The Hope Street Farmers’ Market at Lippitt Park in Providence opens for the season on Saturday, June 4, 9 a.m. – 12:30 p.m., with guided tours of the market from three of Rhode Island’s favorite chefs. Chez Pascal‘s Chef Matt Gennuso, Farmstead/La Laiterie‘s Chef Matt Jennings and Chef Joe Hafner, soon to be opening a new place in Providence, will be at the market to share their culinary expertise and knowledge of local seasonal foods. Market manager Bevan Linsley added, “This is the perfect way to brush up rusty cooking skills after the long cold winter, and have a little fun with these local celebrities now that our farmers’ markets are open for local, fresh foods again.”
Kristin Gennuso, co-owner of Chez Pascal, explained the genesis of the guided tours with Eat Drink RI. “The idea sort of grew out of Bevan first asking Matt if he would do a cooking demo at the market. Matt came up with this new idea, which sprung out of him shopping at the Pawtucket / Wintertime Market one Saturday morning. While Matt was looking over the produce a woman approached and expressed interest in some beets. Matt struck up a conversation with her and it turned out that she actually didn’t know what they were or how to cook them. She had only ever seen beets in a can.
“So Matt talked with her for a while and gave her some ideas on how to cook the beets while also explaining how very versatile they are. The seed was planted, so to speak, how fun would it be to interact with market shoppers, giving them some cooking tips, introducing them to new produce, or produce people might be unsure of how to best use? Chefs, in general, mostly spend their customers dining hours in the kitchen, unable to converse or even simply to say hello. This will give them an opportunity to interact and have a great time sharing ideas about our local produce with those who love it most, our customers.”
All three chefs are very excited for the opening day tours. Chef Jennings said, “It is a pleasure and honor to work as a Chef/Liaison for customers at the Rhode Island Farmers’ Markets. The Rhode Island Farmers’ Market scene is rich and vibrant—with amazing producers and growers and a consumer base that is eager to cook and to learn about the foods which grow around them. I think that the Chef/Liaison relationship is a great opportunity for local, professional chefs to help educate and inspire market shoppers, lend a helping hand and also promote our own business within the community. It’s a ‘win-win’.” Chef Hafner was quick to agree, “Sounds like a win-win situation! As chefs we are always looking for great ingredients, and perhaps we can inspire a few market customers to try something new.”
The Saturday morning Hope Street Farmers’ Market is open from 9 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Tours will be available, at no charge, by signing up at the Hope Street Market tent. Lippitt Park is between Hope St and Blackstone Blvd. on the northeast side of Providence. The annual success of the Hope Street Farmers’ Market has spawned a second market at the same Lippitt Park location on Wednesdays from 3:30 – 6:30 p.m. beginning June 8. For more information, please see www.hopestreetmarket.com or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.