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7.11.2010

Farmers Market Challenge: Chef Dan Edition! PART ONE

It's an entirely different experience to hit a farmers market with a serious chef. This morning, a crew of us joined Chef Dan Giusti of 1789 Restaurant for a cooking class based on seasonal, local ingredients found at DC's Dupont Circle Farmers Market.

Five students piled into the Chef's Jeep and we were off. The plan was to hunt down rabbit at EcoFriendly Foods and then see what we could find. As market regulars know, you gotta get there early if you want what you want. By the time we arrived about 10am, they were all out of rabbit so we shifted to a roasted chicken for our main dish plan. (I was excited as the Chef had previously told me that when he cooks at home, he usually roasts a chicken.)
Chef Dan Giusti at EcoFriendly Foods
Next up, we hit the fruit stand for plums as Chef had a vision for a simple summer fruit syrup infused with basil over vanilla ice cream. We met up with Mark Toigo of Toigo Orchards who talked to us about which plums would be best for our plans. Since we were pairing with a sweet ice cream, we went for more tart plums that would balance well.
Left: Mark Toigo, Right: Chef Dan Giusti
At Next Step Produce (Chef's "go to" for veggies at the Dupont Market), we picked up potatoes, gorgeous little onions and basil.
We jumped to the next stall for these adorable (dare I say "baby") carrots...
...then a sack of blue kale and summer savory (which I had never cooked with - HELLO new farmers market challenge!!)...
Farmers Market Challenge: Summer Savory
...then back to Toigo for a flat of tomatoes. (We had been on the hunt for watermelon, but Sunnyside Farms had sold out.)
Chef bought a round of drinks for the class.  Wanna see what was the cocktail of choice? It's after the jump along with the details on how you can have the same experience...

Yeah, that's how we roll... Chocolate milk from Clear Spring Creamery, baby!

Stay tuned for the next installment where I'll share what we made with all of these ingredients along with tips from Chef Dan.

Disclosure: This class experience was complimentary. I won it by following @1789ChefDan on Twitter and being one of the first to tweet him back when he offered the class. Follow him and stay tuned to the latest 1789 experiences including their monthly cooking classes.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Summer Savory is amazing with potatoes. Also, not bad with fresh pasta and goat cheese