Monday, October 28, 2013

Indy Winter Farmers Market Vendors Announced!

The wait is over! The 2013-2014 Indy Winter Farmers Market list of vendors is out!

We're excited to welcome several new faces, along with dozens of returning market favorites, when the market kicks off Saturday, Nov. 9 at 9 a.m. at The Platform in the west wing of the Indianapolis City Market

See the full list here!

What new offerings are you most excited to try? What returning vendors do you hit up every market? Leave your thoughts in the comments below! 

Don't forget to "like" the Indy Winter Farmers Market on Facebook and sign up for our weekly enewsletter for the latest happenings. See you on Nov. 9!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Talking Local Food with Bluebeard Co-Chefs John and Abbi Adams

John and Abbi Adams
(Photo courtesy Edible Indy)
Did you know you can find fresh produce from the downtown gardens of Growing Places Indy on the menus of some of your favorite local restaurants

For the first in a series of Indy chef profiles, John and Abbi Adams, co-chefs at Bluebeard in Fountain Square, share why they love Growing Places Indy and buying local:

What's your food philosophy?
Our food philosophy is about taking the best ingredients available at the moment and preparing them using proper cooking techniques to maximize each individual ingredient's flavors. Our cuisine stems from different types of inspiration that could come from a meal we've had, our childhood, places we've worked, something we've seen or read about or simply what our farmers had ready for us. We cook with the season and find that it guides through our ever-changing menu and allows us to stay inspired to create new dishes every single day.

What has been your most memorable meal?
Our most memorable meal was a progressive dinner we had in NYC. We began in Korea Town with Korean BBQ. We then headed to a Sake Bar Haggi in Times Square, where we ate uni, calf's liver sashimi, chicken skin skewers and drank lots of sake. Next was the Spotted Pig in Greenwich, where we had had duck rillettes, mackerel sashimi, duck fat fries and chicken liver toast. For dessert, we went to the Lower East Side for cheese and wine at The Inoteca on Ludlow. We had truffled rochetta and drank an unfiltered Chardonnay from outside of Piedmont, and I can still remember how magical the pairing was.

Why do you buy local from Growing Places Indy?
We source from Growing Places Indy for several reasons. We support their mission using urban farming to promote sustainable agriculture and healthier eating practices to people in our city. We have a personal relationship with the organization and find that it allows to interact better with them and even have things custom grown for us. Lastly, the quality is super high, and we know that the product will always be the best that they can produce. The offerings change all the time, and I find that I'm always excited about what's new. But, consistently, we order the micro greens. They make our plates look beautiful and add a fresh, pungent accent to them while even adding some nutrition.

Friday, October 11, 2013

Sweet Serendipity, by Laura Henderson

I love restaurants with communal tables for many reasons, and one is that every now and then, you end up in an interesting conversation with someone you just happen to be seated beside. 

That is precisely what happened at Sitka and Spruce in Seattle earlier this month, when we just happened to be seated beside three women who run a relatively new artisan chocolate and coffee roaster in Vancouver called East Van Roasters

When I overheard them telling our server about their shop in East Van, I couldn't help but ask for a card so that we might stop in during our stay in Vancouver. I'm so glad I did, as my eaves-dropping it turned out to be the most delightful and delicious experiences I've had with chocolate!

East Van Roasters is a beautiful little production cafe located in Gastown. Both coffee beans and cacao beans are roasted on site, and single-origin chocolates and drinking chocolates are produced there as well. I enjoyed sharing a tasting flight of single origin chocolates, a Mayan Spice drinking chocolate, a salted chocolate chip cookie and a "Good Bar" (a fabulous raw brownie of cacao, coconut, nuts and seeds), oh yes, and a coffee. Sometimes you just have to try it all.

Shelley, Merri and Kari (pictured below), with whom we'd shared the community table back in Seattle, all happened to be there or drop in while we were there, so we had the opportunity to learn a bit more about what seemed to be a thriving example of entrepreneurship.

As it turns out, East Van Roasters is a nonprofit initiative of the PHS Community Services Society, which provides public health, housing and community building services toward a vision for a community in which homelessness and addiction are no longer life-threatening conditions. East Van Roasters provides training and employment to women residents within PHS services. 

Among other PHS services and social enterprises, we learned about the Hastings Urban Farm, which employs residents and serves the community through a weekly farm stand. We also found jars of Hives for Humanity honey for sale in the shop, and it just so happens that Merri, the pastry chef, previously started a nonprofit called Growing Chefs, which places chef volunteers in elementary schools to teach kids about growing and cooking food! 

Needless to say, I left full and fulfilled from an abundance of delicious chocolate and the delight of learning about wonderful work being done at the crossroads of good food and good community. I am so grateful for the sweet serendipity served up when we sit down at a table with strangers!

Laura Henderson
Executive Director, Growing Places Indy