Thursday, February 13, 2014

Field trip: Santa Monica Farmers Market

Another week, another culinary school field trip, this time to the Santa Monica Farmers Market. We've started produce this week, and this is the big one, the Wednesday market where a lot of local chefs get their produce for the upcoming weekend.

Reisha Fryzer from FarmBox Los Angeles was our guide. She's familiar with a lot of the farmers at SMFM and introduced us to several throughout the morning and we got to hear about their farms and produce. Some of her advice to us as shoppers:

  • Not all farmers markets are created equal. A big part of a good farmers market has to do with the Market Manager. Laura Avery is the manager for SMFM and a big part of what makes it great.
  • Feel free to ask the vendors questions. How to store produce, how long it's good for, or how to pick produce if you need it for a particular day. Use their expertise.
  • You need to be really assertive with produce purveyors to get the good produce.

Burkhart Organics:

Fair Hills Farms:

aka The Funny Farm.

Eggs from happy chickens!

This guy was awesome. He gave us each a Pink Lady apple to sample and totally sold us on them. So good I went back and bought a few more.

Flora Bella:

Friends' Ranch:

Harry's Berries:

Jimenez Family Farm:

Maggie's Farm:

JJ's Lone Daughter:

The $6, non-browning avocado.

Tutti Frutti Farms:

Weiser Family Farms:

That's Grandpa Weiser on the box.

After the Farmers Market, we headed back to school and each prepared a Salad Lyonnaise with frizee Chef had purchased from Maggie's Farm. The idea of a salad with a poached egg on top was strange to me, but it was great.

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