Sunday, August 23, 2009

Highlights from An Incredible Feast

An Incredible Feast - Where the Farmers are the Stars moved this year from the Phinney Ridge Farmers Market to the U-District Farmers Market, practically doubling its' space for farmers and chefs to celebrate the fresh, local bounty of the land and the culinary creativity of the chefs' hands. Last year, the Neighborhood Farmers Market Alliance held the Feast on the one day in August that drenched Seattle in a torrential downpour. So this year, up went a big tent, and you know what happened. Today's weather was a cloudy morning that gave way to a clear, beautiful sunset sky and a truly incredible evening feast.

The Swinery bratwurst
This summer has been all about fennel for me, so I honed in on those dishes that used this favored veggie; like this chicken bacon cheddar bratwurst with poblano ketchup and fennel relish from Brian O'Connor and the Swinery with produce from Stokesberry Sustainable Farm.

fennel salad La Spiga
Willie Greens Organic Farm provided the produce and Sabrina Tinsley of La Spiga created this finnochio insalata. Fennel fans rejoiced.

pork confit Brasa
My favorite of the Feast was this pork confit with apple cider marmalatta and pickled fennel salad whipped up by the guys from Brasa lead by chef David Lazo. The pickled fennel, and especially the fennel fronds, complemented so well the melt in your mouth pork confit.

pork confit tacos
The joys of savoring pork confit were also found in this dish from chef Chester Gerl and the Matt's In the Market crew using produce from Schuh Farms. The tender pork danced this time with succulent grilled corn, heirloom tomato salsa and fresh greens.

salmon campagne
Seafood also shined forth at the Feast. Here the catch of the day from the Loki Fish Co. stars in this salmon rillette from chef Daisley Gordon of Cafe Campagne.

mussel poboys ebc
This mussel po'boy + a tall, cold one + a deck overlooking the Sound = a quintessential summer scene. You can make own scene by visiting Taylor Shellfish in the farmers markets. These mussel po'boys with saffron aioli on potato rolls were dreamed up by Zephyr Paquette of Elliott Bay Cafe.

cinnamon basil ice cream Poppy
"Cinnamon basil ice cream with blueberry compote and hazelnut streusel" - just saying those words aloud sparks vivid taste sensations of how the basil burst through the ice cream, how the cinnamon notes classically complemented the blueberries, and how the hazelnut added just the right contrast in crunch. The produce comes from Hayton Farms, the confection from chef Dana Cree and Poppy. Shout out also to Half-Pint Ice Cream for their watermelon mint sorbet and Pocco Carretto for their doughnut peach sorbet.

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