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.
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.
The summer may be winding down, but there is still time to celebrate the fruits of the season at Yacht Rock: Summer Cocktails of the Farmers Market on
Wednesday night. Thirteen members of the local chapter of the United States
Bartenders Guild will whip up seasonally inspired sips with a nautical flair,
taking cues from the America’s Cup World Series races. The evening’s full-sized signature cocktails, created by Christina Cabrera of Bourbon Steak and Keli Rivers of Hotsy Totsy Club, will feature pirate-worthy rum from Mount Gay and Sailor Jerry.
We’re at the height of the summer season at the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market, and each week brings new warm-weather fruits, veggies and legumes to savor and experiment with in the kitchen. This week, as I picked up three of my favorite summer market finds—French prunes, Costata Romanesca squash and Tongue of Fire shelling beans—I checked in with the farmers who grow them about their favorite ways to enjoy them.
August 5-11 has been declared National Farmers Market Week by United States Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack, and there are more than a few good reasons for you to celebrate the season and your favorite farmers markets this week. Summer produce is abundant at the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market, and the chefs who shop here are stocking up on everything from sweet bicolor corn to summer squash to field-grown tomatoes.
On Sunday, more than 40 of the Bay Area’s top chefs will be showcasing summer’s bounty at CUESA’s Summer Celebration. Shopping at the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market this week with 25 Lusk’s Executive Chef, Matthew Dolan, who will be a participant this year, it was hard not to get excited about the summer’s bounty. His restaurant’s menu is a reflection of his energy and enthusiasm for seasonality. Much of the menu changes weekly, and sometimes daily, to reflect what his favorite small farms are harvesting.
Georgeanne Brennan is an award-winning cookbook author and regular contributor to food publications both locally and nationally. Her most famous book, A Pig in Provence, tells the story of her move to the French countryside and what she learned there about the importance of seasonality and community food traditions. She has collaborated for many years with her friend and business partner Ann M. Evans, who is the former mayor of Davis, California, and one of the founders of the Davis Farmers Market.