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Market Watch: Spanish Inspired Winter Favorites with Chef Mat Schuster

Chef Mat Schuster shops for greens at the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market. Photo via CUESA. 

On Saturday, February 22, Mat Schuster, executive chef and owner of Canela Bistro and Wine Bar, will be in the CUESA Classroom to demonstrate Spanish inspired ways to use winter produce. In addition to demonstrating three of his favorite dishes—a traditional tortilla, clams cooked in Cava, and a winter gazpacho – he’ll also come armed with Spanish pantry items and talk about how to use these ingredients to compliment the seasonal flavors of the late winter market.

“Our recipes at Canela are Spanish influenced, some are adapted from family recipes my partner’s mom taught me,” Mat told me, “but they are also very California influenced because we get most of the raw ingredients from local farms and fishermen.”

Mat’s play on gazpacho will forgo the tomatoes, currently out of season, in favor of crisp winter pears, almonds and blue cheese. Mat will also teach a simple and tasty way to prepare fresh clams from Hog Island Oyster Company by steaming them with fennel, lemon, shallots and sparkling Cava. For his tortilla, Mat will show how to make this Spanish favorite using pastured eggs from Rolling Oaks ranch and russet style potatoes from David Little of Little Organic Farm. He’ll also incorporate currants and pine nuts into the tortilla, as well as sautéed leafy winter greens like kale or dandelions, which are in abundance right now at County Line Harvest, Dirty Girl Produce and Marin Roots Farm.

“Tortilla is such an easy flexible dish and a great way to use up leftover winter greens and veggies,” Mat told me.

Stop by the classroom on Saturday to learn more about Mat’s Spanish cooking influences and winter favorites. All demos take place in the CUESA Classroom (under the white tents in front of the Ferry Building) at 11 am and are free to the public, with recipes and samples for all.

For market updates and seasonal tips follow Lulu Meyer @farmersmarketlu or check out @CUESA on Twitter