The Bidwell Farmers' Market has added a new twist to its Saturday repertoire. Centrally located within the market is a stand operated by Amelia Nussbaumer (my wife) and Martin Danilowicz. The idea behind this particular stand revolves around cooking up breakfast and lunch fare for the visitors to the market. But there's a twist. The only things that Martin and Amelia show up with in the morning are the grills, the tables, the paper products and various cooking utensils. No food is brought to the market. Instead, they must first purchase all of the necessary ingredients from the neighboring farm stands, which means that often times they don't even know what the day's menu will look like until they have finished making their rounds to see what's available.
Today's culinary offerings included a beet green salad with grilled leeks, zucchini, radishes and strawberries, sauteed together with balsamic vinegar and black pepper. Another option was the open faced egg sandwich with 'jack' cheese, a homestead chili sauce, served on challah grilled bread. There was also vegan French toast with maple syrup and strawberries.
So the next time that you're wandering around the market on Bidwell, be sure to look for the sign that reads "Martin Cooks". The plan is to continue to expand the offerings each week as more and more people discover that fresh, local, organic food is available to eat.
The cooking operation is a welcome partnership with the farmers, who are happy to see their food being prepared right at the market. It's an innovative strategy, as many of the people who eat the food ask where they can find the different ingredients. At the end of the day, it's all about 'accounting for taste', which happens to be the motto that Martin and Amelia broadcast on their shirts.
Also, look for the following vendors who are new to the market for 2012:
21 Brix Winery, Community Beer Works, Susie Cuke's Pickle Company and Living Light Wheatgrass.