Tuesday, May 11, 2010


The fifth annual Chef Series at the Holland Farmers Market kicks off at 10:00 am on Saturday, May 15. Each week, the popular series features a talented local chef who will demonstrate how to incorporate the fresh produce and herbs available at the Market into healthy, creative, and easy-to-make dishes. The Chef Series is held every Saturday morning from May 15 to September 11 and is free to attend. Copies of the recipes the chefs create are available for aspiring chefs during the demonstration and on the Farmers Market website afterward. The Chef Series is sponsored by Visser Farms, a family farm in Zeeland that has been in business since 1902. Visit them at the Holland Farmers Market every Wednesday and Saturday or on the web at

The Holland Farmers Market, located in Downtown Holland, features over fifty local vendors selling everything from fresh fruits and vegetables to plants, baked goods, floral arrangements, dairy products, and much, much more. The Market also features a food court with dining options for breakfast and lunch, as well street performers who entertain the crowds with music, magic, and more. In addition, the Market is home to special events, such as the weekly kids activities, a salsa-making and jalapeno-eating contest, and a national collegiate fruit and vegetable carving competition.

The Holland Farmers Market is open every Wednesday and Saturday from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm from mid-May through mid-December, rain or shine. The City of Holland’s Department of Leisure and Cultural Services hosts the Market at 150 West Eighth Street. For more information about the Market, visit or contact Market Master Candy Todd at 616-355-1138. No pets of any kind are allowed at the Market.

2010 Chef Series Line Up:

May 15: What to do with Rhubarb

Ever wondered how to cook with rhubarb? Come and see the easy, creative, and delicious ideas that Jesse Hahn, chef at Salt of the Earth, has for cooking with this unique stalky plant. He will demonstrate just how versatile rhubarb can be when using acidic ingredients to make pickled rhubarb salad, rhubarb sorbet, and even rhubarb martinis!

May 22: The Fine Art of Greens

Garden fresh greens are some of the best choices you can make for your health and for disease prevention. Pamela Zinn, from the Holistic Nutrition Center, will demonstrate how the preparation of nutrient-dense dishes can be quick, easy, and delicious...if you know a few helpful shortcuts.

May 29: Green Eggs & Ham

Learn a few fresh food ideas for the spring and summer! Distinctive Dining Chef Jim LaPerriere will demonstrate how to make a Spring Vegetable Frittata, with smoked salmon, pancetta and crispy leeks, as well as a Creamy Asparagus Soup.

June 5: Simply Fresh

Lauri Sisson, catering manager of Pereddies Restaurant in Washington Square, will demonstrate how wonderful Farmers Market produce like asparagus, strawberries, and arugula can be incorporated into fast, fresh, and fabulous dishes, including Prosciutto-Wrapped Asparagus with Poached Eggs and Strawberry Tiramisu.

June 12: Pantry Raiders

Chefs James Bailey and Scott Konchek from Freedom Village will demonstrate how easy it is to make a meal using ingredients you already have in your pantry. James and Scott will each select a meat in advance and shop secretly for their other ingredients at the Market that morning. The two chefs will then swap their Market ingredients to prove how easy it is to make a great meal on the fly…with just a little creativity and know-how!

June 19: A Classic Caesar with a Twist

Be a hit the next time you entertain by making a not-so-traditional Caesar Salad tableside, like the Dining Room at Clearbrook has been doing for the past 25 years. Their executive chef, Jeff Kudrna, will walk you through the steps, show you a few new techniques, and offer variations for putting a twist on the classic Caesar!

June 26: Spring Greens

Tired of green beans and broccoli? Try cooking with the wide variety of other delicious greens that are available each spring! Chef Matt Kearby from the Piper Restaurant, along with owner and general manager, Pat Eldean, will explain the basic cooking preparations for greens, including wilting, sautéing, and par boiling. They will also present ways to use greens in an appetizer, pasta dish, and a side dish.

July 3: Fresh & Organic

Looking for some fresh, new recipes for this summer? Sybil Cathy, owner of The New Leaf Café, will be at the Market presenting some of the café’s favorite organic and vegan recipes for this summer!

July 10: Tapas at the Market

Hope College Dining Services Chef Tom Hoover C.C.C., will give a brief overview of tapas culture in Spain, and explain how to use fresh Farmers Market ingredients such as tomatoes, assorted herbs, potatoes, and chicken to create a delicious assortment of bite-size tapas.

July 17: Hot Off the Grill

Do you love grilling in the summertime? Learn how to prepare an entire three-course meal all on the grill! Chef and caterer Christine Ferris will demonstrate how to use fresh Market ingredients to make a grilled romaine salad, grilled vegetable pizza, and to top it off for dessert, grilled peaches prepared with butter, brown sugar, and brandy.

July 24: Cookin’ with the Farmers

Chef Shelly Rash, of CityVu Bistro, will demonstrate how to create great dishes using only fresh ingredients found at the Farmers Market. Using everything from blueberries and corn to bread and eggs, Shelly with create a delicious Blueberry Bread Pudding and satisfying Sweet Corn Soup.

July 31: Herbalicious

Do you love fresh herbs, but are never quite sure what to do with them? Come learn new and creative ways of incorporating them into your everyday summer dishes. Presented by Tamara Elhart, owner of Tamara’s Cooking Classes.

August 7: Simply Dressing

Discover creative and delicious salad ideas using Fustini’s infused extra virgin olive oils and aged balsamic vinegars. Lane Milligan, owner of Fustini’s Oils & Vinegars, will demonstrate both sweet and fruity, and savory dressing combinations. Impress your guests’ palates with these easy and delectable dressings for any salad!

August 14: Light Summer Favorites

Randy Taylor, executive chef at the Haworth Inn and Conference Center, will demonstrate how to make the perfect, light summer meal for those days it’s too hot to turn on the oven. Come watch as Randy combines simple Market ingredients to make a delicious Michigan Orchard Salad topped with homemade poppy seed dressing and fresh fruit panna cotta. They’re sure to become summer favorites!

August 28: A Late Summer Harvest

Come meet Tracy Gerow, owner of The Biscuit, and learn how to prepare a delicious summer Caponata made with tomatoes, eggplant, peppers, onion, and herbs, all straight from the Market. Not only will Tracy demonstrate how to prepare a Caponata, but she will also show you a variety of ways it can be served, and will explain how slow-roasting these vegetables brings out their deep rich flavors.

September 4: Spicin’ Things Up

Do you enjoy eating something a little bit spicy every now and then? With fall just around the corner, the chefs from Margarita’s Mexican Restaurant will be demonstrating how to make their delicious chicken tortilla soup!

September 11: The Dutch Touch on Eggs

Love breakfast food? Come to the Market and learn how to make some of deBoer Bakery’s best breakfast recipes! Chefs Mitchiel and Jake deBoer will demonstrate how to make omelets and other egg dishes using fresh eggs, cheese, and vegetables straight from the Market. Mitchiel and Jake will also demonstrate how to make eggs benedict with their very own homemade Hollandaise sauce.


Debbi said...

I love cooking with local produce. Its the best. I wish more people would think local first. In Michigan it would help so much with our high unemployment rate.

West Michigan Tourist Association said...

Thanks for the comment, Debbi. I absolutely agree. Nothing beats the taste of fresh, local produce. Just last week we had a spring birthday lunch here in the WMTA office featuring asparagus from one of the nearby farm markets. The flavor was astounding.

We've tried to make it easier for people to find local farms and markets with our interactive maps. Check it out if you haven't.