Farmers Market and Local Chefs Make a Winning Combination

Posted: October 10th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Event, G Bar and Kitchen, Swampscott Farmer's market | Tags: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Beautiful and savory plates by Chef Brackmann of G Bar and Kitchen earned the Chef Throwdown trophy.

This Sunday will mark the end of the Swampscott Farmers’ Market first season. If you haven’t been this year, you should plan to check it out. In addition to beautiful produce from area farms, they host some terrific locally produced foods. We enjoyed Patty’s Guacamole out of Gloucester, tasty treats from Salem’s Sweet Adeline’s, and lush jams from Marblehead’s Fille de Ferme.

Chef Craig Hawley prepares a fresh lobster for the grill.

A few weeks ago, I had the honor of being one of the judges at a Chef Throwdown at the market, but due to technical difficulties haven’t been able to post photos until now. It was an awesome event, with all three chefs stepping up to the plate in spectacular fashion, and the crowd hanging on every move.

Chef Brackmann whipping up butternut zucchini pancakes.

Chef Gregg Brackmann of G Bar and Kitchen may have walked away with the saucepan trophy, but I think the judges were the true winners for the chance to taste some unique and wonderful dishes.

Chef Guarino plates his ceviche.

Brackmann’s plating was gorgeous, and his accompaniments, like acorn squash and corn hash, red and purple pepper puree, and butternut zucchini pancakes were fresh and funky, highlighting seasonal produce. Chef Joe Guarino of Red Rock Bistro wowed the judges with a salmon ceviche that was a taste revelation.

Tangy and tender salmon ceviche by Red Rock Bistro’s Chef Guarino.

We loved Chef Craig Hawley’s Bar-B-Que Bistro (seriously, the coolest BBQ truck I’ve ever seen) which he graciously lent to the proceedings, but we loved his smoked purple pepper stuffed with rich seafood etouffé even more.

Craig hawley’s divine smoked purple peppers stuffed with seafood etouffe.

The Swampscott Farmers Market is a great addition to the local food scene, and we congratulate them on a successful first year and thank them for hosting such a well-organized and entertaining throwdown.

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Local Chefs to Compete at Swampscott Farmers Market

Posted: September 12th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Event | Tags: , , , , , , | No Comments »

If you’re a fan of reality shows like “Chopped” on Food Network, we suggest you get yourselves to the Swampscott Farmers Market this Sunday for their Chef Throwdown, which promises to be quite entertaining.

The competition will feature three local chefs: Joe Guarino of Red Rock Bistro, G Bar & Kitchen’s Gregg Brackman, and Craig Hawley of the Bar-B-Que Bistro and Fish and Fowl Supper Club.

Each contestant will be given $35 and 15 minutes to peruse the market for ingredients; they must purchase items from at least four vendors. John Crow Farms will provide a still-to-be-confirmed protein.

The chefs will have one hour to prepare their meal in a very limited space. Extras provided by the market are limited to salt, pepper, olive oil, butter, water, and plates. Contestants are allowed to bring one ingredient from their own kitchens, but that item may not constitute more than 25% of the dish.

Judging will be based on taste, use of workspace, and creativity and presentation. We are very excited to have been asked to participate in the judging and yours truly will be joining Julie Pottier-Brown, Manager of Farm Direct Coop, and Swampscott’s Matt Strauss, former selectman and hospitality executive for over 20 years, to do the honors.

The market is open rain or shine Sundays from 10:00 to 1:00 at the Swampscott High School, 200 Essex Street. The Chef Throwdown will start at 10:30 when the bell rings for the chefs to begin shopping. Cooking will take place from 11:00 to 12:00, then the tasting and judging will begin.

If you’re in the area, stop by to say hello, cheer on your favorite kitchen wizard and pick up some fresh produce at the same time!

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