The inaugural Spring Chef’s Farmers Market held in the Carrot Common Courtyard on Saturday, May 15 was a tasty success!
Danforth chefs put a fresh twist on the traditional farmers market by introducing their favourite local growers and producers to over 1,000 consumers.
The Globe Bistro team, led by Executive Chef Kevin McKenna and owner Ed Ho, partnered with Nathen Pond from Cumbrae Farms to create a mouthwatering warmed pita wrapped around Ontario pork belly dressed with fresh greens. Globe Bistro’s dish had consumers lining up all the way out to Danforth Avenue.
The Big Carrot’s Executive Chef, John Robertson introduced fresh asparagus from Mazak Farms and served up organic asparagus soup garnished with a parsley, garlic and lemon gremolata. And he gave away the recipe! “It’s only one secret,” he said, “I’ve got millions.”
By noon, rumors that slow-roasted, pulled pork sandwiches were available had spread across the Avenue. The Auld Spot Pub’s owners Nathan Hynes and Darryl Brown, Chef Jason Becker and his supplier Gurth Pretty from Cheese of Canada were on hand to serve up the mini sandwiches as well as Borgonzola cheese on slightly- sweet pear crisps.
Dora Keogh Executive Chef, Anthony Walsh accompanied by James McIntosh, Director of Operations for Scotch Mountain Meats had a freezer filled with farm-grown, antibiotic and hormone free products like maplewood, double smoked bacon, racks of lamb and Angus Beef.
Date squares, cinnamon buns and freshly baked bread were selling almost as fast as Danforth bakers, Benita Black and Tracy O’Hara from Dough Bakeshop could bring in reinforcements. “We’re playing with the big dogs here,” said Black. By the look of things their game has no end in sight.
Chef Lynn Crawford, star of Food Network Canada’s popular Pitchin’ In was on hand with a team from Ruby Watchco, her new restaurant; and, Brent Germin from the 100 Mile Market. Together they were serving up coveted samples of Ontario herbed potato salad and bright beet salad from a table laden with spring produce. Chef Crawford was the special guest of the Danforth Chef team; and, was invited to join the festivities in order to experience first hand the unique, urban lifestyle that makes the Danforth a Toronto gem.
Adding to the flavour of the day, Niagara-on-the-Lake gardener Gary Myers, featured a garden market blooming with Ontario grown baskets and planters.