Thomas McNaughton, Chef and Partner at Flour +Water is ready for the end of tomato season. He told me this last Saturday as he wandered through an unusually warm November market with his weekly shopping list. (McNaughton’s menu changes daily, so he looks to the farmers in the market for regular inspiration). While Thomas was buying some of the season’s first Meyer lemons he said he was feeling especially ready for the beginning of the gradual wind down to Winter, with it’s abundance of squashes and root vegetables.
Shopping at the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market is a family affair for chef Robbie Lewis. After 19 years in the Bay Area restaurant scene, including stints at Boulevard, 42 Degrees, Stars, Rubicon, Jardinière and Bacar, Robbie is now the Executive Chef at Oracle, where he is implementing CSA programs on all their “campuses” and introducing a range of other ideas centered around local and seasonal food. So it’s no wonder that nourishing the two most important people in his life -- son Dante and daughter Marcella - involves bringing them to the farmers market, where they can pick out their own farm fresh ingredients.
Pastry chef William Werner has spent the last several months preparing for the opening of Tell Tale Preserve Company, a French inspired modern pâtisserie and delicatessen located on Maiden Lane. Though William had hoped to open Tell Tale’s doors by mid-September, as these things often go, the start date has been pushed back until early December.
Every year around this time the CUESA office is buzzing with excitement as we approach our biggest fundraising event -- the Sunday Supper. This Sunday, October 3rd, marks the eighth time we have asked over 60 of our favorite chefs to create menus using ingredients straight from the markets for a group of dedicated supporters.
Yesterday was the autumn equinox for the Northern Hemisphere, the official beginning of fall. As the daylight hours begin to decrease our farmers are working anxiously in the fields to harvest the last of their summer crops. Over the next few weeks we’ll see tomatoes, basil and peppers alongside shelling beans, persimmons, and pumpkins as the farmers also begin to harvest their first fall crops. With daylight waning pastured egg production will slow on farms like Eatwell and Marin Sun. Autumn will also mean that many of our farmers must begin planting and planning for the winter months.
I shopped the market recently with Eddie Lau, whose latest project, The Summit, is only a week or so away from opening its doors in the Valencia Street space that once housed the New College of California. As opening day approaches Eddie, who has cooked at both Orson and Poleng Lounge, is putting the finishing touches on his menu, which he tells me is modeled after a modern brasserie. He plans to source most of the ingredients for The Summit directly from local farms like Dirty Girl Produce, County Line Harvest and Full Belly.
Market Watch: Shopping the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market with Richie Nakano and Kitty Gallisa of Hapa Ramen
Earlier this year when Richie Nakano, Nopa’s then sous-chef, approached me about an idea for a ramen stand at the Thursday market, I was intrigued. Once I saw the menu –hand pulled noodles, house made broth, organic, seasonal produce-- I was hooked. Richie explained that he and his business partner Kitty Gallisa, both self-proclaimed ramen lovers, had been hatching a plan to create a business of their own focused on this traditional Japanese noodle soup. They planned to call it Hapa Ramen.
Last week Nopa’s Laurence Jossel and Nopalito’s Gonzalo Guzman, came down to the Thursday market to pick up a few things on their list including some almond meal and peaches and to see what else was looking good that day. Their car was already packed from earlier visits to both the Berkeley and Marin farmers markets, but with the late summer season in full swing they couldn’t resist a few impulse buys from the Ferry Plaza.
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