Chef wants to introduce less-loved veggies
Acooking demo at the Fayetteville Farmers’ Market might as well introduce more than just recipes. Heather Artripe, chef at Ozark Natural Foods, plans to use her “Cooking Local” demo on July 15 to bring two less-often-loved vegetables to the table.
“I wanted to utilize some of the produce people don’t necessarily buy because they don’t know what to do with it,” she says. “So I’m making eggplant curry and corn maque choux,” a Cajun dish with corn, tomatoes, celery, smoked sausage and okra.
“I love eggplant, but I know a lot of people don’t,” says Artipe, a homeschooled chef whose skills came from grandma and trial and error. “And you just have to know what to do with okra.”
This is the second summer for cooking demonstrations at the Fayetteville Farmers’ Market, says business coordinator Leann Halsey, thanks to a partnership with the city of Fayetteville and a U.S. Department of Agriculture Grant. The demos will continue on the third Saturday of the month through September, with a workshop at 9 a.m. — this time on food colors as they relate to nutrition — and at 10 a.m., the cooking demo and sampling made possible through a collaboration with Osage Creek Farms and Seeds That Feed Mobile Food Pantry.
While Artripe is preparing for July 15, Halsey is looking ahead to Oct. 7, when the Farmers’ Market will celebrate the fall harvest and the completion of the two-year grant. Teams of students from Brightwater, the culinary laboratory in Bentonville, will compete as part of the event.
A wide variety of fresh vegetables and herbs can be found for sale at the Fayetteville Farmers’ Market.