Special Events & Announcements
East Bay Bean Tour ~ March 22
Take a tour with CUESA to Blue Bottle Coffee Co. and Hodo Soy Beanery, two East Bay businesses that have mastered the art of bean alchemy. James Freeman, owner of Blue Bottle, will lead a tour of his state-of-the art coffee roasting facility, show us how they create some of the Bay Area’s most coveted caffeinated concoctions, and share a freshly prepared coffee cupping. We’ll also take a tour of Hodo Soy’s new facility, where soybeans are transformed into luscious soy milk, tasty tofu, and silky yuba. There will be special treats at each stop. Our final stop will be the up-and-coming Jack London Market, where we'll eat lunch made with farmers' market ingredients and get a tour of this exciting new addition to the East Bay foodscape. The tour costs $25 and includes lunch. Learn more and register here >
Mozzarella & Ricotta Workshop ~ February 25
Back by popular demand, Urban Kitchen SF and CUESA present their third cheese-making workshop. Chef Travis Flood, of Piccolo Teatro, will lead our class in making mozzarella and ricotta using milk and locally sourced curd. Participants will take home a sample of the cheese they make, as well as some curd to practice their new cheese-making skills at home. The class size is limited to 30 participants. Learn more or register here >
Produce to the People: New Ideas for Local Distribution ~ March 2
There are now over 5,000 farmers markets in the U.S., yet still only a small percentage of Americans regularly eat fresh produce from local farms. Join CUESA and Kitchen Table Talks for a lively conversation about inspiring models for getting fresh, local food to more Bay Area residents. The panel will include: Grayson James, executive director of Petaluma Bounty; Melanie Cheng, founder of FarmsReach; and Christine Cherdboonmuang, Coordinator of the Oakland Farms-to-Schools Network and Oakland FRESH School Produce Markets — a project of the East Bay Asian Youth Center (EBAYC) and the Oakland Unified School District. The panel will be moderated by Michael Dimock, president of Roots of Change. The conversation will begin promptly at 6:30 pm and will culminate with refreshments and a reception from 8:00 to 8:30 pm. The event is free and open to the public. Learn more >
4505 and Namu Join the Saturday Market ~ Tomorrow!
CUESA is excited to announce that two Thursday market favorites — Namu and 4505 Meats — will be joining us on Saturdays. Starting this week, both vendors will be offering breakfast and lunch options in the back, far corner of the market, near Primavera. So stop by for 4505 Meats' notorious burgers, sausages, and chicharrones, or some of Namu's Loco Moco (pictured above), Korean tacos, or kimchee fried rice. We recommend arriving early, if you want to avoid a line. And if you're looking for a raw treat, Alive! Restaurant is also relocating and will be positioned nearby, next to Juniper Ridge. Related: Read Market Manager Lulu Meyer's recent blog post for 7x7 about breakfast options at the market.
Programs At The Market
Saturday, February 20 ~ Soup Festival
10:00 am - 1:00 pm - Soup Booth in the South Driveway
- Soup Display: Learn about the history of soups from around the world, and pick up tips for making your own stock. Discover the "anatomy of soup"
- Grown-your-own soup garden display featuring plants from Flatland Flower Farm
- Enjoy a hot cup of Ferry Plaza Farmers Market Minestrone Soup for a $1 donation
- Also, look for the big soup spoons at farmer's tents while you shop — this indicates that the farmer has a special soup recipe of their own to share. Collect the recipe cards as you shop.
11:00 am - Seasonal cooking demonstration
Chad Newton of Fish & Farm
Tuesday, February 23 ~ Food Wise Booth
12:30 - 1:00 pm - Sarah Henkin, CUESA's market chef, will give out recipe cards and samples of a simple meal made with market ingredients. She'll also be on hand to offer advice for all your seasonal meal planning.
Saturday, February 27 ~ Market to Table
11:00 am - Seasonal cooking demonstration
Alessandro Cartumini of Quattro Bar and Restaurant at the Four Seasons Silicon Valley
All programs take place in CUESA's Dacor teaching kitchen, in front of the Ferry Building on the north side.
Chef Robert Dorsey’s love of fresh seasonal foods started in his grandma’s West Berkeley garden. “As many of my friends were riding bikes and skateboards, I was pushing the hoe and the rake and picking green beans,” he recalls.
Dorsey has thought about the days of his grandma’s hot water cornbread and garden vegetables a lot lately, as he prepares to open a café in the soon-to-re-open Oakland Museum. The chef, who started Oakland’s Blackberry Bistro, plans to source a great deal of the cafe's food from local farms, such as the Scott Family Farm, run by Will Scott, an African American farmer who also provides produce to Farmer Brown. Dorsey’s parents are from the South and he grew up eating soul food, so like most of the menus he’s planned, this one will be a combination of California cuisine, Mediterranean-style fare, and classic soul food. He’s particularly interested in the way black chefs in the Bay Area embrace sustainable practices.
“Our community comes from organic farming and sustainable agriculture — so it’s really interesting for us to come full circle to get our hands back in the soil,” he says.
Like Dorsey, Herve Ernest, the founder of sf|noir, the San Francisco-based arts and cultural organization that hosts the annual San Francisco Black History Month Celebration, believes the convergence of sustainability and black cuisine is worth noting. To honor that connection, the 9th annual celebration will focus entirely around food and it's impact on local black culture.
“It was a natural progression to come to this point,” says Ernest. In an area where world cuisines compete for the spotlight, he hopes to give often-overlooked African American cuisine its day in the sun. “We have chefs here who are who are pushing the notion of black cuisine, so we wanted to highlight that, change people’s perspectives, and open their minds.”
The 5-day celebration includes a food-related spoken word event called “In Defense of Food,” a jazz brunch, a shrimp and grits taste-off featuring chefs from seven restaurants, and a food and wine gala featuring chefs from 10 restaurants. “The gala promises to be a great opportunity to get a taste of many different restaurants that do really great cuisine within a soul food aesthetic — all under one roof,” says Ernest.
Of course, it’s the emphasis on fresh, sustainable ingredients that makes black cuisine in this area unique. Or as Bryant Terry, author of Vegan Soul Kitchen puts it: “In the Bay Area you have people with roots in the deep South, so you have families who have the memories of cooking and eating and growing food from Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, etc.; and then you have it in the context of the ‘ground zero’ of the food sustainability movement and, this being the bread basket of the country, you also have some of the most cutting edge fresh, local ingredients.” The result is a renaissance of sorts.
“Most ethnic cuisines in this country have been kind of denigrated because of the industrialization of our food system and the globalization of our agriculture system,” says Terry. His goal is to expand notions of black food from an historical point of view.
“I want to help people understand that the type of food that my grandparents ate, and that many of the auntie and uncles ate — that was from their backyard gardens, that was fresh, local, and seasonal — is just as authentic as some of the stereotypes of African American cuisine.” The stereotypes he refers to are subsistence food, or “what enslaved Africans pulled together often times from plantation owners, or scraps, or discarded foods” and — on the other end of the spectrum — fatty and sugary comfort foods that rely heavily on animal products for flavor.
In reality, says Terry, many traditional African American foods made abundant use of nutrient-dense root vegetables, seasonal produce, leafy greens or “the foods that many advocates of healthy eating and a sustainable food system argue we should all be eating.”
In addition to a renaissance of the cuisine, says Dorsey, many local black chefs are rediscovering their roles in the community. A few years ago, Dorsey adds, there wouldn’t have been enough chefs to fill the room at the sf|noir event. Now he’s heartened to see more black chefs recognized for their contributions.
“It was not only [a challenge] getting our cuisine to the forefront, but a battle to get recognition as African American chefs. It’s one of those things we’ve taken in stride, but I’m kind of enamored, kind of glowing about what’s happening.”
The sf|noir Food and Wine Event takes place February 24-28. Visit sfnoir.org to learn more.
This is the most up-to-date information about which sellers will be attending the market as of Friday. If there are no changes to a seller's status, they will not be listed. You'll find a list of which farmers regularly attend each market here. Please understand that there are often last-minute changes—it's the nature of farming!
Saturday, February 13
Starting: 4505 Meats, Namu
Returning: Hare Hollow
Out: The Apple Farm, Bernard Ranches, Ridgecut Gristmills
Tuesday, February 16
Thursday, February 20
Seasonality Synopsis for February
Returning and plentiful this month (weather willing):
Blood oranges, root vegetables, cipollini onions, chicories, cauliflower, lettuces, broccoli, fennel, plant starts, cabbages, nettles, pea sprouts, green garlic, grapefruit, collard greens, cherimoyas, tulips, flowering branches, torpedo onions, spinach, Meyer lemons, radishes, Brussels sprouts, avocados, asparagus, chard
Winding down/limited supply:
Some citrus varieties, sunchokes, pastured eggs, potatoes, winter squash, apples, and pears
Vendor and value-added items not to be missed:
Southern cornbread mix from Ridgecut Gristmill, citrus salt from Eatwell Farm, tulips from Thomas Farm
Featured recipes for February
Roasted Root Vegetable Soup from CUESA's market chef, Sarah Henkin
Shaved Fennel & Orange Salad from Lulu Yang, Lulu's Kitchen
Leek and Rapini Fritters from Angelo Garro with Nikki Silva & Davia Nelson, The Kitchen Sisters, authors of Hidden Kitchens.