The electricity at the east end of the Farmers’ Market Saturday was generated by Amanda Freitag, celebrity chef from “Chopped” a cooking show on the Food Network. Her new cookbook, The Chef Next Door, is carried by Merritt Bookstore. It was Kira of the bookstore who connected with Vivian Sorenson, the co-executive producer of the show, who suggested that Amanda’s new cookbook might make a market attraction as indeed it did. Cooking show followers queued up for a signed copy of her cookbook and a chance for a photo session with the star chef. We first ran into Amanda when she was at Verbena, an all female, chef-owned restaurant loved by critics. She then branched off on her own to develop her own following that blossomed when she became a TV star. Sales of the The Chef Next Door were brisk. Cooking show addicts could sample a kale salad Amanda had prepared from ingredients selected from the market.
Market habitués were in agreement that it was one of the best markets ever, until a downpour drenched the unwary. Jamaican food from Pat’s Kitchen brought a new taste sensation to the market. Ox Tails, curried goat and rice and peas were featured dishes that market mavens took away for lunch and dinner. Mark Oppenheimer and his son were under the Inner Garden tent with exotic and native species of rare plants that could be incorporated into a garden design that Mark would be glad to prepare for clients.
Next week don’t miss the Farm Festival at Walbridge Farm. Their farm store carries eggs, meat and maple syrup from their own farm plus a fresh vegetables from the best of the local growers.