Undis­cov­ered De­lights

Chef wants to in­tro­duce less-loved veg­gies

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - WHAT'S UP - — BECCA MARTIN-BROWN BMARTIN@NWADG.COM

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.

FILE PHOTO

A wide va­ri­ety of fresh veg­eta­bles and herbs can be found for sale at the Fayet­teville Farm­ers’ Mar­ket.

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