Today, my FFF (Favorite Foodie Friend) and I went to Santa Monica’s Farmers Market. The Gourmandise School does a series called “Follow That Chef!” They meet at Farmers Market and follow a local chef as he/she chooses fresh produce for a cooking demo and a light lunch for the participants. Thanks to Southern California traffic, we were late. It took us over two hours to get there! Consequently, we didn’t get to follow the Chef around the Market (but we wandered the Market anyway!). We were able to catch up for the demo however and that was AWESOME! More on that later!
Right now, here are a few photos from the Market!
The whole time we were wandering (and gawking at gorgeous herbs and vegetables), we were looking for a Chef with a large group of people. We thought we saw them once, but didn’t see them with any produce so we didn’t follow them. (We should have – it was them!)
We went back to The Gourmandise School and they were already there chopping squash! Chef Jeremy Grossman from Sonoma Wine Garden in Santa Monica was today’s Featured Chef and his menu included: basics of a simple vegetable stock, Banana Squash Soup with Cinnamon Cream, Bruschetta with homemade Ricotta and sautéed squash, and a homemade Ravioli sautéed in brown butter with a cheese and veggie filling! He showed us how to make vegetable stock and layer the flavors.
He added butter, onions, carrots, beets, potatoes, garlic, and fennel. Here is Chef Jeremy with his Sous Chef Matt chopping a huge Banana Squash!
Chef Jeremy also showed us how to roast different types of squash for the soup. He had at least four different types of squash. Everything was so fresh and smelled incredible in the oven!
As the squash was roasting, Chef showed us how to make Ricotta Cheese. SO EASY! Just a few simple ingredients and viola – delicious, fresh, homemade ricotta. This is something I will be trying ASAP!
After getting the cheese going, Chef made homemade pasta! FFF is Italian, so she was reliving her childhood at Grandmas house during this part of the demo. My heritage is Heinz 57, so I was captivated by how simple, yet time-consuming it is to make pasta. I might be able to do this at home too. I knew it wasn’t hard, but I’d never seen it done. It was pretty cool! Chef Jeremy had some very nice handmade pasta wheels he just received from Italy. This made FFF kick herself for not saving any of her Grandmas cooking tools! :-)
Here is Chef Jeremy making pasta and answering everyone’s questions! He was so patient!
Sadly, I don’t have any pictures of the finished pasta. My phone (a.k.a. todays camera) was nearly dead but I was lucky enough to eat it and it was amazing. Trust me!
I did have enough phone power to snap these pictures of the finished soup and the bruschetta! Yes, they were as delicious as they look!
Do you know the best part of the “Follow The Chef” series? It’s FREE!
Next time (and there WILL be a next time and a next time and a next time! :-D ) we will leave earlier, have a cooler to bring home produce (there was some gorgeous swiss chard that should have been on my table tonight!) AND bring a pen and paper to take notes during the demo! Despite the traffic, it was a great morning and FFF and I had a lot of fun. We’re looking forward to going back again in January! If you’re in the area, you should consider coming with us. :-)