With heavy rains last week and a cooler snap in the air, it’s finally starting to feel like winter in San Francisco. I find myself craving home-cooked meals, and I take many cues for what to cook from the chefs who shop at the market each week. These days, their carts are filled high with root vegetables, citrus, winter squash in many shapes and colors, and bright bunches of braising greens—all of which make the fixings for any number of hearty, healthy, and comforting winter dishes.
Pear season is beginning its seasonal wind down at the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market. While many varieties will be cold stored and still available through the winter months other more delicate varieties like the Warren pears at Frog Hollow Farm are only going to be at the market for a few more weeks.
Thanksgiving is around the corner, which means it’s time to plan those holiday menus.
Fall has definitely arrived at the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market, and the chefs who shop here have been loading up their carts with early winter squash varieties, quince, Asian pears and other seasonal treats. One such chef, Justin Simoneaux of The Boxing Room, is no stranger to incorporating seasonal ingredients into his Southern-inspired menus.
One of the fall season's best foodie functions is coming Sunday, October 14th, prepared by a dizzying array of the Bay Area's very best culinary talent, including Ryan Farr (4505 Meats), David Bazirgan (Fifth Floor), Kory Stewart (Americano), Brandon Jew (Bar Agricole), Brett Emerson (Contigo), William Werner (Craftsman & Wolves), Craig Stoll (Delfina), Melissa Perello (Frances) Scott Youkilis (Hog & Rocks) and many, many more.
On Saturdays, one of my favorite stops for autumn fruits like Asian pears and white pomegranates is the K & J Orchards stand at the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market. I always make a point to ask Aomboon Deasy (or “Booney” as she is known to many of us at the market) what’s happening back on the farm. Booney’s parents, Kalayada and Jim, started K & J Orchards on a small parcel in Winters in 1982. In the past few years, Booney and her husband Tim have taken on more responsibility at the farm. You can find her at the booth cutting up samples for customers and filling orders for chefs.
In the three years since the first Thursday Ferry Plaza Farmers Market, one of our most popular lunchtime options has been Tacolicious. In that short time span, Tacolicious has grown from a pop-up tent to having two brick-and-mortar locations, but they have always remained loyal to their farmers market roots. Each year, they host a guest chef series at the Thursday market, bringing in heavy-hitters from some of the best Bay Area spots to make signature tacos, with all the proceeds donated to CUESA.