Chefs' Profound Impact On Local Farms And Our Farmers' Market
If you're a regular customer, you've become accustomed to seeing many of the area's top chefs at the farmers' market. You've enjoyed their cooking demonstrations, you've marveled at their techniques and recipe ideas. But do you realize the huge impact these chef have made on the farmers' market as a whole and on our farmers individually?
Sometimes they are dressed in their chef whites, but sometimes not. The average shopper may not recognize them when they shop the market, but chefs are a catalyst for the market's success and in educating the public about the importance of local foods and supporting local farms.
"The chefs who shop at our market and buy from local farmers have been a principal force in driving the local foods movement," says grower Sam Koenigsberg of New Town Farms. "They have made the market what it is today and have helped the market continue to grow. They have that platform - through a plate of good food - to educate people. That plate of local food is the window back to the farm. Chefs have an enormous role in advancing the market and making more local food available for you, the consumer."
Sam says market customers who watch chefs pick up boxes of produce for their restaurants or take produce to use in their cooking demos shouldn't be concerned that chefs are skimming the cream off the top of his harvest.
"Chefs order on Friday and we pick their orders separately, over and above what we pick to sell at market, and it doesn't affect the quantity of food we bring for our booth," he says, adding that when he has small amounts of an in-demand product, he saves it for customers waiting in line at his booth for the market to open. "It's the worm for the early birds."
"People should appreciate what chefs are doing in supporting local farmers and using local produce in their restaurants," he says.