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Taste Catering's Chris Borges Plans His Thursday Market Menu Around the Taste Tomato

Last week at the Thursday market we added a special seasonal addition to the line up of street food vendors. Now through September 2nd, San Francisco-based Taste Catering will join us with a menu that is centered around their namesake “Taste” tomato.

The Taste tomato was developed specifically for Taste Catering by Sunol-based Baia Nicchia Farm and Nursery. Baia Nicchia’s owner Fred Hempel is committed to reversing the loss of heirloom plant varieties and preserving the best characteristics of nearly extinct cultivars. Taste’s executive chef Chris Borges met Fred four years ago and the two hatched a plan to cross breed the Maglia Rose, Zucchero and Blush varieties to create what would become the Taste tomato. The result of this union is a beautiful striped fruit that is sweet and flavorful.

Each dish on Taste’s Thursday market menu is named for a region of the world and highlights the Taste tomato in all its glory. With The Catalan, the simplicity of a good ripe tomato is accentuated in a traditional Catalonian Pa amb tomaquet (or Pan con Tomate) served with a Spanish style tortilla and romesco sauce. The Olympus features warm steamed dolmas made with preserved Knoll Farms grape leaves, brown rice from Massa Organics and a tomato relish. In a nod to Americana, Borges is also serving the “The Route 66,’ a chilled tomato soup paired with a grilled Bravo Farms cheese and tomato sandwich.

Chris and his team at Taste Catering build their menus around seasonality. The company prides itself on its commitment to supporting local farmers which is why Chef Borges can be found shopping the market each week to supply his kitchen with items for many of the private and corporate events Taste coordinates throughout the year. I caught up with Chris last Saturday and he shared some of the things on his list this week:

•    Horseradish and fava leaves from Heirloom Organics
•    Squash blossoms from Yerena Farms
•    Avocados from Brokaw Nursery
•    Rosa Bianca eggplants from The Peach Farm
•    Summer Sweet peaches from Tory Farms