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Market Watch: Saison's John De Wolf Browses for Brassica

Every week, Lulu Meyer brings us the best of the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market and the chefs that shop there.

John De Wolf, sous-chef at Saison, is something of a farmers market junkie. He can be seen weekly at each of all the three Ferry Plaza Farmers Markets. He’s often alongside Saison’s executive chef Josh Skenes, pushing around a chef cart, selecting items for the menu, and chatting with the farmers. De Wolf has worked alongside chef Skenes for the past year as Saison has gone from being a much talked about and lauded weekly event, into a full-blown restaurant just over a month ago. De Wolf himself started his career when he was just fifteen and worked at Acquerello.

Saison restaurant takes its name from the French word for season and boasts an eight-course tasting menu that’s in tune with its name. It's a tantalizing interpretation of the best the season has to offer. I shopped with John this past Saturday and it was clear that this is a guy who takes food very seriously. 

As he selected cabbages and romanesco for a brassica-based dish, he described the cuisine and experience of dining at Saison as “rustic luxury.” In a single meal he and Skenes might go from roasting meat in the restaurant’s open hearth to using combi ovens and immersion circulators.

As we worked our way through the crowded market he quoted chefs Marco Pierre White and Alain Ducasse, sampled strawberries from his stash and checked items off his list.

Here’s a peek at some of the items John was on the look out for this week:

•Erbette Chard from Four Sisters Farms

•Sugar Snap peas from Iacopi Farms

•Romanesco from Dirty Girl Farms

•Mint from White Crane Springs Ranch

•Radishes from Marin Roots Farm