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Market Watch: Shopping with an Underground Chef

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

It’s not every day you meet a lawyer who also runs an underground restaurant. David Barzelay just happens to be such a guy. His passion for cooking peaked during law school and after he graduated and passed the bar he started Lazy Bear. The name is an anagram of David’s last name and as he puts it “applicable to a project ventured into between (and to put off doing) ‘real’ work.”

Since starting Lazy Bear, David has done almost all the prep and cooking himself, sometimes enlisting his fiancée Jeanette to help and hiring wait staff to serve. His dinners focus on using classic techniques in modern ways to produce multi-course tasting menus for small groups. The menus are always a reflection of his passion for local producers, as almost all of the ingredients for his underground dining experiences come directly from the farmers at the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market.

David has participated as a guest chef at Mission Street Food, blogs regularly about his dinners at EatFoo and is now looking for a permanent legit location to host twice monthly Lazy Bear dinners. And he hasn’t given up law entirely. David recently formed his own firm with partner and fellow food lover Sheila Yazdi called EatLawSF. Their goal is to provide legal counsel for small independent food businesses, farmers, carts, bars, and restaurants who may otherwise not have access to these services. Their current focus is on assisting with business start-ups, general contracts and employment law and they intend to keep their prices fair to allow them to work with businesses that are often underserved by the legal community because of their scale.

David’s chef cart was piled high this past Saturday with items he would be prepping out for an upcoming sold out Lazy Bear dinner. He was excited about all the great stuff he had picked up and was looking forward to the return of the dry farmed Early Girl tomatoes at Dirty Girl Produce. Here are some of the items on David’s list this week:

•    Chantenay carrots from Heirloom Organic Gardens
•    Fresh garbanzo beans from Catalán Family Farm
•    Pastured eggs from Marin Sun Farms
•    Corn from G & S Farms
•    Summer squash from The Peach Farm