ferry plaza farmers market
May is just around the corner and we’re already excited about what’s in store here at the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market. While we have been knee deep in spring tonic greens, asparagus and strawberries for the past month the first signs of late spring and early summer are already staring to appear.
Chef Brett Cooper has spent the last several years working his way through some of the best restaurant kitchens in San Francisco. With stints at Rubicon, Coi, and Saison under his belt, Cooper has taken on the task of gently refining the menu at Outerlands, in the Sunset District. “It’s a really big transition, from fine dining,” he says, “but it gives me a chance to be in a really positive environment with great people and an ability to experiment with healthier menu items. We’re sticking with the same style of service and cooking that Outerlands is known for and just elevating that a little,” he told me last Saturday.
There’s probably nothing I love more than asparagus season. And from the look of the carts I’ve seen chefs pushing around the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market this week, I’m not alone. One chef in particular, Mark Dommen of One Market Restaurant, stopped by the market on Tuesday to pick up asparagus for his kitchen and tell me about some of his favorite preparation techniques.
On any given day, the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market is filled with many fabulous and talented chefs from around the Bay Area. But none know the market quite as well as our very own market chef, Sarah Henkin. She scours the market each week to find inspiration for the chefs who participate in our Saturday cooking demos and she also shops for her own weekly Food Wise Booth at the Tuesday market. At the booth, Chef Sarah can be found handing out samples of a seasonal recipe prepared that morning, and answering questions about selecting and preparing seasonal ingredients in general.
The market will be all abuzz this Saturday as we celebrate the hard work of the bees at the Honey Festival. From 10 am until 1 pm Marshall’s Farm Natural Honey’s Helene Marshall will be manning our Ask the Beekeeper Booth to answer questions about honey production, hives and beekeeping. She’ll also have samples of some of her favorite varieties of honey available from Marshall’s Farm and culinary tips for using honey.
Since taking the position of Executive Chef for Prather Ranch Meat Company, Erica Holland Toll has been busy.
Erica is working on revamping and creating some new sausage recipes for the company to sell at Prather’s shop inside the Ferry Building. She’s also developing a menu for the new restaurant and retail space they will be launching sometime later this year
A recent sunny, brisk day at the market found Gitane’s Executive Chef, Bridget Batson, shopping and tasting her way through the crowd. What caught her eye first was the beautiful bunches of spring onions nestled among the carrots and beets at Star Route Farms. One of her favorite spring vegetables, these young tender onions are sweeter and milder than their late season relatives.
Late winter is the perfect time to warm up with an apertivo or two and on Wednesday, February 23rd you can do just that at the first Farmers Market Happy Hour of the year. Tickets include two full-sized cocktails from the team of the highly anticipated Locanda set to open in March. Both cocktails––one a riff on the classic Negroni and the other an original creation––will feature Campari. There will also be 10 sample-sized sips from the bartenders at Rye, Azul, Hotsy Totsy, Beretta, Burritt Room, 15 Romolo, Bar Adagio, Prospect, Chow and Blackbird.
If you’re going to celebrate the wonders of local citrus, now is the time to do it. Many varieties are at the peak of ripeness and others should be nabbed now before their seasons wind to a close. Winter may be slowly succumbing to spring (and the berries that come with it), but right now it’s hard to turn a corner without running into a tangy, sweet example of this cold weather favorite.
California ranks second only to Florida in citrus production and at the Ferry Plaza alone there are more than 15 farms bringing the fruits to market each year.
Chef Jason Fox has been shopping at the market since his days as Executive chef at Bar Tartine. Late last summer he opened Commonwealth with partner and Mission Street Food co-founder, Anthony Myint and is once again supplying his kitchen with seasonal fruits and vegetables from the farmers at the Ferry Plaza.