also prefers to use potatoes from Zuckerman Farms and even lists them on her menu as “Roscoe’s potatoes,” in honor of farmer Roscoe Zuckerman. “If I can’t get potatoes from him,” she says “I just won’t put potatoes on the menu.” Some of her other summer favorites include the tomatoes and pole beans she gets from Allstar Organics, and turnips and berries from Dirty Girl Produce.
On Monday August 26th, Haven and The Trappist in Oakland will join forces for a special seasonal dinner and beer pairing at Haven. For the evening Kim is creating a four-course menu that will highlight many of her summer favorites from the farmers market–all prepared to complement a selection of rare sour beers. Reserve your spot today by visiting the Haven website.